Can You Create a Wikipedia Page for Your Company? [Best Practices & Guidelines to Know]

Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world, with over 1.7 billion unique visitors per month as of 2021. As a result, having a presence on Wikipedia can be a valuable way for companies to increase their online visibility and credibility. However, creating a Wikipedia page for your own company can be a tricky process, as it may be seen as a conflict of interest. In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll explore the benefits and challenges of creating a company Wikipedia page, and provide best practices and guidelines to help you navigate the process effectively.

Why Create a Wikipedia Page for Your Company?

Before we dive into the specifics of how to create a Wikipedia page for your company, let‘s first discuss why it‘s worth considering in the first place. Here are some of the key benefits:

  1. Increased Online Visibility: Wikipedia pages often rank highly in search engine results, particularly for branded searches. In fact, a study by Cisco found that Wikipedia appears on the first page of search results for 56% of searches related to Fortune 500 companies. By creating a Wikipedia page for your company, you can increase your online visibility and make it easier for potential customers and stakeholders to find information about your business.

  2. Improved Credibility and Trust: Wikipedia is widely regarded as a trusted source of information, with a 2021 study by the Wikimedia Foundation finding that 86% of readers find the site trustworthy. Having a well-written and thoroughly sourced Wikipedia page can help establish your company as a credible and authoritative voice in your industry.

  3. Increased Website Traffic: A Wikipedia page can also drive traffic to your company website. A 2019 study by Stone Temple Consulting found that websites with a Wikipedia page receive an average of 20% more traffic than those without one. By including relevant links to your company website on your Wikipedia page, you can encourage readers to explore your site further and potentially convert them into customers or clients.

  4. Enhanced Brand Awareness: Finally, a Wikipedia page can help increase awareness of your brand and what it stands for. By providing a comprehensive overview of your company‘s history, mission, products or services, and notable achievements, you can help shape the narrative around your brand and ensure that accurate and up-to-date information is readily available to anyone who seeks it out.

Can You Create Your Own Company Wikipedia Page?

Now that we‘ve established the benefits of having a Wikipedia page for your company, you may be wondering: can you create one yourself? The short answer is yes, but with some important caveats and guidelines to keep in mind.

Wikipedia operates on a principle of neutrality and objectivity, and as such, it discourages editors from creating pages about themselves, their own companies, or other topics in which they have a direct financial or personal stake. This is known as a "conflict of interest" (COI), and it can be grounds for a page to be flagged for deletion or revision by other editors.

However, this doesn‘t mean that companies are entirely prohibited from creating their own Wikipedia pages. In fact, Wikipedia‘s conflict of interest policy acknowledges that "COI editing is strongly discouraged, but not absolutely forbidden." The key is to approach the process with transparency, objectivity, and a commitment to following Wikipedia‘s guidelines and best practices.

Best Practices for Creating a Company Wikipedia Page

If you decide to move forward with creating a Wikipedia page for your company, here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  1. Ensure Notability: Before creating a page, make sure your company meets Wikipedia‘s notability guidelines. In general, this means that your company should have received significant coverage in reliable, third-party sources such as news articles, industry publications, or academic journals. You can‘t use your own website or marketing materials as sources.

  2. Create an Account and Build a Reputation: To create a new page, you‘ll need to create a Wikipedia account and build up a reputation as a reliable editor. This means making constructive edits to existing pages and engaging in discussions with other editors. Aim to make at least 10 edits before attempting to create a new page.

  3. Write Objectively: When writing your company page, it‘s important to maintain a neutral, objective tone. Avoid using promotional language or making subjective claims about your company‘s superiority. Stick to factual information that can be verified through reliable sources.

  4. Provide Reliable Sources: Speaking of sources, it‘s crucial to provide citations for every claim you make in your company page. Use reputable third-party sources such as news articles, industry reports, or academic publications. Avoid using your own website or marketing materials as sources, as these are considered biased.

  5. Follow Wikipedia‘s Style and Formatting Guidelines: To ensure your page looks professional and consistent with other Wikipedia articles, follow the site‘s manual of style and formatting guidelines. This includes using a clear and logical structure, providing an introductory overview, and using appropriate headings and subheadings.

  6. Engage with Other Editors: Once your page is live, be prepared to engage with other editors who may make changes or suggest improvements. Respond to feedback constructively and be open to making revisions based on their suggestions. Avoid getting into edit wars or conflicts with other editors.

  7. Disclose Your Affiliation: If you are creating a page about your own company, it‘s important to disclose your affiliation on your user page and in any discussions related to the article. This transparency can help build trust with other editors and ensure that your contributions are evaluated objectively.

Challenges and Risks of Creating a Company Wikipedia Page

While creating a Wikipedia page for your company can offer significant benefits, it‘s important to be aware of the potential challenges and risks involved. Here are a few key considerations:

  1. Editing Conflicts: As mentioned earlier, editing conflicts can arise if other editors disagree with the content or tone of your company page. Be prepared to engage in constructive dialogue and make revisions based on feedback from the community.

  2. Deletion or Demotion: If your page is found to violate Wikipedia‘s guidelines or policies, it may be deleted or demoted to a draft status. This can happen if the page is deemed too promotional, lacks reliable sources, or doesn‘t meet notability requirements.

  3. Negative Information: Wikipedia articles are meant to provide a balanced and comprehensive overview of a topic, which means they may include negative information about your company such as controversies, legal issues, or criticisms. While you can provide context and counterpoints, you can‘t remove negative information entirely if it‘s well-sourced and relevant to the article.

  4. Maintenance and Updating: Creating a Wikipedia page is not a one-and-done process. To maintain the page‘s accuracy and relevance, you‘ll need to regularly monitor and update it as new information becomes available. This can be a time-consuming process, especially for larger or more complex companies.

Alternative Strategies for Contributing to Wikipedia

If you‘re not comfortable creating a Wikipedia page for your company directly, there are still ways you can contribute to the site and potentially increase your company‘s visibility and credibility. Here are a few alternative strategies to consider:

  1. Provide Reliable Sources: If there are already Wikipedia articles related to your industry or areas of expertise, you can contribute by providing reliable sources and information to help improve the accuracy and comprehensiveness of those pages. This can be a way to establish your company as a credible and authoritative voice without directly creating your own page.

  2. Engage with Other Editors: You can also engage with other editors who are working on pages related to your company or industry. Offer constructive feedback, suggest additional sources or information, and participate in discussions on article talk pages. By building relationships with other editors and contributing to the community, you can indirectly raise awareness of your company and its expertise.

  3. Create Related Content: Another option is to create related content on your own website or blog that can be used as a reliable source for Wikipedia articles. This could include research reports, whitepapers, case studies, or other in-depth content that provides valuable insights and information related to your industry. By creating high-quality content that is frequently cited on Wikipedia, you can increase your company‘s visibility and credibility over time.

Conclusion

Creating a Wikipedia page for your company can be a powerful way to increase your online visibility, credibility, and brand awareness. However, it‘s important to approach the process with care and consideration for Wikipedia‘s guidelines and best practices.

By ensuring notability, writing objectively, providing reliable sources, and engaging constructively with other editors, you can create a company page that meets Wikipedia‘s standards and provides value to readers. At the same time, it‘s important to be aware of the potential challenges and risks involved, such as editing conflicts, deletion, and negative information.

If creating a company page directly isn‘t the right fit for your business, there are still ways to contribute to Wikipedia and raise awareness of your company‘s expertise. By providing reliable sources, engaging with other editors, and creating high-quality related content, you can establish your company as a credible and authoritative voice in your industry over time.

Ultimately, the decision to create a Wikipedia page for your company is one that should be made carefully and strategically, with a clear understanding of the benefits, challenges, and best practices involved. By following the guidelines and recommendations outlined in this guide, you can navigate the process effectively and create a page that accurately represents your company and provides value to the Wikipedia community and beyond.