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Should you have a company profile page on Wikipedia?

Wikipeda LogoA friend of mine recently asked me about whether or not she should make a Wikipedia page for her company. Here’s my response…

Choose carefully. Having a corporate wikipedia page can be a mixed blessing. On one hand, its great to have public info out there descibing all the wonderful services your company offers, interesting history about the beginnings, etc etc. However, since wikipedia is community-editable by design and principle, anyone who knows anything (true) about your company can add to it. This includes both positive and negative items. So, by having a “your company” wiki page, you’re opening yourself for “public outing”, etc. Additionally, it’s somewhat against the ethos of Wikipedia to make a page for yourself.

Wikipedia is not meant to be a venue for self promotion, so they shun making articles about yourself or your own commercial ventures. While Wikipedia articles themselves are traditionally very SEO-visible, links within the articles are not. So if you’re trying to boost YourCompany.com’s page rank by having a link from wikipedia, it’s not going to work. Wikipedia links carry a “nofollow” tag, so search crawlers don’t click.

Remember Jed Yachman from Yelp.com we all heard speak at the eTail conference? He had an interesting perspective on Yelp.com’s very own review listing on Yelp.com – embrace the good and bad, be transparent to the community, and they will embrace you. That’s one way to go about it, but not the only way. (check Yelp’s writeup here… https://lburl.com/dlca8 )

I’m NOT saying don’t do it at all. I’m just saying that you should consider all angles and implications before you go for it. Also, check out this article about what to do when your company’s Wikipedia article goes bad. I’d be happy to discuss further anytime.

Cheers

-Jeffrey

Update** Just stumbled upon this faq page on Wikipedia, addressing this exact concern.

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