Google loves Wikipedia, mainly because it's maintained collaboratively.
Since everyone can chime in on a topic and rate the quality of Wiki articles, the content is likely to be more truthful and credible than the content published on commercial sites. And Google appreciates that.
That’s why Wikipedia backlinks can do wonders for your site. We’ll show you how to build them step by step in this guide.
You probably already know that you need high-authority backlinks to bump your rankings in search engines. Luckily, Wikipedia is a highly authoritative site.
That’s why getting even a single Wikipedia backlink can be more beneficial than getting dozens of backlinks from less credible sites. The ROI can be pretty incredible!
On top of that, most Wikipedia pages have high rankings and get a ton of organic traffic every month. So, if you build backlinks on Wikipedia, you may get some of that traffic to your site. Even a fraction of it can significantly increase your bottom line.
Another pro is that Wikipedia backlinks are free. You don’t have to pay for them unless you hire a link building company to build them for you. Wikipedia itself won’t charge you for them, which isn’t the case with many other high-authority sites.
Lastly, Wikipedia backlinks may even help you build new backlinks from other sites. Many people use Wikipedia to find relevant sources of information, and they often include these sources on their own sites. So if you’re lucky, you may get to kill two birds with one stone.
So, to recap, Wikipedia link building can help you increase your search engine rankings, get more traffic, and gain new, natural backlinks free of charge.
But we should note that building Wikipedia backlinks can be challenging and time-consuming.
It requires you to familiarize yourself with and follow strict Wikipedia guidelines, find relevant and non-obvious link building opportunities, and, often, make several rounds of changes before your edits are approved.
That said, following this guide should help you maximize the benefits and minimize the time and effort you’ll need to put in.
To successfully build Wikipedia backlinks, you need to know what opportunities to watch out for. So, let’s start with that before we show you how to edit Wiki articles and add links to your site.
You generally want to look for two types of link building opportunities: dead links and missing citations. We’ll explain both in more depth.
Dead links, also known as broken links, are links that lead to pages that no longer exist or aren’t available for some reason. Instead of opening a page with relevant content, a dead link will open a page with a 404 error message.
Dead links are usually a huge no-no in terms of SEO. But they can be really beneficial when it comes to link building.
See, no one wants to send their readers to 404 pages, and Wikipedia is no exception. That’s why Wiki editors won’t mind you replacing dead links with ones to your site as long as you link to relevant pages.
(That means you should definitely not add links to your product pages or sales pages. On the other hand, links to relevant blog posts, case studies, and similar valuable content are welcome.)
But how do you find dead links on Wikipedia?
One way to do so is to simply open a relevant Wiki article, scroll down to the References section, and check if there are any URLs marked as “permanent dead links:”
Alternatively, you can use specialized tools like SEO Minion or WikiGrabber to find dead links faster. We’ll talk more about these tools in the following sections.
Wiki articles may also lack citations, i.e., relevant sources that support the claims made in the articles. This is problematic, as Wikipedia’s goal is to provide accurate and verifiable information.
On the other hand, this gives you a great opportunity to link to your site and list it as a relevant source. All you need to do is edit the article and add the link.
However, determining whether a Wiki page lacks citations can be difficult. We’ll show you some tools that can help you with that in a minute, but, for now, know that it mainly comes down to your personal judgment.
If you feel that an article needs a source to support its claims, you can go ahead and add it. The reviewers will probably agree with you as long as you add a relevant link.
In order to add external links to existing Wiki pages, you’ll need to edit them. Thankfully, doing so is pretty straightforward.
All you have to do is open the page you want to edit and click the Edit button at the top:
We suggest you switch to the visual editor from there to see how your changes will look after they’re published:
Switching to a visual editor will take you to the same article you were on, except you’ll now be able to edit it.
You can simply click on the places you want to edit and choose different formatting options from the top menu:
You can also edit a particular section on a Wiki page instead of the whole page. In that case, you can click “Edit” in line with the title of your chosen section:
This will open the Wikipedia editor once again, but you’ll now land directly on your chosen section. Other than that, there are no differences between editing an entire page and a particular section.
Unfortunately, some Wikipedia pages can’t be edited by ordinary users. These pages are marked by a padlock icon that indicates you’re on a locked page:
It's also worth noting that Wikipedia has strict guidelines for what is and isn't allowed on the site, so it's important you familiarize yourself with those guidelines before making any edits.
We suggest reading through these two Wiki pages for more information:
Now that you’ve nailed the basics of editing Wiki pages, let’s see zero in on adding your links.
Wikipedia pages can be edited by unregistered users, but we still suggest you create an account and log in before making changes. And we have a good reason why.
If you make edits as an unregistered user, Wikipedia will record and publicly display your IP address. It’s best to avoid this if you can.
So, if you don’t want Wikipedia to publicly display your IP address potentially forever, simply create a free Wikipedia account.
To do so, go to Wikipedia and click “Create account” in the right-hand corner:
Registering should take up to five minutes, so there’s really no good reason not to create an account.
The next step is finding appropriate Wikipedia articles for your links.
As we’ve already mentioned, you can find link building opportunities manually, but it’s definitely easier to use a tool for this purpose.
Take WikiGrabber as an example. This nifty tool automatically finds Wiki pages with dead links or missing citations based on the keywords you enter. The process usually takes up to a minute, and it would certainly be much longer if you searched for relevant pages on your own.
You can also find relevant Wikipedia pages by googling the following query string:
This method is more time-consuming, as it requires you to manually go through each Wikipedia page and check it for broken links or missing citations. WikiGrabber and similar tools do that for you in minutes.
However, tools aren’t perfect. They may fail to catch some great link building opportunities that you could detect on your own. That’s why it’s often best to combine tools with manual analysis.
You may also find Wiki articles that you can update with new content and, by doing so, create new link building opportunities by and for yourself.
Once you find articles that seem like a good fit, you may want to run them through SEO tools like Ubersuggest to determine how much traffic they get:
When you’re sure you found a great match, it’s time to start building links.
We finally get to the juicy part: building Wikipedia backlinks!
To do so, you’ll need to follow the usual editing process we described above.
Once the visual editor opens, click on the part of the page where you want to add your links. Then choose “Cite” from the top menu.
As you can see, clicking “Cite” will open a new window where you’ll be able to choose between automatic and manual citations.
We suggest choosing automatic citations to ensure your references are correct and aligned with Wikipedia’s guidelines. You’ll only need to enter the URL to your chosen page, and Wikipedia will automatically create a citation for you.
For example, here’s a citation that Wikipedia created for our page on HARO link building based on the URL we entered:
From there, click “Insert” to add the link and the reference to the page.
You should now see your URL under References:
Check if it’s correct and, if so, click “Publish changes” in the right-hand corner.
This will open a new window where you’ll be prompted to write a short summary of the changes you’ve made. This summary helps other editors review (and, hopefully, accept) your changes more quickly, so make sure to add it and make it accurate.
Wikipedia reviewers check all the edits made to Wiki articles. Reviews can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days and can result in your changes being accepted or rejected.
Edits get rejected if they’re deemed inappropriate or spammy or otherwise violate Wikipedia’s guidelines. If this happens, you’ll need to change your link and resubmit it for another review.
Although we did mention that linking to blog posts is preferable to linking to commercial pages, you should still keep in mind that blogs are generally considered unreliable sources. So, links leading to blog posts may be deemed untrustworthy and get removed.
That doesn’t always happen, and we’ve managed to get multiple links to our clients’ blogs published in the past ourselves, but it’s something to consider.
If you can, try linking to other pages on your site instead of your blog. Case study or research pages are always a good choice. A good rule of thumb is that the more trustworthy your page looks, the higher its chances of getting accepted.
Let’s say you find a few broken links related to your niche, but you don’t have adequate resources to link to. What’s the right course of action here?
Well, what you should definitely not do is link to irrelevant pages. Irrelevant links will get removed or even get you blocked from Wikipedia, so you won’t be able to edit or create new articles in the future. (At least from the same IP address.)
That’s why we suggest taking the time to create relevant resources that genuinely add value to your chosen Wiki article. It will pay off in the long run, and you’ll have a new page to promote to your readers.
Wikipedia backlinks are nofollow, which means they may pass less link juice to your site than dofollow links. However, Wikipedia links are still valuable for your site, as Wikipedia is a highly authoritative site able to pass some of that authority onto yours. Also, Wikipedia gets a lot of traffic every month and may send some of it your way.
While you can build high authority backlinks on your own, it might be wiser to leave it up to the pros. Because who has time to go back and forth with the editors anyway?
Our link building experts will handle the entire process for you and ensure that your links get placed on the best possible sites. And if your backlinks ever go down, we’ll replace them with new ones for free.
Sounds interesting? Schedule your free consultation today to learn more. We look forward to chatting with you!
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