Wikipedia presents as a prime example of a website winning at search engine optimisation. There’s no question – it’s the champ, the top banana, the grand poobah. Wikipedia is the big boss dog and the sooner we all acknowledge it, the better.
If you’re not buying it, hear this. Intelligent Positioning carried out a study using a random noun generator to test Wikipedia’s Google ranking. The Brighton-based SEO strategist reported that the mega-encyclopaedia ranked on the first page for 99% of their searches. I’m no maths whiz, but that’s quite a lot.
The report didn’t disclose which keywords the website did not manage to appear on page one with, but I just tried both ‘sockpuppet’ and ‘mother goose’ and Wikipedia topped the list with them too. Very impressive, indeed.
I appreciate Wikipedia isn’t necessarily selling anything, nor even competing in your market space, but it’s certainly competing for the rankings and web traffic that help you generate business. It’s been brazenly apparent for some years now that Wikipedia is the benchmark for SEO excellence, and we should all wish to be so ruddy good at it. To paraphrase chisel-chinned businesses guru Anthony Robbins: “If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy them.”
So on that inspiring note, here’s a rundown of a few reasons why Wikipedia is such an SEO success.
Unique high-quality content
First and foremost, Wikipedia is loaded with top-notch content written on a vast range of subjects (note: sockpuppets), in great detail (seriously, sockpuppets?) and in 10 different languages.
Strong domain authority
Because of its massive archive of comprehensive content, the website naturally generates millions of backlinks from good-quality sources, for example the BBC and NASA.
Wikipedia does a great job of spreading its domain strength across the site by linking through its internal structure. This helps readers find related content, lowers bounce rate and engages visitors.
Highly focused content
Each of Wikipedia’s pages is written with a focus on an individual search term, and due to its high domain strength, will always rank well for both competitive and long-tail terms. Just in case you’re wondering, a long-tail term is a more specific keyword phrase that visitors are more likely to use when they’re closer to a point-of-purchase.
The online encyclopaedia illustrates perfectly the benefits of user-generated content. It’s consistently refreshed with new articles and has its outdated or incorrect pages regularly updated.
Ads aren’t necessarily harmful, but they’re definitely annoying – I can vouch for that. But there’s also a theory claiming that SEO gets better results when there is a low advert to content ration. At the very least, it puts fewer visitors off.
Obviously there is huge value in having engaging imagery on your webpage, but Wikipedia’s text-focused approach significantly reduces load time and subsequently improves visitors’ experience. If Anthony Robbins is to be believed, copying these SEO best practices and including them in your content marketing strategy will do wonders for your site’s search ranking.