In short, you likely haven't given it much thought as a channel for brand awareness.
But, if you think about it, Wikipedia is one of the best third-party sources for ranking on page one of Google. Typically, when you search an intended keyword, you don't have to scroll far before you see its accompanying Wikipedia page:
Additionally, it's a recognizable website, so it's often one of the first pages someone will click on if they want to learn more about what your business does.
If you want to boost your business's visibility online, take a look at this quick guide so you can create a Wikipedia page for your company, today.
1. Create an account.
Go to Wikipedia's homepage and click "Create account" in the top right.
Enter the necessary information, including username and password, then click "Create your account".
2. Get promoted to an autoconfirmed user.
When you first join Wikipedia, you'll see a box pop-up that reads, "Help improve Wikipedia" with a link to start editing an article:
Before creating your page, you'll need to become an autoconfirmed user.
These are Wikipedia's typical guidelines for an autoconfirmed user: "Although the precise requirements for autoconfirmed status vary according to circumstances, most English Wikipedia user accounts that are more than four days old and have made at least 10 edits (including deleted ones) are considered autoconfirmed."
Here, you'll need to practice patience — spend the first couple days once you open an account editing other people's pages. Once you click "Edit a page", there are links on the top right of every paragraph with the word "Edit", so it shouldn't be too time-consuming.
Once you're autoconfirmed, proceed to the next step.
3. Create the page.
Now we've reached the most challenging part — creating the page.
First, go to Wikipedia's "Writing an article" page. As you scroll down the page, you'll see a blue button that reads, "Article wizard: an easy way to create articles." Click this button (as long as you're autoconfirmed):
Next, you'll be redirected to Wikipedia's Article Wizard. Here, you have two options — immediately begin creating your page by clicking "Next", or practicing editing your page in Wikipedia's sandbox, first.
For our purposes, we'll click "Next":
For instance, take a look at how HubSpot's Wikipedia page is structured:
The page starts with a two sentence overview of what HubSpot does, followed by a table of contents on the left, and a "fact sheet" on the right. Below the table of contents you'll first find HubSpot's history, followed by a description of HubSpot's software and services.
On HubSpot's Wikipedia page, the information that is above-the-fold is likely most useful for a new visitor who hasn't heard of HubSpot before — a quick glance at the page can tell her, for instance, what HubSpot does, how much revenue HubSpot makes, what third-party sources such as Forbes say about HubSpot, and who HubSpot's founders are.
While readers can continue scrolling for more product-specific information, it's critical Wikipedia is mainly used as a broad brand awareness platform.
We'll look at more examples later on.
4. Provide citations.
Wikipedia is ultimately an encyclopedia, so to prove the validity of your topic, you must include citations to various articles and third-party sources.
Before you begin creating your page, Wikipedia warns you of this, stating — "the topic of an article must already be covered in reliable sources that are independent of the subject. These include journals, books, newspapers, magazines, and websites with a reputation for fact checking. Social media, press releases, or corporate/professional profiles do not qualify":
5. Submit the page for review.
When you're finished with your page, submit it for review. Once Wikipedia deems it a credible source, it will be uploaded as an official Wikipedia page.
6. Update it regularly.
Remember — the hard work isn't over, just yet. As your Wikipedia page begins ranking on page one of Google for your company name, it's vital you regularly update it to ensure it provides the most up-to-date information regarding your products or services.
Additionally, by updating it regularly with company developments, you're maintaining transparency, which is comforting for both your customers and leads.
Examples of Company Pages on Wikipedia
There are over 6 million articles in the English Wikipedia. A good chunk of those are company pages. The best company pages share the following characteristics:
- adequately describe the company
- maintain a neutral point of view
- include references to notable, independent sources
- includes a link to company website
Below we'll take a look at two examples of company pages that can inspire your own.
World Wide Technology's wikipedia page is an excellent example of a company page. First, it offers a brief overview describing what type of company it is, how much revenue it earns, and how many people it employs. It then offers a timeline of notable events, starting with when it was founded and ending with its latest recognition in TIME magazine in 2021.
The page ends with a comprehensive list of independent reliable sources, which have been published about the organization. Such a list helps Wikipedia understand why the organization is notable and avoids the appearance of a conflict of interest. Without such a list of references, your company page could be deleted.
Urban One's wikipedia page is another excellent example of a company page. It begins by describing what the company is, who its primary audience is, and how large it is. While details like the fact that it's the largest African-American-owned broadcasting company and one of the highest-earning African-American-owned businesses in the United States are impressive, they are stated objectively and cited properly to avoid the appearance of self-promotion.
Wikipedia requires significant coverage in multiple independent sources for articles on organizations to be considered noticeable — a requirement which Urban One has easily met. Towards the bottom of the page you'll find a references section with over 54 entries.
Getting Your Company on Wikipedia
Nowadays, a quick Google search provides us with an abundance of information — including social media profiles, directories, and press releases — on a given subject. By ensuring you have an up-to-date Wikipedia page, you're covering your bases and giving viewers a trustworthy source of information related to your business or brand.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.