Wikipedia & Search Engine Optimisation – #2 Is The New #1

If you have tried searching for a topic using Google lately, you may have noticed that Wikipedia entries are ranking higher and higher, many times ranking in the number one and number two positions. While Wikipedia has a reputation for being less than factual in the information they present, many people have found their articles useful.

Anyone with an interest in a topic can write an article and submit it to the Wikipedia database. If another person wants to add to it, they can edit sections and upload new information. Even though all sources must be documented, this has not stopped inaccurate information from being published online.

Why is Wikipedia Ranked #1?

This is the main topic of discussion among those in the search engine optimisation community who carefully follow each trend and method of increasing their ranking on search engines. There are several reasons as to why Wikipedia is ranking #1 more often:

  • Wikipedia has thousands of pages that are keyword rich and have high PageRank
  • Wikipedia has excellent internal linking structure, with every page on Wikipedia linking to many other Wikipedia pages
  • Most of the internal links in Wikipedia are contextual, meaning that they are located within the content, rather than through menus
  • Many other websites link to Wikipedia pages as a reference source, passing PageRank
  • Wikipedia does not pass any PageRank to external sites

Even though Google has repeatedly said they have no deal with Wikipedia, there are those who are still suspicious. Web rankings are configured, in part, to the popularity of the website and its pages. Since Wikipedia is open to anyone who wants to publish information, fewer experts are publishing articles on the site, which means the credibility of the information is always in question. Many on the Internet avoid Wikipedia for this reason.

Since early 2007, Wikipedia earned 50% of its upstream traffic from Google. The percentage of traffic has increased over 19% since last year, according to Hitwise Intelligence, a weblog analyst firm.

How can you beat Wikipedia?

Beating Wikipedia in the search rankings can be extremely difficult and very expensive, so settling for #2 ranking is the goal of many search engine optimisation companies.
Many in the field of SEO are upset that websites with expert content will not gain as much exposure on search engines or by internet users, because they cannot rank higher than Wikipedia.

Wikipedia’s rankings are not likely to fall anytime soon, so settling for a top five position should be the goal when implementing a search engine optimisation campaign.

Alex Cleanthous

Alex Cleanthous

Chief Innovation Officer at Web Profits

Alex Cleanthous is Chief Innovation Officer at Web Profits. With more than 10 years experience in online marketing, Alex is always on the lookout for smarter, faster and more scalable ways to achieve maximum growth with minimum spend.