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Should Your Business Have a Wikipedia Page?

In the push to expand their online presence, it seems more and more organizations want to use Wikipedia as part of their business marketing.

But before you rush to create a Wikipedia entry for your business, you need to ask yourself a few questions:

1. Do You Qualify?

Wikipedia has policies on what should and should not be included. One of Wikipedia’s primary assessment criteria is notability. Wikipedia judges notability largely by the number and quality of third-party sources on a topic. For companies and organizations, these means being the subject of a significant amount of coverage in reliable, independent, secondary sources.

For a person, this means being “significant, interesting or unusual” enough to deserve attention. Again, a person is presumed to be notable if he or she has been the subject of multiple, reliable, independent, secondary sources.

If you think that your company or founder or CEO is sufficiently notable for inclusion in Wikipedia, then consider the second question:

2. Are You Sure You Want One?

Most business owners assume that inclusion in Wikipedia is a good thing. And certainly there are some benefits, such as adding legitimacy to your business and heightening your business’s profile.

However, there can be a significant downside too. Once on Wikipedia, anyone can edit your entry, including (potentially) even your competitors. You can correct inaccuracies, but you can’t respond in the same way you can on social media. That said, there is also the argument that if you’re notable enough, someone will eventually create a page for you, whether you want it or not.

It’s also important to understand that Wikipedia is not to be used for promotional purposes. If you put up a profile on your company with even a whiff of marketing, the editors at Wikipedia will remove it.

If you meet Wikipedia’s inclusion criteria, and you want to have an entry despite the possible downside, I’ve helped a number of organizations and individuals create or edit their pages to conform to Wikipedia standards. To learn more, contact me.

Posted: May 22, 2013 in: Business Strategy

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