By Clif Hilderley
It’s interesting how easy it is to miss the obvious.
People work hard to make sure their web sites rank high in search engine results for particular keywords. For common keywords, however, they find that one web site always ranks higher than theirs do – Wikipedia. This should hardly be a surprise since just the English version of Wikipedia has more than 4,100,000 unique articles and handles nearly 12 million page views per hour. That’s the kind of visibility anyone would like to have.
To ignore Wikipedia in your marketing can be a huge mistake. At a minimum, you should review articles related to your business regularly since they can be modified at any time by any one. A benign article can become an article biased against you overnight. It may not be intentional…then it might.
If your business or product is more complex than a paperclip, your potential customers may be looking for information and education. It is likely that many of them will end up on Wikipedia searching for this information. If there are relevant articles, you should make sure that your business or product is represented fairly and accurately. If no articles exist, maybe they should.
Wikipedia is not a traditional marketing tool, per se, as it has strict policies about the type and form of acceptable content. On the other hand, Wikipedia wants nearly any type of content that is neutral, educational and verifiable.
One interesting trend in Wikipedia is the inclusion of suppliers’ names in articles. This is a natural part of the educational process. Some articles even go so far as to provide comparison tables for products from different manufacturers. If your product isn’t in such a list or table, imagine what type of exposure you might be missing.
Another reason for not ignoring Wikipedia is its influence elsewhere on the internet. Every Wikipedia article is in the public domain by definition. It is common to find the same article replicated on thousands of web sites (your bargain basement web developers often use Wikipedia material as free content). This can result in the Wikipedia information being seen by thousands of people every day even if they never go to Wikipedia itself. Are they seeing what you would like them to see?
When it comes to Wikipedia, Newton’s got you covered. Our Wikipedia experts can help you determine whether Wikipedia is helping, hurting or ignoring your business…and develop a strategy for you.