So You Want to Be in Wikipedia: FAQs

So You Want to Be in Wikipedia: FAQs

We’re asked a lot of questions about this great online resource. Here are some answers.

What is Wikipedia?
Wikipedia is an online open encyclopedia. “Open” means that anyone can contribute or change any entry, with a few minor exceptions.

Why would I want my biography to be in Wikipedia? Wikipedia is a primary source for information on the internet. Having a Wikipedia entry significantly increases the chances that Google and other search engines will place you high in search results. Have you noticed that a search for almost any topic usually returns a Wikipedia link on page one of Google? A biography in Wikipedia adds to your credibility and visibility.

Can anyone create an article? Yes, with only a few exceptions. The hard part is ensuring that the article will be allowed to stay in Wikipedia. Some articles are removed from Wikipedia via its deletion policy by Wikipedia administrators, who are authorized to delete articles. Others are nominated for deletion by one of many editors. Our company understands the requirements and the politics of Wikipedia, and can produce articles that “stick.”

My company has a great website, my biography is on it, so why do I need a Wikipedia article? Wikipedia is one of the most highly respected, and frequently used, online sites and has significant influence on how you’re ranked on search engines. Your article can be a great source of leads by significantly increasing your internet visibility.

My company has great writers on staff. Can they write the article? Yes, they can, but there are significant hurdles they will face. A Wikipedia entry cannot look or sound like a company’s promotional material. Assertions of fact must be backed up by neutral, verifiable, third-party references. Your company’s website may be used as a reference, but not the only reference, and not for any material that could in any way be considered controversial or arguable. Articles that use corporate website and press releases as their major reference sources are often deleted immediately. In addition, when a Wikipedia entry has been previously deleted, the new version will be scrutinized especially thoroughly when it is posted. Avoiding this fate requires finesse. Editopian is familiar with all phases of writing successfully for Wikipedia.

Can I control the article? What if someone adds things to it that I don’t like? Anyone can add or delete anything they want about you. Sometimes this works in your favor and sometimes, not. Wikipedia is “open,” and no one owns an article once it is posted. However, the article can be monitored and updated with factual information. This is a service we can provide, once your article is in Wikipedia. We can watch your article and monitor it for quality and truthfulness.

Will my Wikipedia article seem dull compared to my bio on my website? It may seem dull because it’s just the facts. Promotional language is against the rules and will cause your article to be tagged or deleted. We can’t rave about you. Every statement that might be challenged by a reader must be verifiable, and references must be cited. Solid references include published articles in newspapers, independent magazines, academic journals, and books. Your company’s own press releases do not qualify. Your company’s website or annual report may be used as references, but not the only reference!

Why can’t it highlight me? Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia. It isn’t a business directory or an advertiser. Articles are not intended to praise or promote their subjects. Inclusion in Wikipedia is great for you, but the article is not an ad. It won’t tell the reader why you are terrific! That is the job of your company’s website or advertising campaigns. Your Wikipedia entry must be serious and nonpromotional, and will describe you. All assertions must be provable and citations will be provided.

What if someone adds material to the article that I don’t like? If material that is inaccurate, false, or libelous is added to your article, it will be subject to justifiable immediate deletion by Wikipedia editors. However, this does not always occur, resulting in information staying in your article that is negative. This is allowed by Wikipedia, and removal of referenced material that may be uncomplimentary is disallowed. However, we provide a service that will monitor your article for quality and truthfulness, and make changes as appropriate. Clients find that ensuring the integrity of their Wikipedia article over time is well worth the expense.

How will I know if my listing in Wikipedia has been effective? Your Google hits will grow, and visitors to your website will increase. (If you haven’t installed Google Analytics, do so now!) The numbers will prove that a Wikipedia entry is definitely an effective business tool and a valuable contributor to your overall strategy. 

Interested in finding out more? Contact us.