Wikipedia is “a vast site with millions of pages and thousands of editors offering unique vital content on multitudes of subject matters,” the SEO specialists at UK-based Intelligent Positioning admitted back in 2012, but that didn’t stop them from questioning exactly why Wikipedia pages pop up in the #1 position most of the time when people use search engines like Google.
The team of SEO consultants and researchers used a list of one thousand randomly-generated nouns, and then used each one as a separate search term. (While they did test other search engines, the focus was primarily on Google.) They tabulated the results and found that just under 56% of searches put the Wikipedia entry for that term at the top of the list, and a link to at least one Wikipedia article was on Google’s Page 1 listing in 99% of the searches.
The team had no argument when using words related to major scientific concepts, historical events, or geographical features resulted in top-ranked Wikipedia pages, because those pages were generally full of useful, relevant information. However, they state that “there are ultimately flaws in Google’s offering of Wikipedia content” when a word like “Air” generates a list with Wikipedia’s disambiguation page at the #2 spot. They argue that pages like this should not be ranked so highly by Google, because they’re only clusters of links designed to lead users to the information they’re actually looking for on another page entirely.
On the other hand, you could also argue that a disambiguation page is actually a better way to find information. Instead of scrolling through a list that might go over two pages on a search engine display, and might be ranked in a fairly random order, users get a concise, organized list that helps them quickly find the precise reference they need. In other words, the disambiguation page is just like an index to an encyclopedia – and that’s exactly what Wikipedia is.
Yes, search engine marketing is a huge business (over $24 billion in the United States alone this year so far) and anyone can pay to bump their web page up in the rankings, but not everyone can afford to spend that kind of money year after year. It’s better to build a good, solid website that your customers will return to over and over, and set up an informative Wikipedia page on your company that will direct people to your website and to information about your products. For example, eReflect’s Wikipedia page gives you links to recent reviews of the company’s award-winning software.
Once you know how to use Wikipedia to benefit you and your business, you’ll appreciate the fact that Wikipedia pages consistently rank at number 1 in Google search results.
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