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How to SEO Wikipedia Style

If you have been in the internet marketing game for any length of time, chances are that you have run up against a highly-ranked Wikipedia page in your search vertical. SEO is no exception.

Not only does Wikipedia have the first two spots, but it also has a “Show more results from the wiki” underneath its listing. Of course, Wikipedia has major domain authority with 82 million inbound links, and it even outranks Google’s own SEO page.

Compared to some of the other pages in the search result, the two Wikipedia pages featured have less external backlinks. As a matter of fact, six of the other listings on the first page have many more inbound links to their pages. Also, listings on the second page of search results have many more inbound links.

It would be practically impossible to replicate Wikipedia’s domain authority. However, what is not difficult to replicate is how Wikipedia wields its authority.  Within every page on Wikipedia where “SEO” or “Search Engine Optimization” is mentioned, it links to its own internal page about the subject.

A site search of Wikipedia (site: search engine optimization) produces 62,800 results. Many of these pages link to our top two search results.

Wikipedia does not rely on a huge side or header navigation to give users the ability to drill down to their topic of interest. It only links to itself from within the main content section of the site. Links from the main content sections are much more valuable and pass more authority to the receiving pages than headers or side navigations.

By implementing a similar strategy within your own website or blog, you can boost search rankings without completely depending on offsite link building tactics.

Implementation Tips

The home page is usually the most authoritative page on a site. Linking to important pages from the content section will boost their rankings. Blogs naturally do this with the most recent posts, but most static sites do not use this tactic.

Hide important header and sidebar links from the search engines on the home page of a site with javascript or an iframe since only one link and anchor text will be counted. Now, link to the important pages of your site from inside of the main copy and unlock all of the real authority that your homepage carries.

Automation is obviously the easiest way to use this tactic unless you have millions of users ready to edit your content. I use a plugin that automatically links to a page of my choice every time a keyword is used in the text of my blog. It’s much easier than doing it manually.

Some have said that one drawback to using this tactic is that pages become diluted and users find the links confusing, and may jump out of a conversion funnel. Testing should be done on a case by case scenario; however, it does not seem to have hurt Wikipedia’s user base.

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