How to: Write a Winning Wiki

Earlier this week I wrote an article about the significance of Wikipedia appearing at the top of most Google searches. While this research was conducted using single noun searches, it’s not unusual to see Wikipedia feature high up in search results for more common search terms too. With a top 10 stop in Google search on the line, this inevitably leads to the question; does my business need a Wikipedia page?

The short answer is yes. And no.

If you want to increase your chances of dominating the top of Google search results, then yes, by all means write your Wikipedia page. However, be warned that due to the strict guidelines for Wikipedia articles, don’t expect to be able to use Wikipedia as a platform to promote your products and services.

Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia and should be treated as such; information about who founded the company is relevant, your latest press release is not. There is a conflict of interest clause in place which encourages you not to write Wikipedia pages about anything in which you have a vested interest.

This isn’t to say you’re not allowed to, just that you should remain unbiased and neutral in your approach to writing it. The information you provide should be fact based and not be swayed by opinion. If you feel confident you can stick to these guidelines, here are some useful tips for getting your Wikipedia page up and running.

  • Before you start writing, have a look around Wikipedia at similar pages. You may have approached Wiki as a regular reader before, but have you approached it as a writer? Take some time to familiarise yourself with the style and standard formatting. Try experimenting in the sandbox feature before you take the plunge.
  • Gather your references, and this is not just your own website. This is where news articles and articles by professional bodies come into play. Your own website link can go in the External links section.
  • Some possible topics to cover: History, Mergers and Acquisitions, Organisational Structure, Senior Management, Products, Services, Marketing and Branding, Market Share, Distribution, and Awards. This is just an introductory list and is by no means exhaustive; the topics covered will be dependent on the company and its history.
  • For formatting advice, check out Wikipedia’s Cheatsheet
  • Link your article to relevant articles well; people, places, other companies, and definitions should all be linked.

When you have your final polished piece ready, submit it to Wikipedia, sit back, and wait and see if it’s accepted. Be warned, if may be blacklisted if you repeatedly submit a rejected article. If your article is deleted, establish why, make the relevant changes, and then resubmit.

Have you had any success with Wikipedia articles? Do Share!