Why You Should Become a Wikipedia Contributor

In 2012, Wikipedia came up on the first page for 99% of Google searches, according to the UK-based firm Intelligent Positioning. In over half of those searches, Wikipedia came up as the first search result.

These are some amazing findings, considering that Wikipedia content pages are often Spartan in their provided information, references are iffy or lead to dead links, and much of the information is not verified by primary sources. Web researchers (and high schoolers) are advised to not use Wikipedia as a reference.

And yet, if Wikipedia is so derided, why did Google spend a lot of time and energy creating its Knowledge Graph, which greatly imitates Wikipedia in terms of features and internal links? And why does Google still give search prominence to Wikipedia even today, in 2015, when so many other authoritative and better-referenced sites exist?

5 Reasons why Google still loves Wikipedia

1. Unique, authoritative and in-depth content.

When Wikipedia entries get it right, they really get it right. Much of the content on Wiki is long, in-depth and comes with exemplary references. Furthermore, when links go dead or aren’t correct, a batch of faithful Wiki editors make sure to correct the issue. Both Wiki editors and contributors are encouraged to add references from authoritative sites, not YouTube or private blogs. Wikipedia’s constant harping on what constitutes a good reference versus a so-so one is finally paying off, and much of Wiki’s material is well-researched and referenced.

2. It’s all user-generated.

Search engines love ranking user-generated content above corporate or other types of content. This is why social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, have done so well in the SERPs (search engine results pages). A community of contributors is looked upon as more relevant to a topic than a single blogger or marketer.

3. User-generated content isn’t spammy or promotional.

Wiki users that sign up to contribute to the site cannot post content that is full of spam/affiliate links, promotes a particular product or blog, or otherwise functions to openly act as linkbait for the contributor. Anyone who keeps violating this cardinal Wiki rule is eventually blocked from contributing. Thus, the content actually has value- something that Google loves.

4. Entries are keyword-focused.

Wiki entries are usually centered on one keyword, which results in a strong page and domain. This results in Google and other search engines favoring the Wiki page over a comparable website that might just use the same keyword as a meta tag or only in the page content.

5. There are bucketloads of internal links.

Wiki entries link to other Wiki entries, blanketing the entire site with their page and domain authority. Conversely, links on Wiki that lead to outside pages are nofollow, meaning that the referenced site gets no link love from being listed on Wikipedia (although it does get traffic). As a result, Wikipedia does not “leak” its superior Page Rank to outside sites.

With all these reasons why search engines like Google still favor Wikipedia, you are well advised to contribute to the Wiki. In fact, certain businesses exist solely to create Wikpedia pages for their clients.

Obviously, you can’t use Wikipedia to openly promote your affiliate website or blog, but if you generate a neutral Wiki entry around a particular product or topic, you could list your own website as a handy reference. That reference will not give you any link “juice,” so to speak, but it will result in increased traffic. You could replicate your efforts by eventually creating more Wiki pages related to your initial one and internally linking them. Keep in mind that every new Wiki page must have notability or it won’t be included.

Generating entries on Wikipedia also helps establish you as an authority in your chosen subject matter.

How to become a Wikipedia contributor

Becoming a Wiki contributor is very easy and only requires that you fill out a short form to create your account.

Wiki pic

Your user account, once created, is your community identifier. It will display alongside any Wiki entries and/or edits you make. While you can make changes anonymously, you are better off working within your account, as this helps build your reputation on the site. Any and all Wiki activity you generate is listed on your own Contributions area. You can also practice using the site by going to an area called a sandbox.

Wikipedia recommends that you first start out as an editor before creating and publishing entire pages to the site. That seems reasonable and allows you to gain some practice with the site and how it functions. Likewise, editing other pages successfully helps increase your authority to perform restricted functions like adding images or moving pages to the public sphere.

To a large extent, Wikipedia’s content management system has a WordPress-like feel to it and includes markup language akin to html. When making edits, you should provide a brief explanation of your reason for doing so (e.g., typo). You can then click on the bottom button labeled “Show preview” to view your edit to see if it’s correct. If you are satisfied with your work, just click on the “Save page” button and you’re done.

For example, here is what the edit window of the Wiki entry on Cholesterol looks like:


When you’re ready to create a completely new Wiki entry, the Article Wizard gives you a good tutorial and helps you get started. In a nutshell, though, you need to first search on the topic you want to write about. Assuming that you find no identical or related topic, Wikipedia will invite you create an article for the topic you searched on within its search results page. At that point, you can click on the hyperlinked topic idea and get to work.

For example, here’s a search for the topic ‘Cholesterol is yummy.’ Because there’s no such topic on Wikipedia, an invitation to create one was extended through Wikipedia.


You may wish to paste in the article content from a separate document you’ve already generated or work on your article within Wikipedia. When you’re done, save your work. Afterwards, whenever you wish to return to your article and work on it some more, you’ll find it in an area marked as Creating User:YourUserAccountName/YourWikiTopic.

Be aware that your referenced sources must be reliable and unbiased. That means you can’t link to a blog or a YouTube video and call it a source. Likewise, primary sources such as research publications and direct quotes are preferred over secondary and less neutral sources such as press releases.

Once you have finished creating your article, you will need to submit it to Wikipedia for review. That process can take a few days or even weeks. Once that process is finished, your page will be moved to the public space. In some cases, Wiki editors may make some changes to your content or topic title. Or your article may be nominated for deletion. This can happen if you have included any promotional links or used images that were copyrighted to someone else.

What have been your own experiences using Wikipedia to create entries? Have you had issues with Wiki editors? Did you find the submission process to be difficult or easy? Please leave your comments below.

Should You Start Text Marketing in 2015?

I’m a loyal customer of Starbucks, not so much because of the superior coffee served there, but because the company regularly texts me offers that I just can’t resist. These offers are part of My Starbucks Rewards, a loyalty program that rewards repeat customers with freebies and product discounts.

Such text marketing is common for brick-and-mortar merchants like Starbucks; however, affiliate and online marketers don’t typically engage in this type of marketing. That’s a shame because texts, unlike emails, are not yet crowded out by excessive spam. In other words, text messages still have a good chance of being opened and read.

What is text marketing?

Text marketing, which also goes by the names of mobile marketing, or short or multimedia message service (SMS or MMS) marketing, involves marketers sending short text messages to their mobile subscribers and asking them to take a specified action. That specified action might involve downloading a web page or coupon, signing up for a deal, or just subscribing to the mobile list.

With text marketing, marketers typically use a short code number that is five digits to identify themselves. They also pay for unique keywords that mobile device users must input when sending a text message to the marketers. For example, Starbucks might put up a sign in its store with the following announcement:

Want valuable coupons from us? Text COFFEE to 23198.

In this case, COFFEE is the keyword and 23198 is the short code number. A mobile customer who wants to access those coupons would create a text containing the word COFFEE and then send that text to 23198. This would result in the customer receiving a second text with a link to a coupon page. It would also place that customer on the mobile marketing list for future promotions.

Other keywords might also be used by text marketers. For example, you have probably received the following text message at one time or another, and usually included with a text message that advertised a given deal or offer:

To Opt-Out, text STOP to 22155.

Much like with email marketing, marketers pay for text marketing by the number of text messages sent. They also pay per number of keywords used. Marketers favor using several keywords over one or two because separate keywords allow them to segment their audience and/or offers and perform analytics on who opens and acts upon which texts.

How can you use text marketing?

As an affiliate or online marketer, you can also use text marketing to alert your readers about new blog posts, new product reviews or sales, or even send out a coupon or discount notification. Just because you don’t have a physical store or a cash register scanner doesn’t mean you can’t create coupon codes and have your readers use them on your website.

The real challenge with text marketing is how to get your website readers and/or email subscribers to agree to receive mobile messages. Much like with email marketing, you may wish to entice potential subscribers by offering them a special discount or other incentive.  Be sure to notify them of how they may opt-out of your messages too; while the CAN-SPAM Act does not technically apply to text messages, the FCC has covered unwanted text messages under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991.

Also, while in the past SMS messaging was pricey, text messaging platforms have multiplied over the last few years. These days, you can even do SMS marketing for free if you limit the number of messages sent or if you have a small contact list. Here are a few platforms you may wish to investigate and try out in 2015:


This mobile marketing platform enables you to get one keyword (called a textword) and send up to 50 texts/month for free to unlimited contacts. With SlickText, you can schedule your text messages, create auto-replies, and also integrate your text messaging with a social media platform like Facebook or your own website. The platform also allows you to track who clicked on your provided link and which texts performed better than others.

slick text


This budget text marketing service currently offers you 500 free texts/month along with one keyword. Incoming messages from your subscribers are not charged. With ezTexting, you can perform a lot of different texting campaigns including Text2Vote, Polls and MMS. You can also post your texts to social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter or your personal website (via widget). Basic reporting and analytics are offered, allowing you to track message delivery and open rates as well as signups.



At 3 cents/text and $24.99/first keyword, Mozeo offers a decent deal on text marketing without requiring you to sign a contract. Within this platform, you can access a lot of Mozeo’s features such as Text-2-Win and mobile coupons. The service also includes a handy website plugin that you can install and have your website visitors immediately opt-in for your texts. You can also build and maintain your mobile contact list on Mozeo.


Opt It

This service runs $20/month/keyword and 2 cents/text, or $50/month/keyword and unlimited texts. With Opt It, you can easily create mobile contests, coupons and redemption codes, and with or without expiration dates. Text campaigns and contacts are managed from a dedicated Web-based software program, which comes complete with real-time reporting and activity snapshots.


Will you be text marketing in 2015?

With the start of the new year, you may wish to try out text marketing and see if this important yet often overlooked marketing channel can help you grow your contact list. If you do try text marketing in 2015, let us know how it works out for you in the comments below.