I have been experimenting and editing Wikipedia articles for two years now with 100+ edits under my contribution belt. With the recent introduction of contextual search ( the Google Hummingbird Algorithm, 2013 ) for more precise search results and knowledge graph display features in Google Search Engine Results Page, Wikipedia articles has started gaining importance in Semantic SEO practice. A Wikipedia Page can tremendously boosts your page rank, establish the brand credibility factor in the digital space and improves your Click Through Rate significantly. Creating a Wikipedia page for your organization involves a lot of this and that complexities due to the stringent norms and guidelines Wikipedia enlists to ensure every article is authentic and reliable. So I decided to share my experiences with Wikipedia Brand Page creations, the tricks and techniques that helped me sail through the publish approval process.
This article will be in two major parts. First, we will discuss about the procedure to create a brand page or edit a page in Wikipedia and in the second part we will walk through the publishing guidelines, the dos and don’ts and the tips and tricks of sailing through the edit approval process.
Wikipedia is living, growing, evolving. It’s one of the most dynamic encyclopedia where the content or information base is never obsolete, thanks to its open edit ability, and the valuable contributors for making Wikipedia as the most sort after go-to and search-in destination on web. Today it has evolved from just being an academic knowledge source to a database containing information about anything and everything.
As of 2017, Wikipedia is the fifth most popular website in the world with more than 1.14 million websites linking into it after Google, Youtube, Facebook and Baidu (in ranking order) according to Alexa. Wikipedia is considered as a number one reference website for the marketers to get their brand and products listed. The exposure to large user base and Credibility of Information is what makes Wikipedia an important target for your branding. Wikipedia page generates a different level of credibility perception amongst the users. Emphasizing on building a Wikipedia page is one of the smartest options for a brand. It’s free, open to edit, collaborate and link to reputed references. But comes with certain challenges like publishing guidelines, third party edits, authenticity of communication tone and a single mistake can call for a serious defamation for your brand or get you debarred from Wikipedia database. So its better you are well equipped with all valuable know-hows of publishing in Wikipedia.
This article will be in 2 major parts. First we will know about the procedure to create a brand page or edit a page in Wikipedia and in the second part we will walk through the publishing guidelines, the dos and don’ts and the tips and tricks of sailing through the edit approval process.
Steps to creating a Page (or editing an existing article)
- Before you game Wikipedia, Know the rules. (Listed below with Wiki Page Links for detailed read)
- Create an Wikipedia account. Be honest. Wiki can block your IP Address if they find you creating a chaos by interruption/deleting/fabricating existing articles.
- Check the playground by baby step edits. Try updating few existing pages. You will get a hang of the Wiki Editor. Don’t worry if you are not handy with the HTML and citation formats. Switch to visual Editor. More edits you have under your belt, higher are chances to get approved of new articles.
- List the references, mentions and multimedia resources. You can’t get your article published until your content is cited with notable and verifiable reference.
- Write your content in the sandbox. Revise. Re-revise. Finalise. Grammarly can be of great help.
- Submit to Wikipedia for Review. (It might take upto a week to get it reviewed). If everything looks credible, you sail through to the published page.
- Published? Awesome. Now monitor the external edits. By submitting your article to Wiki, you accept the Terms and Condition that your article can be publicly used by anyone, edited or challenged to be untrue and get removed.
Be an obedient Wikipedia citizen. Be honest with your activities as a Wiki Editor. Any mischievous edit, unauthorized information, fake intervention, misnomer changes in your article or an unstructured poorly drafted content and you are challenged by the wiki community during the review process. So you better be good with the guidelines set. Allot some good time in knowing what exactly is needed to publish or edit articles in Wikipedia. The Dos and Don’ts of Publishing in Wikipedia is something you shall be seriously considering.
Create an account with your real name and email credentials. After you login, try some small edits in pages you are relevant with. Add some authentic information to few pages. Your edit history is publically open to other editors. After you have several edits confirmed under your belt, your succeeding edits will be auto confirmed in few cases. You also get special rights like uploading images and moving pages to the public viewership. So stick to a single account and create a reputable edit history. Have patience and after a commendable count of approved edits you will be promoted to “Auto Confirmed User” (4 days old account and minimum 10 Edits). The next level is “Extended Confirmed User” (30 Days and minimum 500 Edits). You can also be an administrator. Read about the Wikipedia Page Access Levels if you are a prominent editor and wondering what would be your next level of edit rights.
If you are trying to create a new page, I would recommend you to start once you have minimum 10 approved edits in your account history. Once your page is challenged or gets deleted from Wikipedia’s end, creating a new page with same name becomes very difficult. So be informed and play safe.
After you plan your desired topic of writing, start gathering the list of reputed references to compliment your article with the proof of originality. Unlike Paid media publishing, press releases, writing in owned website blog or posting in content based social channels like Quora and similar, getting your article published in Wikipedia is a serious business. Wikipedia publishing involves layers of stringent authenticity checks. Wikipedia’s value proposition, along with providing free access to information, also vouches that the information is impeccably authentic and credible. So here is the comprehensive guidelines you shall follow while composing your article.
- Wikipedia recommends your content to be notable (worthy of attention) and supported by reliable and verifiable third party sources where your content was previously or is currently mentioned and can be authenticated. So make sure the content you are trying to publish in Wikipedia has a proof of reference, recommendation and authenticity or ownership. Read about the notability factors, reference reliability criterions and verifiability of the information source.
- Wikipedia pages are not just another marketing or publicity channel but strictly an encyclopaedia. So refrain from creating pages about yourself, your friends, your brand or company. Go through the full list of what all are not allowed to be contained in your article. Articles on local interest, or with copyrights, plagiarism or controversial information are dealt with strict penalties like deletion of the article or degrading your authorship levels. So if you are not sure if your article is worthy of wiki publish, you can ask the editors community or the Help Desk for suggestions or clarifications.
- Read about the types of article you are not allowed to publish in Wikipedia. What Wikipedia is not. Violation of guidelines can debar you from the project you are working on. This kind of actions can make your account ineligible for certain features like Photo of the Day Challenge, Voting or recommendations in certain Wikipedia events.
- If you are looking to create your company or brand page, this company page creation guidelines will walk you through the dos and don’ts.
- Wikipedia is very strict in ensuring personal identity defamation or public criticism. Uncensored or poorly sourced materials, feedbacks or personal opinions, victimization and the similar should be strictly avoided.
- Avoid Sock Puppetry (using multiple accounts to edit the same piece of article or create a controversy, confusion and chaos in the article originality), Piggybacking (tagging unauthorised users which may allow them to crash into restricted page rights) and meat puppetry (forcing/requesting your acquaintances or editors in the similar domain to contribute certain predetermined edits). There are several other ways users tend to use and breach the Wikipedia norms and get their article published. Well, these kind of activities will never be spared by Wikipedia Security and your account (and related accounts) will be restricted or debarred.
The guideline snippet from Wikipedia. Get yourself familiar with the rules, if you want to play the game.
Articles in Wikipedia has internal links to every important term used in the sentences which makes you keep opening new pages on every sentence and get your browser crowded with too many tabs at a time and ultimately you lose the flow of your reading sequence. So I have listed the pages you shall read in the sequence of activities you have to perform in the process of publishing or editing your first article in Wikipedia.
Step 1: Read the guidelines of Creating Your Wikipedia Account.
Step 2: Creating your Page.
Step 3: Learn how to write an article for Wikipedia.
Step 5: Gather sources. Here is the guide to citing sources.
Step 6: Full Tutorial and Article Wizard. This are the two most helpful pages to start editing your article after you create an account, researched about the article standards in Wikipedia and have a basic know how of Wikipedia editing.
Good Luck with your Wikipedia Journey!
Creating your company page in Wikipedia
- If you are creating a page for your organization or brand or a notable celebrity, first make sure you have a couple of notable sources. External references that are reliable and verifiable. Start by gathering all the mentions of your company in third party public domains like in Government Business directories, Stock Exchange Listing, Media Press Releases, Wikipedia pages of the key people associated with the company, celebrities who has previously been a guest, jury member, board member or an advisor in your organization events. More reputed the citing source is, better is the chances that it will be verified.
- Create your personal account and don’t involve any hint that your organization is linked or related to the company. Otherwise your account might look fictitiously sponsored by any organization and considered as role user account which is not permissible. You are not allowed to create personal profile pages or publish pages on personal brand or company they work for to avoid biased views.
- While you are composing your article, use minimum possible adjectives (praises) and try to project a neutral view. The article shall look to be composed by someone who is external to the company and has limited information. Write about publically available information only with proper sources. Writing about entities like human beings or organizations or countries involve authoritative information release that influences public communications and thus is strictly restricted by certain guidelines you must abide by.
- Compose your article in the draft space with proper link citations in the footnote. Ensure your sentences are constructed with regard to the norms of Wikipedia article
- Reach out to experienced Wikipedia editors for review of the article tonal quality. Is the article sounding like being released from the company’s behalf, boasting good venom about self? Is the article statements supported by relevant and reliable sources. ? Does the article possess any threat to general consensus of public interest? Does it align to Wikipedia norms?
- After you are sure about your article, move the page to the article namespace, i.e. move “Draft:Acme Corp.” or similar, to “Acme Corp.”. Making the article public (saving it for final publish) might be restricted for your account if it is new or have prior malicious activity record. In those cases you can ask for someone else to do it at Wikipedia:Requested moves.
- Still caught up with some doubts? No need to be stuck. Ask the Wiki Help community and get your problem resolved. It’s a Live Help Community!
SOME MORE INTERESTING READS
- You can study the search volume trends of different articles in Wikipedia. You can use this to study how your brand pages are performing against the industry rivals and standards. Wikipedia Trends and if need some more data to decide what exactly is important in Wiki Database, try Wikipedia Statistics
- Wikipedia is one of the projects of Wikimedia Foundation. Check out their sister projects too.
- Annual Plan of Wikipedia 2016-2017 You will get a lot of information in this page regarding their yearly budget and expense department wise, employees. Organizational structure, Engagement Plans and Job Opportunities.
- They even have a dedicated Job Notification Page. So if you are a data cruncher and passionate about harnessing and developing “information” (articles), Wikipedia is one of the best places to work.
- Connect them in Social Channels. they share great insights. Facebook and Twitter
- Watch this TED talk on Wikipedia’s Journey so far by Jimmy Wales, Founder, Wikipedia.
Read in brief about all the projects in Wikimedia Foundation Page.
Well, is it too complex a process to go about? Don’t freak out, I am here to guide you through the ins and outs. Comment below if you are stuck anywhere. I will be happy to resolve your issue.