Neil Patel with ACS kicked off the last session of the day by providing a basic overview of Wikipedia. With 1.2M articles/entries, it’s one of the most visited site on the Web. Some of the key benefits of having content or links on Wikipedia include: provides authority links, generates traffic, additional branding and information (even without link popularity). To illustrate the impact of Wikipedia visibility, Patel shared a story from Rand that SEOmoz gets more traffic from Wikipedia entries than from its own organic listing in Google for the same term. Patel recommended anyone interested in developing a Wikipedia entry should start developing their own reputation by improving existing entries with updated content and links. He also reminded us that there are alternative blogs focused on specific communities (there are 2,000 wikis worldwide).
Jonathan Hochman with JE Hockman & Associates added to the foundational discussion with a few industry statistics and reminded the audience that Wikipedia generates more traffic than MySpace and YouTube, yet is not talked about as much as other Web 2.0 sites. Hochman discussed the fact that some editors enjoy hunting down spammers, and you don’t want to get blacklisted, which also affects all other wikis on the platform. He shared a statistic that conversion rates of Wikipedia referring traffic is twice as high as other referring URLs in one example. To help leverage the opportunity Wikipedia offers, Hochman recommended always explaining the relevance of posts (the Notability Rule) and links in order to maximize the possibility of being saved. Similarly, he explained the details behind the Conflict of Interest rule, where people should be very careful writing or editing their own listings or that of competitors. To rectify issues or concerns, use the Talk page.
Don Steele with Comedy Central shared insights into the cable network’s social media marketing strategy through the Wikipedia example. ComedyCentral.com realized that Wikipedia was a top 5 referring site and was a huge opportunity for branding and awareness. Steele recommends making sure all content is accurate and timely and that ComedyCentral.com has relevant content on site for any Wikipedia entries. His primary suggestion was to participate and follow the rules.
Stephen Spencer with Netconcepts provided very specific suggestions on getting into Wikipedia. For starters, develop a profile that looks like you’re an upstanding member of the community. This might include account age and history and cite awards. He also suggested identifying and contacting the primary page editor before adding links and content to maximize opportunity to successfully submit listings. When posting, use as many references as possible, preferably mainstream media. Spencer’s parting suggestions included using Google News to locate viable reference articles and track changes carefully. In all, the panel provided a slew of helpful background information with a variety of specific tips for anyone interested in leveraging Wikipedia to manage their brand and generate traffic.