Internet Marketing March 2nd, 2016
It’s an all too familiar problem: You dedicate hours to writing blogs with the purpose of bringing traffic to your website. You are excited to share your knowledge with the world in a personalized setting and you cannot wait for your blog to rank number 1 on Google for your topic.
The trouble is, there’s a very high chance that it will never reach that top coveted spot. That’s not to say your blogging skills are to blame—many great bloggers and strong writers don’t get the traffic and exposure they deserve. In many cases, the site that is hogging that top spot in search rankings is the same site that got you through university, Wikipedia.
So what is Wikipedia doing that the rest of us aren’t. In a world where many companies are investing a huge portion of their marketing budget on Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, it seems that Wikipedia doesn’t have to try. Today, we are going to look at what Wikipedia is doing to dominate almost every keyword out there.
Off-page SEO strategy involves getting other websites to link back to yours, which is very important for Google rankings. Sucessful off-page SEO demonstrates your site’s reach and authority. After all, if other websites are constantly referring traffic to your website, the message to Google is that your site has value and in turn, Google will respond by ranking your site higher in its SERPs.
This strategy is at the heart of Wikipedia’s success. I ran a report on Majestic SEO which allows us to see just how many webpages are linking back to Wikipedia and the results show a staggering 1.7 billion external backlinks:
To put this in perspective, CNN, arguably the most well-known news station in the USA has 154.5 million external backlinks—a fraction of what Wikipedia has.
Wikipedia also has a fantastic internal linking system that creates a full navigational menu that links Wikipedia pages together. For example, if I look up the band Metallica, there will be related links to people, instruments, record labels etc. that will carry you to other pages within Wikipedia.
Wikipedia also has the advantage of having been around for a long time—it was registered on January 12, 2001, according to the site who.is. That may not sound like a long time, but in the Internet world, it’s pretty much ancient. And the way Google sees it, the longer a website has been active, the more legitimacy that site has.
Also, don’t think you are going to pull a Donald Trump and hope that the team over at Wikipedia will forget to renew the domain name. Wikipedia’s name is registered straight through until 2023.
According to my handy MOZ.com chrome extension, Wikipedia has domain authority of 100%. That ranking is based on many factors including age, size, quality, structure, and inbound links. This ranking is based on the domain as a whole. Equally impressive is that Wikipedia has a home page authority of 95%. This number fluctuates based on the page being tested, but it is definitely an industry leader when it comes to page authority.
Regardless of the fact that many scholars hate Wikipedia, there is actually a high quality of writing and information within the pages. When Wikipedia first launched, anybody could write information without much oversight or moderation and because of this, the quality suffered. As Wikipedia has grown, so has its ability to moderate and to ensure the pages are filled with quality content. The lesson here is that a first impression should not necessarily be a lasting impression.
Quality content ties into my first point about back linking as a tool for building authority. Wikipedia has come out with some great content, so its pages are likely to get linked to from other sites.
Lastly, because every page in Wikipedia is specifically targeted towards a dedicated subject and is rich with accurate information, it will simply outrank many competing websites.
At TechWyse, we have a daily session called 9:55 where we talk about the ever changing world of internet marketing. Currently, Wikipedia is very hard to outrank, but as Google updates and changes its algorithm, there will be holes in Wikipedia’s SEO armour that you will be able to crack.
This is not just guesswork, in fact, it’s already in the works. Social media is becoming increasingly important in Google’s eyes and currently, Wikipedia doesn’t have a huge social media focus, as they don’t have any outbound links on their page to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
This is just one of a few examples but my advice would be to do your research, continue to read and write blogs, and keep up with the changes in Google’s algorithm. Then maybe … just maybe, Wikipedia won’t be as lonely at the top, because you will be there.