Wikipedia is the world’s largest open source repository of information. More impressively, it is entirely user-funded and user-managed. For a modern, established business, having a Wikipedia page is another aspect of online reputation management that could benefit them across the web.
In today’s blog, we’re going to cover what you’ll need to do to create a Wikipedia page for your company and the aspects of Wikipedia’s policies that you must keep in mind.
Wikipedia’s Policy on Creating a Page
Since Wikipedia is an open source platform, this means that anyone can edit or expand any of the pages on Wikipedia. This leaves the website susceptible to people falsifying information or creating pages as a joke.
To keep their content high-quality and trustworthy, Wikipedia has created a detailed structure used to ensure that pages and edits across the site are vetted by bots or other users. In many cases, fake information and pages are taken down within minutes or a few days.
Only freely licensed materials and original content can be uploaded to Wikipedia. If you’re creating a page for your business, make sure that you are not directly copying and pasting content directly from your website. Similarly, Wikipedia notes that people creating a page that are closely associated with that page’s topic (or the business the page is about) remain neutral.
This means you cannot write “Company X is known for their ground-breaking technology.” However, you can note that “Company X was awarded the TechComp Ground Breaking Technology award in 2016.”
For more information on how Wikipedia functions, please take a look at the Wikimedia Commons FAQ.
Wikipedia’s Content Process
Since Wikipedia pages can be edited by both established and unregistered users, it’s important to understand their content process and how you can best set up your business’s page. Oftentimes, Wikipedia moderators and contributors are scholars, librarians, or experts in their field who are skilled at following content guidelines, fact-checking, and including reliable resources as citations.
When creating a Wikipedia business page, there are two available options: creating a brand new page or filling out a “red linked” page.
Red Linked pages are those that Wikipedia has acknowledged need to exist within their database, but no user has created the content for the page yet. For example, if your business is mentioned on an alternative page on Wikipedia, you may notice that your company appears as a red link within the article. You can find out of your business already has a page by using the “Is It New?” search functionality on this page.
Any time an edit or new page is submitted, it is put through Wikipedia’s review process. While a change may be immediately public, approved users and robots will still troll the page to ensure that it does not contain:
- Violations of Policy
- Copyright Violations
Over all, this process is quick and meant to make things easy for the creator, reviewer, and users who are coming to Wikipedia for trustworthy information. Once you understand the nuances of what content is acceptable, and how to write about your business from a neutral perspective, you’re ready to create the page!
Creating Your Business’s Wikipedia Page
The first step to creating a business page on Wikipedia is creating your business login. In many cases, it is beneficial to have a general user vs an account titled after your business. This will help reinforce that the material is not strictly promotional and that it will be written in a neutral tone for the benefit of educating readers.
If your business is already red linked on WIkipedia, all you will have to do is “edit” the page and begin entering your content.
If your business is not on Wikipedia, it’s time to create a brand new page!
Thankfully, Wikipedia has made this process simple and straightforward with their Wikipedia Article Wizard.
By following the prompts, you will be led through all of the steps required to create a page. At every opportunity, you will be provided with basic information and guidelines on how to best complete each section.
Adding and Editing Content
Wikipedia does not require users to go through a lengthy vetting process in order to add or edit information to a page. Once the edits are saved, then the review process begins. So, to get started on the right foot, you will want to make sure everything is formatted, worded, and cited properly.
Please note that Wikipedia has unique editing shortcodes, called Wikipedia Mark-Ups. Thankfully, they’ve created a cheatsheet to help users properly format pages. Wikipedia also offers users a visual editor, which can be useful to further refine a page’s content and appearance.
Wikipedia allows you to structure your page underneath various headers, giving you the flexibility you need to outline your company’s history, values, and accomplishments. Remember: your Wikipedia page is not a promotional page in the traditional sense. Instead of pushing users toward your website to make a purchase or set up a service, your Wikipedia page’s purpose is to educate users.
After Your Page is Approved
Once your page is live and approved, you can regularly return to add new information or further edit the content and images available.
Keep in mind that other users can also make edits to your page, so a degree of flexibility is required. It is not advised to go in and un-do other user changes if they have not violated a policy simply for the sake of keeping all of the content on the page generated from your business.
Now that you’ve set up your business’s Wikipedia page, you can enjoy the fact that users can now learn more about your business from an outside and trustworthy resource like Wikipedia.