There was an interesting comment posted responding to an article on economist.com about Wikipedia over last weekend, (November 5 2011). It suggested that quite apart from being an “information project”, it’s nothing more than a “search engine optimisation” (SEO) project.
The posting, from contributor “Seasonality” was quite negative about the popular free encyclopaedia. In conclusion, they claimed that many edits were not allowed through, to ensure the site continued to perform well in search engines.
The merits of the points raised are open to discussion of course, but, being a charitable organisation, it’s only fair that the site works to maximise its visibility.
It’s likely that anyone who’s ever completed a search online has been presented with their first result pointing to Wikipedia.
That this is the case shows they have great SEO.
It makes perfect sense; the more visitors they attract, the more editors they’ll attract and, through that, the more donations they’ll receive. A simple read through any page on the site will show how this is done.
Most pertinently articles are, in the main, accurate. Yes, there are of course those like Chris Addison’s page, which has him down as an apiarist, (not true), but the overriding volume is to be trusted.
Other things they get right are to keep things concise. Yes, some pages can be rambling but, through clever subject breaks and maintenance, they don’t go off topic. Their link system is very good and relevant too, whilst the site is naturally updated regularly.
Wikipedia is one of the largest success stories of recent years, and any company investing in SEO would do well to learn from its tactics.