In the past decade, Wikipedia has become one of the most popular online reference sources. Because the site’s articles consistently show up at the top of online searches, many small business owners wonder if they can simply write a piece about their enterprise and get it posted.
For the vast majority of businesses, the answer to this question is no. Most Wikipedia articles are written by unbiased content providers, not by business owners who want an article on the site.
Unlike other tools that can help build a business’ online reputation, Wikipedia isn’t a directory. For a business to qualify for a Wikipedia page, they must have already gained significant notability for achievements or accomplishments. But for businesses that have recognition on a national level, a Wikipedia page is a possibility.
While a Wikipedia article can help improve some businesses’ search engine rankings, the reality is that only a very small percentage of businesses meet the site’s criteria for what is worthy of an article. Wikipedia makes it very clear that it does not provide a place to promote a business or product and that all writing should take a neutral point of view. Take a look at the Wikipedia article for RingCentral for a specific example of this style of writing.
For businesses that do qualify to have a Wikipedia page, there are some do-it-yourself tips worth following. If you think that your business has what it takes to make a great Wikipedia article, here are a few tips to guide you:
Follow the Submission Guidelines
Wikipedia spells out detailed posting policies and guidelines. It’s worth your time to read these before you begin writing an article. You’ll also want to be open and willing to have any articles that you publish modified by others. This is how Wikipedia works. Anyone has the power to edit an article, but you can help guide the content through what you write, as well.
Become a Contributor
Your goal should be to contribute to Wikipedia’s knowledge base, not to promote your business or its products. If you keep this in mind as you write an article, you’ll prevent Wikipedia’s editors from rejecting your content. This means you’ll need to stick to the facts without adding persuasive language.
Focus on Your Achievements
You’ll also need to provide more than just the details about your business. Include any innovative processes, software, patents or other ground-breaking achievements that differentiate your business. Don’t forget to add external links to more than just your website. You’ll want to link to mentions in the media, relevant articles in industry publications or scientific journals and other sources that will help build your business’ credibility.
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Originally published Feb 08, 2011, updated Aug 07, 2020