Once raising eyebrows, citing Wikipedia as a source is no longer met with skepticism today. Wikipedia has shifted into an influential platform that brands simply cannot afford to ignore, owing to its collaborative community of editors and contributors.
Its unique structure allows for the creation and maintenance of detailed, publicly accessible articles on widely diverse subjects, including individuals, companies and organizations.
For brands, Wikipedia serves as a dynamic space where their narratives can be crafted, refined and showcased to a global audience. The same is true for individuals looking to establish personal branding.
Whenever there’s brand visibility, public perception inevitably follows suit.
However, the direction of public perception can sway between positivity and negativity, emphasizing the crucial interplay between a brand’s representation on Wikipedia and the resulting public sentiments.
In essence, Wikipedia has transcended its role as a mere encyclopedia and emerged as an influential force in shaping online reputations.
In this blog, we talk more about Wikipedia and how you can get started with it for online reputation management (ORM):
- The Online Visibility and Influence of Wikipedia
- Points To Consider Before Using Wikipedia for Brand Reputation Enhancement
- How To Get Started With Wikipedia Reputation Management
- Where To Get Expert Help for Your Wikipedia Content Strategy
The Online Visibility and Influence of Wikipedia
Brands that recognize the significance of Wikipedia and actively engage with it can harness its power to sculpt a narrative that resonates positively with their audience, ultimately influencing how they are perceived online.
Here’s why Wikipedia can impact your brand reputation building efforts:
Wikipedia Has a Dominating Digital Presence in Google Search Results
Google tends to favor Wikipedia for several probable reasons. Firstly, Wikipedia articles are often well-structured and contain valuable information. Google’s algorithms prioritize content that is relevant, comprehensive and authoritative, and Wikipedia articles usually meet these criteria.
Additionally, Wikipedia is known for its open editing model, meaning content is frequently updated and refined by a diverse group of contributors. This dynamic and collaborative nature aligns with Google’s preference for fresh and relevant content.
Moreover, Wikipedia’s pages are linked to and from many other reputable websites, creating a web of connections that search engines like Google view positively. These backlinks contribute to Wikipedia’s overall online credibility and authority in the eyes of search algorithms.
Snippet of Google search results page; “what is google” query
The image above is a prime example of how Wikipedia’s digital presence dominates the search results, even if the query is as competitive as it can get.
The first result is a Wikipedia article about Google.
And just above it, you’ll see the query has 24.7 billion search results. Yet, among all the other sources, including Google itself, Google awarded the top result to Wikipedia.
On the right-hand side of the page, you’ll see Google’s Knowledge Graph. Per the search engine giant, Knowledge Graph provides information from its extensive database of billions of facts about people, places and things. These facts are sourced from various reliable sources — Wikipedia is one of its top sources, as shown above.
Its primary aim is to have Google’s systems identify and surface openly known, factual information when deemed helpful.
Wikipedia Is Used by Billions of People
We analyzed the website wikipedia.org using SimilarWeb, and here’s what we discovered.
Snapshot of wikipedia.org website via Similarweb, December 2023
Note: Similarweb is a trusted source of website analytics. Its traffic estimations stand out for their high accuracy, closely aligning with users’ Google Analytics data.
Globally and in the United States, wikipedia.org ranks 10th among all live websites in terms of traffic. Its top traffic source comes from U.S. users. The website ranks 1st in its category, “Reference Materials > Dictionaries and Encyclopedias (In United States).” Other websites in the same category include quora.com, britannica.com and dictionary.cambridge.org.
Wikipedia’s total visits in the previous month were estimated at 4.3 billion, combining both mobile and desktop sources. On average, users spend nearly 4 minutes per visit on the site.
So, what do these numbers mean?
It tells us that a huge number of users use Wikipedia, not only in the U.S. but around the world. For businesses, these users are potential customers that can be influenced through your presence on Wikipedia or lack thereof.
Related article: Why Wikipedia Reputation Management Matters for Your Business
Other Points To Consider Before Using Wikipedia for Brand Reputation Enhancement
Given the powerful online visibility of Wikipedia we mentioned above, some may want to start and create their Wikipedia profiles right away. But there are more things you need to keep in mind.
- Time commitment – Creating and maintaining a Wikipedia profile is not a one-time act. Apart from research and content development, a sustained effort is necessary. Regularly monitoring your page is key to promptly identifying and rectifying any Wikipedia editing that may introduce inaccurate or misleading information.
- Strict guidelines – Wikipedia operates under stringent content guidelines. Your approach must be neutral, avoiding any promotional language that could compromise the integrity of the content. The platform is not for self-promotion; it’s a space for providing unbiased and verifiable information.
- Open access – One of Wikipedia’s defining features is its open editing environment. While this openness encourages collaborative content creation, it also means that anyone, with both positive and negative intentions, can edit your pages. Due diligence is needed on your part to ensure the reliability of your Wikipedia article.
- Permanent publication history – Every input, even if removed or a page deleted, is preserved in Wikipedia’s publication history. The platform’s archival system retains this information indefinitely. This permanent record, coupled with Wikipedia’s widespread visibility, amplifies your brand exposure as well as the potential public scrutiny of your internet reputation.
As such, there is no denying that Wikipedia is a powerful tool for personal branding and internet reputation building, but it has pros and cons.
How To Get Started With Wikipedia Reputation Management
Now, here’s how you can use Wikipedia for online reputation management:
- Create a Wikipedia User Account
- Familiarize Yourself With Wikipedia’s Guidelines and Policies
- Check if There’s an Existing Wikipedia Article About Your Brand
- Create a Wikipedia Article
- Have Credible Sources
- Monitor Regularly
- Engage With the Community
- Consider Professional Help
1. Create a Wikipedia User Account
You are not required to create a Wikipedia profile to edit articles, but having a registered account adds transparency to your contributions and allows you to engage with the community more effectively. Remember to abide by the platform’s rules and etiquette when interacting with other users.
2. Familiarize Yourself With Wikipedia’s Guidelines and Policies
Understand the platform’s standards for neutrality, verifiability and reliable sourcing. Adhering to these guidelines is crucial for creating content that aligns with Wikipedia’s ethos. One of its top rules is to maintain a neutral and objective tone when creating or editing content.
3. Check if There’s an Existing Wikipedia Article About Your Brand
Searching for your brand name on Wikipedia will reveal any pre-existing content. If there’s an article, review its content and history to ensure accuracy and completeness. If one doesn’t exist, proceed with creating a new page following Wikipedia’s guidelines.
4. Create a Wikipedia Article
If there isn’t an existing article about your brand, you can initiate the process of creating one. Follow Wikipedia’s guidelines for article creation, providing accurate and relevant information. Ensure that you maintain a neutral tone and back up your content with credible sources.
5. Have Credible Sources
Wikipedia places a high value on citations from reputable publications. So, make sure to only use verifiable sources. Here’s a snippet of Olive Garden’s references on its Wikipedia page:
Screenshot of Olive Garden’s Wikipedia article
6. Monitor Regularly
Keep a close eye on your Wikipedia page by regularly checking for edits, updates or additions. As mentioned earlier, this proactive approach helps you promptly address any inaccuracies or misleading information that might appear on your page.
7. Engage With the Community
Participate in discussions, contribute meaningfully and be open to feedback. Building a positive relationship with other Wikipedia editors can enhance the online credibility of your contributions. To do this, you can use Wikipedia’s discussion pages feature called Talk pages.
8. Consider Professional Help
If navigating Wikipedia seems challenging, consider seeking professional assistance. Wikipedia content strategy editors or consultants with expertise in the platform’s policies can guide you through the process and help optimize your online reputation.
Rize Reviews: Online Reputation Management Solutions
The reach and authority of Wikipedia cannot be overstated. Given its high visibility on search engine results and the sheer number of users relying on it for information, a Wikipedia presence has the potential to significantly impact how a brand is perceived by the public.
Wikipedia articles often feature prominently in search engine rankings, making them one of the first touchpoints for individuals seeking information about a brand.
So, if you need help with your company’s Wikipedia editing or overall personal branding and reputation management, Rize Reviews can help.
Our services include:
Talk to our team for a free demo.