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A Wikipedia Deep Dive With Mike Wood

Today, we are going to de-mystify the relationship between Wikipedia and SEO with our special guest Mike Wood.

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Today, we are going to de-mystify the relationship between Wikipedia and SEO with our special guest Mike Wood. It is my great pleasure that I welcome Mike to the show.

Mike Wood Bio

Mike Wood is an online marketer, author, and Wikipedia expert. He is the founder of Legalmorning.com, an online marketing agency that specializes in content writing, brand management, and professional Wikipedia editing. He is a regular contributor to many online publications where he writes about business and marketing.


Legal Morning Websitehttps://www.legalmorning.com/






The Content Marketing InstitueHow to Do Backlinks in Wikipedia the Right Way

Books Mike Has Written

Wood is the author of the books Link Juice and Wikipedia as a Marketing Tool.

Link Juice – Understanding and Using Backlinks for Better Search Ranking – Available on Amazon and Google Books.

Wikipedia as a Marketing Tool: How to reap the marketing benefits of Wikipedia – Available on Amazon

Questions I asked Mike

  1. What size business would qualify for having a Wikipedia page created?
  2. Why have a Wikipedia Page?
  3. What are the SEO benefits of having a link from Wikipedia?
  4. If a business does not qualify for a Wikipedia Page, how can it contribute content as a citation?
  5. What type of 3rd party website should a business citation be on, that links back to the money site?
  6. Why is it important to have an experienced, professional paid editor for Wikipedia?
  7. What other opportunities are there in Wikipedia for a business to get links back to their site?
  8. Can you explain some of the restrictions within Wikipedia guidelines?
  9. What is a Wikipedia article, and how is it different from a Wikipedia page?
  10. Could you talk about the deletion process on Wikipedia?
  11. Could you explain what services Legal Morning offers, and how listeners can reach out to you?

Check out more episodes of our SEO podcast.

[00:01] Matt Hepburn - Today we're going to do a deep dive into how you can leverage Wikipedia as a source that links to your business. Today's guest is Mike Wood, an experienced Wikipedia editor. And we're going to uncover what you need in order for your business to be able to have a Wikipedia page.

We'll also talk about how you can receive links to your website from Wikipedia and third party news sources that are used the citations inside of Wikipedia pages. Additionally, we're going to talk about how Wikipedia works best hand in hand with a great PR strategy.

[00:40] Matt Hepburn - Welcome to the EMJ SEO podcast, where it's all about you learning SEO so that you can rank in Google. Hey, it's Matt Hepburn. I'm an SEO professional with 13 years of experience working as a consultant working in large and small agencies. And for the past seven years, I've been working in the enterprise sector for some of the biggest brands out there. I provide SEO tips for beginners, and I tell you straight out what's going to work and what's not going to.

[01:12] This episode is brought to you by interview Bookers, the podcast booking agency that provides link building through podcast episode show note links. If you're looking to support Google's E-E-A-T framework for your SEO, you can build links as an expert, educating from your experience on podcast guest interviews. Let your links to your website stand out from the crowd. Visit us@interviewbookers.com.

[01:42] Matt Hepburn - Mike, welcome to the show.

[01:45] Mike Wood - How's it going, Matt? I really appreciate you having me on. Appreciate it.

[01:50] Matt Hepburn - Oh, I I am so excited to have you on and because there's a lot of mystery around the connection with Wikipedia and SEO, and for me, just having a Wikipedia expert on is really important. So thank you so much for coming on. Could you tell the listeners a little bit about your company and what you do? That'd be great.

[02:13] Mike Wood - Yeah. So, my company is called legalmorning.com. It's a website I actually started over a decade ago. And it was just started as a side project, just a side hustle while I was in law school as a way to showcase some of my writing skills. And I found out at that time that there was a huge need for Wikipedia. We talked a little bit before the show about understanding people, understanding what exactly needs to happen with Wikipedia. And there's a lot of people in the SEO world that have no clue on the requirements because they change daily. I mean, you would have to do it full-time in order to understand the changes. So I found out there was a huge need for it and I just started molding my side business towards Wikipedia and it grew into a full time agency. Now with five people in the agency working full time doing Wikipedia.

[03:06] Matt Hepburn - That is amazing. And I would say not just SEOs, but in the business world. Most businesses don't understand what it means to that point, I'm going to just jump into questions here. So, what size of a business would a business need to be to be eligible to have a page created for them on Wikipedia?

[03:30] Mike Wood - And that's a great question. And that's one of the first ones that I get asked all the time. So, size does not really matter when it comes to Wikipedia. When it comes to a company or business or an organization, Wikipedia doesn't care if you have one location or thousands of locations. Wikipedia only cares about what reliable sources say about you. So, if you have a lot of press out there, a lot of in-depth coverage, a lot of news stories who are following you and talking about you, Wikipedia will see you as notable. It doesn't matter if you have one employee or 1000 employees. If you don't have that type of coverage, you could be the biggest person in your industry and still not qualify for a Wikipedia page based on the coverage. So, a quick example I can give you is I have a client that works in the aviation industry, do a lot of SEO work for them, do a lot of media outreach for them. They make a part for an airplane, which Boeing does, McDonald, Douglas does, GE. This part that they make, if it's not used, the airplane will not get off the ground, and I won't name the client. But what they make is boring. Nobody's going to write about that. You're not going to see an in-depth article in The New York Times about this little bitty piece of metal that this company makes. So even though they're known in the aviation world, a plane won't fly without the part that they have patented it on there, they'll never have a Wikipedia page simply because they don't have the press. Now, on the reverse end, let's look at people like the Kardashians. Now, no offense to the Kardashians, they now run businesses and they're in the press a lot for what they do. But they had Wikipedia pages before they even did anything just because they had so much press about just being themselves. So that's how Wikipedia looks at it. It all comes down to the sources.

[05:29] Matt Hepburn - So I love this. So, Wikipedia goes hand in hand with. A good PR strategy.

[05:34] Mike Wood - 100%.I get a lot of PR clients calling me, a lot of PR agencies saying, hey, we have a client that wants a Wikipedia page. Guide us as a PR agency. Where do we go? What publications do we need? What type of press do we need? How many pieces do we need? So, yeah, it goes hand in hand with the PR. And on a side note with that, there's a lot of people who want Wikipedia pages who don't have the coverage, and they say, how much press do I need in order to get a Wikipedia page? I tell them, don't worry about the Wikipedia page. Go after the PR, go after the PR because you're going to get all these articles, as you know, with SEO. You're going to start getting the links, the branding things are going to start helping you in the search engines and stuff. And then if the press amounts to a Wikipedia page, get a Wikipedia page. But you're getting all this benefit from going with a PR agency to get that PR work. Wikipedia is just like some sprinkles on the cake.

[06:36] Matt Hepburn - No, we've had a few other guests recently who the episodes haven't been published yet, but we've had a few on PR, and the one that we did have was Amanda Milligan on earned syndication. And what we were really talking about at that point was domain authority being built up from links to the home page of the website. And then from earned syndication, they were getting canonical links back to the posts. So, they were getting traffic onto that. Now, that's great, but if you have the same thing or something similar with your PR outreach, you're getting more than that because you're being able to say, as seen on Huffington Post, as seen in Fox Five, or whatever it is, whatever news outlet it is. And I wouldn't necessarily say go after their logos, but you could say the same thing with text. So, I'm not a lawyer, I can't tell you whether you should use those logos or not, but I would probably say, no, not without permission.

[07:47] Mike Wood - Fair use. I figured out Huffington Post and here's the yeah, right.

[07:53] Matt Hepburn - So the main thing is, if you can link over to those different places that you've been on, you can have a page where all your that's really what's important. So let's talk about what are the benefits of a Wikipedia page, because Google loves Wikipedia, and I can tell you what I love about Wikipedia and how I see Google using it. So it's very similar to me. Like the Knowledge panel, if you go in for a specific query, you can see specific things that are linked to it. And if you look in the knowledge panel in Google, many times that things match up. So when people are asking me as a strategy, like, how do we set up the site, the first thing I tell them to do is go to Wikipedia for your overarching topic and go to Google and look at the Knowledge panel, write down all those topics. Those should be the main architectural points of your website, how you build it, and you have the topical clusters that you build out off of that. And so that to me, is the huge benefit of Wikipedia seeing that. I think that's why Google loves Wikipedia, because they're built that way. Yes. What's your opinion on Wikipedia and why Google likes it?

[09:09] Mike Wood - All right, so obviously, Wikipedia is one of the top ten most visited websites in the world. So of course, Google is going to give authority to it. Whether you think it's reliable or not reliable, people use it. So Google is going to give it that authority with the Google Knowledge Panel. And I love how you bring that up because I get a lot of inquiries every day about, hey, I need to update my Wikipedia page because it's pulling wrong information into the Google Knowledge Panel. Now, a lot of SEO professionals that are listening to this right now, I want to tell them, forget about Wikipedia's relation to the knowledge panel. Yes, it is a starting point, but the majority of that information is actually coming from a site called Wikidata, which is a sister project of Wikipedia. Now, if we go back a few years, and I'm going to age both of us now, but do you remember the website Freebase, which was the original data collection website? You could go on there and put your name, your date of birth, and it just collected points of information. It was the beginning of big data. It was back when people started mining. They didn't even know what they were going to use the data for. I mean, now we're using it for AI and everything else, but we didn't know what we were using the data for. We were just collecting it. And there was a site called Freebase that collected all this information. Well, Freebase decided that they were going to give up that website, went over to Google, they said, here's all the information. Google said, hey, we don't want it. They gave it to the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikimedia foundation just basically put their skin on it, and now it's referred to as Wikidata. Now Wikidata links directly to Wikipedia. So, if you have a Wikipedia page, you likely have a wiki data profile, and that's where it contains all the specific points of information. So, I had someone the other day call me and say, hey, my Wikipedia page is updated correctly, but the Google Knowledge Panel still shows the incorrect information. It took me 2 seconds to go on and say, okay, that's because it was never removed or changed in Wikidata. Here's what we can do. We can get that done. As soon as we got it changed, knowledge Panel started updating correctly. So, there's a lot of things that go into Google Knowledge panel. Yeah, it's not just Wikipedia, but a lot of it comes from Wikidata. Everyone updates Wikipedia, but they don't necessarily go back to Wikidata. And of course, it also pulls things from like if you're actor actress, it pulls from IMDb, pulls music from all music and other sites like that. So, there's a lot of different points in there. But Wikipedia is a starting point for there, and I love how you use it for the different context of the website. That is 100% accurate from an SEO standpoint, from a branding standpoint, in order to make sure that your knowledge panel is accurate, I tell people always look at Wikidata. Obviously, it's going to need updated in Wikipedia, but make sure Wikidata is updated correctly.

[12:06] Matt Hepburn - Learn something new every day. So, what would you say the SEO benefits everybody is like, yeah, Wikipedia links, they're no follow links, but I know that they have huge implications in search. So, what would you say, the implications of having links from Wikipedia over to your website or even to a third-party site that references your site? Correct. What would you say about that?

[12:39] Mike Wood - I like how you brought up the third-party reference. So, most of the time businesses aren't going to have a website that's authoritative enough to link to Wikipedia. My website isn't authoritative enough to link to Wikipedia, but let's say that I get interviewed by the New York Times. The New York Times puts a quote for me in their publication and a link back to my website. Well, if this New York Times article is authoritative enough, I'm definitely going to get that on Wikipedia because it's a secondary link within that source that's coming to my site. So, it's actually giving you a little bit of authority. I love how you brought up the no file link. SEOs are always focused on go with do file links, exact, match, domain, no. Everything with Google is link diversity. They don't want to see the same length to the same site from the same anchor text. They don't want to see all do follow links on yours. Google said time and time again that they do not have to give weight to no follow links, but I have never seen them once say, we absolutely do not give weight to no follow links. What you're saying with a no follow link is you're telling Google, disregard this link. Well, Google can still do what the hell it wants. It can say, well, thanks for letting us know, but we're going to do it anyway. And that's exactly what it does with Wikipedia. So, no follow link or not, it still gives it great authority based on your link profile.

[14:09] Matt Hepburn - To that point, there are plenty of times where robot texts are supposed to be directives, right, that say to search engines, do not index either this link or this URL or this directory. And there are plenty of times where I've seen content that has that directive and might even also have an on page meta tag that says no index. And Google's still indexing it.

[14:37] Mike Wood - Exactly.

[14:38] Matt Hepburn - It has two signals that are there, and Google's like a perfect example would be that Google chose a different canonical than the self-referencing canonical on a page. It's chosen another page, and this might be a page that sets the no index. And you're going, why? So, to that point, I love what you're saying, that Google has never really said they wouldn't. They're just saying it's a preference. So, I think any link that you can get that's relevant, a relevant topical link from a relevant section of a site is really important. It's when topical link, when links are not topical and they're off sites, that the whole topic. Maybe the site's topic covers way too many topics. It's not niche specific. So, it either needs to be from a niche specific directory on a site that constantly covers that, or the whole site needs to be covering that. And honestly, the more robust the content and the relationship of the topic that it's linking to on the page on your site, when there's a relationship in between those two topically, then Google says, hey, this is great. So that to me is what I drive for when I'm trying to do any type of link building.

[16:03] Mike Wood - Absolutely. And I'm glad you don't pay attention to Google. Literally, there's too many SEO professionals that say, well, Google said this, so this is exactly what's happening. And it's like, ultimately Google wants to serve the best content to the people because if they stop doing that, people are going to start using Bing and DuckDuck, Go and everything else. So, Google is just giving you guidelines to follow. They're not giving you the formula.

[16:31] Matt Hepburn - You're preaching to the choir. So, the thing that I try to tell everybody is that unfortunately, Google really doesn't care about website owners at all. All they really care about is the user experience for their searchers. So, the best thing that you can do is have the most robust page that provides as much information on a topic. And how do you set yourself apart from your competition topically on your pages? If you're just going to do the minimum topically on a page, then don't really expect that you're going to rank really high up in the search engine results. But if you can start answering other questions that you can even use your own customers data. So, if you have questions that are asked to your customer service over and over and over again, my God, make content for a page that actually talks to all those questions and provides that right up front.

[17:25] Besides the normal things like people also ask and related top, do whatever you need to do. And also, things like go into your analytics, see what terms people are actually searching for in your site. If they're searching for that over and over again, then create content around that.

[17:45] Mike Wood - And despite you preaching to everybody right now, there's still content writers who are going to walk away from this and write articles for the search engines instead of writing articles for visitors to the website. It's like stopping.

[17:59] Matt Hepburn - Well, there's big people the experience. Yeah, people don't really understand the helpful content update that came out over the summer. How important this is that for the first time, Google is saying you had duplicate content for years specifically written for search engines. And Google never penalized anybody for that. For the first time with this update, it's really saying content that's written for the search engines and not for the users is going to be a penalty, and it could be a site wise penalty, and we're not going to tell you exactly when your site is going to get recovered from it. So right. For the user.

[18:45] Mike Wood - I can tell you, over the last few months I've went in and done some Redirects and some 404. We've got them gone.

[18:57] Matt Hepburn - So we referenced something in our conversation. This is a great conversation. I can tell that we're aligned. So how would you say to a business that does have press, like, how do they target and find opportunities to have the right type of citations on Wikipedia pages to help boost the content up on those topical pages?

[19:22] Mike Wood - Okay, so first of all, look at your own press. Obviously, if your website isn't going to be good enough to be in there, and I'll send you a link to an article I wrote for Content Marketing Institute which talks about how to actually go in and add these citations and everything. But for yourself, look at the press that you've been in, because if you've been in press, that press is more than likely going to be considered reliable enough for Wikipedia. And I could send you a link to certain to a page on Wikipedia that kind of evaluates the different citations. So, it'll tell you, like, if I have an article in Forbes, I can look up Forbes on this page on Wikipedia and it will tell me which articles on Forbes are acceptable, which ones aren't. So, you'll kind of know what's a reliable source and what's not a reliable source. And then basically what you could do is one of two things. You can look in Wikipedia and find out a term called citation needed, which is a little tag that's placed at the end of different content for references that are needed, and you can look for them for your specific niche. And this article kind of breaks down how to do that. You can look for a specific niche, and then when you find that there is a specific citation needed and you have that reference in Forbes New York Times, whatever it is, then you can go about adding that reference into Wikipedia. And then again, you're getting that secondary link. I like to call them secondary links. Basically, they're clicking on your content, but my link is in there, so it's like I'm hanging on to your coattails. I don't have to have the primary link. I don't have to be the life of the party, but I'm still at the party eating the buffet. You know what I'm saying? You can go dance. I'm going to sit back here and drink my wine and enjoy myself. So that's exactly what you want to do. Now, on the second thing, what you could do I'm sorry, okay.

[21:15] Matt Hepburn - No, I was just going to ask a question to clarify that one point before we move to the second one. So just for the listeners, in case that was a little amorphous for them. So, the topic that you're searching for, for your citation, you will have had to mention that topically within the coverage that you had the press coverage of. Right. So, it can't be ambiguous as to it has to be you specifically answering that question or that topic within the press coverage that you had so that it can be a citation, is that correct?

[21:54] Mike Wood - Yeah, what I would say is you don't necessarily have to look for your specific quote or where your link is in that article. Let's say there's an article on search engine optimization that covers something about email marketing and you're quoted in there as email marketing. I'm quoted in there as we could say social media marketing. Well, the Wikipedia page on email marketing is the one that needs updated. Even though I'm giving a quote on social media marketing, the fact that it talks about email marketing and can support what's in there, I would use that anyway. Google is not going to go in and say, oh, well, this is about email marketing. Yes, but Mike Wood talks about social media marketing, so we're going to automatically disavow that link back to his site. We're in the bus.

[22:46] Matt Hepburn - Yeah, I was more thinking about like another editor coming in and saying that's not as relevant as a citation. We're going to remove that citation because it's not on topic. So that's what I was thinking.

[23:01] Mike Wood - Yes. Okay. Yeah, definitely. You make sure it's on topic. You can't just go into a place that needs a citation and this is what some marketers do. Do they just look for a citation needed and kind of throw any reference on there that they think is relevant? No, it 100% has to be relevant because not only will it get removed, but you'll likely get blocked, banned, and some websites will get blacklisted if people go in and try to listen. Like there are some good websites out there that can't be used as references in Wikipedia anymore because people have tried to spam the links in there. So, yeah, I understand what you're asking now.

[23:37] Matt Hepburn - This episode is brought to you by Interview Bookers, the podcast booking agency that provides SEO benefits with each and every podcast guest. Interview, are you ready to boost your keyword rankings in local search while being seen as an expert? This is all possible when you appear as a guest on podcasts where the audience matches your message. If you're ready to take your link building to the next level, then visit us at interviewbookers.com.

[24:08] Matt Hepburn - Yeah, so I should have been more direct. So, I interrupted your second point. So, did you want to get back to your second point?

[24:14] Mike Wood - Oh, yeah, so the second point is, let's say that you can't find content in Wikipedia where a citation is needed, but you have a great article that you were mentioned in that covers it's a great topic. There's great content within it. It's one that's been visited many, many times. Let's just say New York Times or Wall Street Journal, for instance. If there's content within that reference that isn't part of a current Wikipedia page, you can always go and add content to that Wikipedia page and then use that Wall Street Journal article as a reference. So let's say we go back to email marketing and the topic of email marketing and Wikipedia doesn't cover anything about ClickFunnels or sales funnels or how email is used as part of a sales funnel. Well, this article that you were in, that you gave great advice on that's in the Wall Street Journal is all about email marketing and sales funnels. Well, then go to this email marketing page and you can actually put the content in. Email marketing is also used in conjunction with sales funnels online, whatever the information is that you're going to put in there, and then you can use that as a reference within Wikipedia. Now, again, let me clarify. This is a broad overview of what can be done. Now, I want people to understand before they go in and just start editing Wikipedia. Now, there's a lot of little nuances that need to be covered as well, such as the writing style. You could use one specific word that you may think is normal. Wikipedia is going to see it as promotional, as a weasel word, and they're going to completely remove all of your content. You need to be aware whether or not content has been attempted, added in that page before. So, you're going to need to look at the talk page, look at the different conversations, find out if that reference is usable in Wikipedia before you attempt it or not, because you're really walking through a minefield. So, you've got to make sure that you're accurate in what you're doing. So, this is just a general overview of what can be done.

[26:16] Matt Hepburn - You're already kind of answering my question. I was going to say, why is it important to have an experienced, professional, paid editor for Wikipedia?

[26:24] Mike Wood - Yes, thanks. That's a great segue. Well, number one, let me tell people you don't have to have a paid editor. You can absolutely go into Wikipedia and edit yourself. It's open source. You can go create an account, edit anything you want. But then again, you don't even need to create an account. You can just go in and click the edit button. The thing about Wikipedia is I compare it to Lord of the Flies, and I think I just aged us again, Matt, because I'm bringing up a classic book. But if nobody is familiar with Lord of the Flies, it's basically a bunch of boys are left on an island and it's a great look into toxic masculinity. And all these boys decide to make rules, and even though they disregard the rules. Whoever's the leader gets to make the choices, it's just anarchy. And that's how Wikipedia works sometimes. Even though it works on consensus where everybody gets together and makes a decision, okay, this is what we're going to do or not do. There's still a lot of bureaucracy that goes on there. There's still editing behaviors, individual behaviors, people who have different points of view, some people who may be pushing points of view. So, it really is a minefield. Even though you have the rules and guidelines that you can follow, they're not always concrete. I look at them similar to, like, court rules. So, if anyone's familiar with the law, you go into a courtroom and you're going to argue in front of a judge, and the judge is going to make a specific ruling based on your argument. But if you ask any good lawyer, they're going to tell you that their argument is going to change based on the judge who is overseeing that case, because they know that that judge is going to look at things differently. So that's kind of what we do as professional editors. When people are looking at getting something created, we have to know who the editors are working in that specific space, whether or not things have been tried before, what are the reliable sources, and these are things that I can teach you. I even have a course on Udemy for creating Wikipedia. But even if you took that course and you edited Wikipedia for six months straight, and I'm talking a few hours a day, every day for six months straight, your proficiency still would be in the bottom percentage of people who are on their editing every day. So, you really have to know all this information before you jump into it. It seems like great advice, and I know a lot of people right now are like, well, I'm going to turn this podcast off and go right into editing Wikipedia. No, you really need to build up your proficiency or hire somebody to do it. A lot of times people don't want to take the time to learn it. There's a lot of companies that contact me and say in their marketing departments contact me and say, we're not going to hire somebody internally to do this. We're not going to learn to do this, because it can be a waste of our time. How much is it going to cost to get this done so then I can guide them through the process?

[29:25] Mike Wood - Absolutely. So to that point, I know we kind of mentioned this before we started recording, but it's really about businesses really want whatever the edits are, whatever they end up being, for them to stick around for a little bit, right? Yes. Because of the environment, other people can come in and change that. To that point, could you talk about kind of like some of the restrictions within Wikipedia and how you see that affecting edits that are. Not done from a professional point of view of how you would do them. What are the common things that happen that make things change?

[30:09] Mike Wood - Yeah, and I know we talked about that word sticking. It's one that drives me crazy because there's so many agencies out there who use that term because they don't really understand what it takes in order to get an edit across to Wikipedia. And here's what I mean. If you go into somebody and you're asking them for a quote on Wikipedia services, and I'm talking to everybody out there because there's plenty of services, people out there offering this service, and you ask them, hey, can I try to do A, B, and C and see if it sticks within Wikipedia? If they're willing to do that, turn around and run. Because a professional editor, somebody's that been doing this for a while, and there's about half dozen of us that actually do this with a good proficiency, they're going to tell you, no, we're not even going to attempt it because maybe it will, quote unquote, stick for right now. But there's something about that edit that may not be within guidelines, so it may eventually get removed. So, there's a lot of agencies that are like, yeah, we're going to do that. They're going to take your money. They're going to put it up on Wikipedia. Three or four months later, it gets taken down and then you're trying to reach them. They're not going to answer your call, but they're enjoying your money down the road. I don't want that call from my clients. I want a call from my clients in four months that said, hey, I was at a meeting with somebody. They said they were looking for Wikipedia page. You did a great job with us. Can we send them your way? Yeah, absolutely. Those are the kind of things that I have. So it's really important to understand these rules and guidelines because there's no such thing as sticking in my book. My editors look and say, look, okay, this is what a company wants. A company wants A, B and C done on their Wikipedia page. We can absolutely do A, no problem. B, no way in hell we're even going to attempt it. Do not even think about it. And C, we can get done. But we're going to need to word it differently, and we're going to need to use a different reference than what you proposed us using. That's how we look at things. Because if you go in and do things according to the guidelines, it's written properly. It's not written promotional. You're using the correct sourcing. You have the correct weight because there's things with neutral point of view. And how much weight are they given to certain things? The source isn't an interview. It's actually a well in depth editorial type article with editorial oversight from a good publication. If we do that, there's no such thing as sticking it needs an act of God to come and take that out of there. Editors will have to dig deep for some kind of hidden rule to say, we don't like this because of A, B or C, and maybe rules change in the future, but to allow that in there, to allow that removal but I go crazy when I hear the word sticking, because it should be no thing. You go to a surgeon and they're going to remove a tumor. He's not going to go in and say, well, we're going to remove it and hope that it stays away. No, they're going to say, hey, we're going to remove it. The chance that it comes back is 80% or 20%. Or they're going to tell you, hey, this is routine surgery. We're going to go and snip this off and you're never going to see this again. That's the type of thing that you want. You don't want a surgeon going, exactly. Well, we'll try to cut it out. I don't know, maybe it'll happen. Good luck on recovery. No, you don't want that, especially when you're paying good money. No.

[33:33] Mike Wood - It'S authoritative. I mean, having that Wikipedia page is great for branding. Having the link is great for SEO, as we've discussed. So yeah, absolutely. You got to know these guidelines or rules.

[33:44] Matt Hepburn - So I think this is really important to tell people straight. To me, I'm a very transparent guy. I'm just like, just give it to me. The good, the bad, the ugly, everything. Just let me know. Right. Tell me up front what the deal is. So I got two things I'm going to tie back to what you were just talking about. I was wondering if you talk about the deletion process in Wikipedia. And then I also saw something on your website about you have some type of assurance program where people can subscribe to your service. And then if something comes down, then you can actually go down and go work on it to put it change around, do whatever you need to do. So I was hoping you could talk about the two of those things and the benefits of one of your programs, which is this being able to go back and optimize.

[34:37] Mike Wood - Perfect. So deletion in Wikipedia basically takes three forms. There's a speedy deletion, there's a proposed deletion, and then there's a deletion discussion. And it's very important to pay attention to these three because clients usually contact me for the first time after it's too late, after it's beyond the point of deletion, and it's going to be twice as hard to get things corrected. So a speedy deletion basically means either there's a copyright violation or the page is so promotional in tone that it looks like a press release and we don't even want it in here or the topic doesn't even meet. Notability so there's no amount of editing that's going to be able to make this page come back in we need it gone immediately because it's just toxic. Those types of deletions can take place. Well, just like you said, speedy deletion. Someone can recommend it for deletion. An administrator can come along, make a determination whether or not it meets that criteria, and delete it within minutes. So you'll see sometimes where pages are posted and then deleted right away just because they're not done correctly, they're written promotional or what have you. The second kind is what we call a proposed deletion. And it's where some editor comes along to a page and says, this page isn't really that toxic, it's really not causing too many problems. But we think either it just doesn't meet the guidelines or topic just doesn't have the correct references. So we're going to place a tag at the top of it that says, hey look, we're giving everybody ten days to come in and work on this article, improve it, show us the reference, show us it's notable, whatever you want to do. And if you can do that, then go ahead and remove this tag and the article can go on about its business. If nobody does that or does any improvements within that ten days, after that ten days comes around, administrator comes around and says, well, I guess no one really cares enough about this topic to keep up with it, so let's go ahead and delete it. They get rid of the page, the third one, and this is the one that's going to be more it's not the most common one, but it's going to be the one most common to marketers, SEO, professionals, companies, everybody listen. Here is what's called the deletion discussion, and that's when people come along and say, okay, this topic may or may not meet notability guidelines or may or may not have the references, and most of these discussions are based on notability. So if you survive one of these discussions, you're basically found to be notable, but they'll recommend it for deletion. And a page will be created where editors can come in and discuss whether or not they feel it could be deleted. Obviously the person who proposes the deletion and says or recommends the deletion believes that it's not notable and they'll give their reasons for it. If anyone feels that the article should be kept, they'll go ahead and vote, we should keep this article based on this policy or this guideline. And then that discussion will run for seven days. And at the end of the seven days, an administrator comes in, kind of like a judge, looks at all the different arguments from people and determines whether or not the page should be kept or deleted. If it's deleted, it's done. If it's kept, then it's kept. So deletion discussion is probably the most common for marketers. The most common is speedy deletion because you get a lot of spam and promotion in Wikipedia that they try to get rid of. But deletion discussion is where I get a lot of people contacting me and saying, hey, we paid for this Wikipedia page from a company, and they put it up, and this is the let's see if it sticks type agency where they're like, well, we're going to go ahead and try your page. They throw it against the wall. Yeah, it's stuck there for three or four months, and now it's in a deletion discussion and they're contacting me saying, hey, can this page be saved? I can't get a hold of this agency. I'm like, yeah, because I know exactly what happened.

[38:21] Matt Hepburn - To that point. Before we talk about your service, is there any type of alert that you can get for notification for this?

[38:28] Mike Wood - Yes, absolutely. You can actually create an account on Wikipedia and go into what's called a watch list, and you can add any page to your watch list that you want. And then under your preferences, under your preference settings in Wikipedia, you can put to be notified for changes that happen on your page. So let's say I'm going to go to the page on Google or the Google page on Wikipedia, and I add that to my watch list and I add my email address into my preferences and say, notify me by email. When there's a change to that page in Wikipedia, I will get an email that says, hey, there has been a change. And then you can go back to that page on Wikipedia and actually observe the change. Now kind of segwaying into the service that we offer. We offer a monitoring and maintenance package. Part of the monitoring we do includes that, but when you monitor a page or have something or have them notify you whenever there's a change, they only notify you one time until you log back into Wikipedia. So you can't just go to Wikipedia, add it to your watch list, ask to be notified, and then never go back to Wikipedia. They're going to send you one email the first time there's a change, and they're never going to send you another alert unless you go back and actually log into Wikipedia. So you still need to physically go back, log in, check the page, and see what happens. Part of what we do with this monitoring and maintenance package, the service that you were talking about is we're on there daily anyway. We see these things pop up on our watch list before we even get the emails. So we know when these changes happen. We're able to go into the edit history and create a link that shows you what the page looked like before and then what the page looks like now after the changes. That way we serve that link to the clients. They click on that link and it will show you a side by side comparison so they're actually able to see the different changes. And then as the professionals, we look at that change and say, okay, this is the change that happened. Here are the options that we feel will be best. We can either remove this, we can add something, we can add some more context to it, or sometimes we just notify them and say, hey, there was vandalism on the page. We didn't even ask you if you wanted removed because it's a vandalism, we took care of it. Here's a link to see the before and after. Have a great day. And that's what people love is because they don't have to go on and deal with all the anxiety that Wikipedia causes them trying to update the pages. They just get an email from us saying, hey, there was a problem, it's taken care of. Enjoy the rest of your day, golfing or whatever you're doing.

[41:04] Matt Hepburn - Guys, if you're trying to do this, this is really complicated. I was hoping you could talk a little bit about your other services that you have besides this. But this is a fantastic service and I don't know of any other Wikipedia agencies, so I can't say if this is a common thing, but I would say this is really important to have.

[41:27] Mike Wood - And again, I would love people to use my services, obviously, but there are other agencies out there. I just want to tell people, be careful who you hire. Find out if they disclose their clients or not. I do not disclose my clients to anybody because I do not want to expose them to anything negative in the industry. And I will tell you one thing that happens in this industry is it's competitive with a lot of freelancers now. So if somebody goes and tries to get quotes from ten different places and then they choose the quote that they like the best and have their Wikipedia page approved, they likely will get some anonymous edits from another agency who didn't get the job going on and attacking the page just because they're burnt because they didn't get the project. So you really need to be careful with the agency that you that's horrible out there. It is horrible. I had a call this week, they said which they were being charged an enormous amount of money for monitoring, which was crazy. I'm not even going to mention it here how much they were being charged by this other agency. But she said, look, the second we told them we didn't want to renew our agreement with them, two days later there were anonymous edits on the page, marketing it as advertisement and putting that we needed, a bunch of citations needed. And I'm like, yeah, I get it, it's typical. I'm not even going to name the agency. But I should but I will talk about.

[42:56] Mike Wood - Yes, professional decorum should be here. Right. But it sounds like just like in any other marketing environment that there are some exceptions to the rules. Exactly.

[43:09] Mike Wood - This is so informative and I'm sorry. And not just services I offer, I have a YouTube channel that I've been pumping up a lot lately. You were talking earlier about Google search. Wonderful. Asking questions and everything. Those questions are what I write my articles based on. So when everyone comes and says, hey, can I lock a Wikipedia page? Okay, well, that's a common question. So what am I going to do? I'm going to go to YouTube. I'm going to create the video. I'm going to have a piece of content. I'm going to write an article about it on my blog. I'm going to embed that video into the blog. Then I'm going to take that video and cut it up into social media segments to be able to put out on Facebook Book or Instagram or whatever. But the YouTube channel that I have is a great place to start. It answers a lot of questions about Wikipedia, all from creating accounts, how to get links. What notability is talks about deletion discussions more in depth. So it's a good place for anybody that may have questions after listening to this.

[44:07] Well, we're going to make sure to put the links in the show notes for the website for all your social anything else that you want to talk with the audience about where they can find you online?

[44:20] Mike Wood - No, just legal morning. It's the main website. It's the cornerstone content where you can reach out to everything, so you can get the YouTube channel, the socials podcasts, everything else like that. But I think it's really great what you're doing as far as the SEO, especially focusing on the small businesses. It was huge back when COVID hit because and I'm sure you dealt with this too, all these people that you were preaching to, you need to do SEO, you need to have a website. And they were all like, nah, I'm okay. I'm going to use my Facebook page. And then COVID hits and they're like, oh, I need to be in the search engines. Yeah, you did. You needed to be in there three or four years ago because now you're struggling. We can't get you in the SERPs tomorrow.

[45:06] Matt Hepburn - You are so right. Thank you so much for being on, and I hope to be talking to you soon.

[45:14] Mike Wood - Excellent, Matt. I really appreciate it. Thanks for the time.

[45:18] Matt Hepburn - Absolutely. Have a great day.

Are you ready to break through and accelerate? How you learn SEO. Then please don't forget to subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode. You can subscribe on the podcast platform of your choice or join our email list @emjpodcast.com so we can keep you up to date. This is the EMJ SEO podcast with Matt Hepburn, and we'll see you next time.


  • Matt Hepburn

    Matt is the founder of The Focus Visibility Podcast. Matt has over 14 years of experience in search engine optimization. Matt has worked with various enterprise businesses, including Mend.io formerly (White Source Software), John Hancock USA, SEMrush, Commvault, and iCIMS. Matt has also worked in large and small agency environments, including Martindale Hubble, WebROI, and Search Interactions. Additionally, Matt brings 14 years of consulting on organic traffic issues that affect businesses.

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