Getting your link on wikipedia..

A short how to...

December 2006 (updated January 2007)

Wikipedia is one of the most popular sites around. Everybody can change a wikipedia page. Webmasters often realize it is good for their google ranking if they get links to their site. So the obvious combination of the above is: lets add links to wikipedia. Except, it isn't that simple: wikipedia has rel-no-follow attributes on their external links now. Add to that the fact that everybody else can edit those pages as well. Most links are gone from wikipedia before you know it. So how to keep them on? They do still bring in major traffic and exposure.

Do your homework:

1. Make sure the link is relevant

Take an excellent page on your website and pick the subject closest to it. Don't do it the other way around. Be as specialized as you can get. Links are more likely to stay up on wiki pages that have few other links. Links are also more likely to stay up if they are on the precise same subject as the wikipedia page itself. 

The first step is essential, so I'll repeat it. Start with an excellent page on your website : wikipedia is an attempt (a good attempt) at an online encyclopedia, so you had better make sure your content is up to that standard. It can be a bit more informal then wikipedia itself, because it is an outside link. But the content of the article or website linked to has to be good, very good. Or very relevant. Preferably both.

2. Don't look like a spammer

If you followed step one precisely, you are set for this one as well: you are not looking like a spammer, because your link is precisely on topic. That said, there are other things you can do as well.

Do get your own wikipedia-account. Do edit pages here and there, if only to check spelling mistakes. This will make your profile look more reliable: it looks as though you are there to contribute, not just to get your links in wikipedia. It also makes you accountable : if people have a problem with what you do, you will hear about it. Respond to feedback in a nice and polite way. Wikipedia is here to stay so be cooperative and try to understand where the other person is coming from, even if you may not agree with them. This will help you learn what you can and cannot do.

3. Realize that wikipedia knows who you are

Even if you don't get your own account, wikipedia will keep your IP number in its files. That means that you will be recognized when you add a link to yet another page. There are ways to circumvent this, but the best way to go about it is to use the system in a way that will agree with the system. That means: contribute to wikipedia, and add a link here and there when appropriate.