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The New Strength Of Wikipedia In Google's Serps


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#1 EGOL

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 12:26 PM

Wikipedia has been a very strong site for several years and that strength seems to have made a big jump in the past few weeks.

Wikipeida has moved above me for some keywords that really surprise me and I see Wikipedia suddenly jumping up several positions in the SERPs to beat organizations that are very strong for their primary keywords.

Have you noticed Wikipedia suddenly jumping up the rankings in the SERPs that you watch?

#2 jocelyn

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 01:47 PM

I rarely pull a rant... but I've been bashed big time by wiki, even more over the last year...

It's been going on for years... I got bumped up to yin-yan, and losing the 1st spot really hurts. If you'd ask what hurt me most financially in the last years... Wiki is it. In fact, I'm sure it's been a big factor in messing up webmasters economic situation.
Lately, it's a nightmare, they rank #1 with single statements like "this is a sketch page on blablabla"... or a two line list of "blabla (the plant), blabla (the tool)" that points to those pages of theirs.
But it's normal... just browse the Nasa "Astronomical picture of the day" then look at the little paragraph at the bottom. It's filled with links to wiki pages, phrases and single words like California, eclipse... and all those will be PR4-5 next time you'll look, cause the Nasa site is super strong.
In french searches, most of the time, wiki gets the 2 first spots with their french pages, and often the English ones rank too. Lost tons of first spots to them, and all they have to do is mention the word on the page now ,and boom, they are the best on the topic, bumping my pages that have everything on the subject, with a page with a line that say the page is in construction... nice quality and relevant result Google.
So yes... wiki is bumping me everywhere with just a mention of the word now... kind of makes it hard for those that don't get natural links from the Nasa, .gov, and all the other gorillas... that are linking spontaneously to wiki.
Making sites was lots of fun, always doing better and better... but it's over now, getting very frustrating to be bumped by pages that just have a one liner. When I saw wiki bump the American Cribbage Congress with a single page a few years back... I got disappointed, but also got scared, stopped working on the poker site, and worked even more on the other ones... now... it's simply stupid... got to work many times more to just try to stay the same.

Sorry for the rant... but when G can't even figure that é, ê and e are not the same... very swift... making my life harder from the start, and now, it's even ranking Wiki empty pages that are in construction, or putting English pages above me, cause an é is the same to them... I feel your pain my friend.

For the last 6-7 years, I never had to go fetch backlinks... but it looks like good content is really getting to become irrelevant, when a single wiki page outranks huge sites just about a topic, like the Cribbage American Congress got done to them... I never expected to outrank them with my free game, but Wiki bumping them with a single page... I was insulted for the ACC.

It was bad... but now it's ridiculous, and they might as well rename their "I feel lucky" button by "I feel wiki"...

#3 Michael_Martinez

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 03:14 PM

I don't question what either of you are seeing, but my impression of Wikipedia's search visibility is almost the exact opposite. I am seeing it move down below other sites for many keywords I monitor. I don't have an explanation for that, unless Google's algorithm is finally going to crack down on the crap content published there because of all the broken English in some articles.

That would make sense -- if an article is well-written it's about as useful as anything else Google can show, but if it's badly written (as many Wikipedia articles are) then it should be downgraded.

Of course, assessing the quality of any Wiki page is extremely difficult -- they are constantly changing.

#4 jocelyn

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 03:38 PM

Maybe it's topic related then. For flowers, Wiki ranks with "blabla is a flower of the family of blablabla"... that's it... the snipet you have under the link in google's serps is what's on the page... and a picture... that's it...

#5 Michael_Martinez

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 05:14 PM

It could be indirectly related to topic, a sort of natural correlation. The keywords where I'm seeing other sites instead of Wikipedia are science fiction and fantasy related queries. Although there isn't much money to be made from that vertical, there are a few high-powered "sludge" sites that show up in virtually all of them (every book title, movie title, character name, etc.). These sites accept user-generated content and they have virtually destroyed the fan Website community.

But science fiction fans have a saying: "Death doesn't mean anything in the Xenaverse". Or maybe it's: "Damn, if THEY can do user-generated content, WE can do user-generated content".

So the sites that are outranking Ickipedia tend to be OTHER Wiki sites. I'm not sure how many of them are just "fan" sites but they are definitely POWERED by the fans, who contribute the articles. And these articles tend to be better written and better informed than their Wikipedia counterparts because the fan-run wikis are obviously being shaped by "experts" in these areas.

So take that for what it's worth.

#6 EGOL

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 05:38 PM

Two things bother me about wikipedia in the SERPs.

1) stub pages with zero content often rank #1 above other fantastic content

2) mediocre articles on wikipedia often outrank websites that have a virtual Bible on the same topic

#7 iamlost

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 07:15 PM

1) stub pages with zero content often rank #1 above other fantastic content

Opportunity knocks... do you answer? :)

2) mediocre articles on wikipedia often outrank websites that have a virtual Bible on the same topic

Opportunity knocks...again...do you answer? :D

Yes, SEs, especially Google, especially recently have been showing large domain-brands almost as site-wide results. Some, not all, but some of which offer various webdev opportunities. Whether such have sufficient return to be worth pursuing depends on one's business model, comparable competing possibilities, and available resources.

#8 EGOL

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 07:47 PM

yo! I am missing the boat... but don't get it.

#9 jocelyn

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 09:01 PM

yo! I am missing the boat... but don't get it.

It's an opportunity for those that see it as such... like those that like to rank poor content...

#10 SEOigloo

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 04:17 PM

I think, perhaps, that Iamlost is suggesting that one could take over the Wiki stub page by improving its content? Yea, nay or ah?

#11 A.N.Onym

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 03:26 AM

Most probably, iamlost suggests that you write some content for Wikipedia and link to your more detailed bibles on the topic. The goal is not to improve Wikipedia, but to send traffic to one's own website (or at least put such ideas into W-a visitors, so they'd change their search strategies and start searching for/visiting your site instead of reading Wikipedia).

A better variant would be to write short, but good portions of articles with links1 to your 1best of the web content, preferably quotes from those articles.

Then again, iamlost as well.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 04 December 2011 - 03:27 AM.


#12 EGOL

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 07:58 AM

I suspected that is what iamlost had in mind but didn't know for sure. I worry that if I do any improvements on wiki that will make them even harder to beat.. but maybe not.

#13 Dr.Marie

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 03:34 PM

I'm a little late to this discussion but thought I would add this:

I recently wrote a really comprehensive article on a particular subject. When I search for that keyword, the first page that comes up is a very poor Wikipedia page. So, I added my site in the links section and presto, even though my page is not in the first 20 pages, (which will hopefully change soon), it is one of my top visited articles and has already attracted several links.

I think a poor Wikipedia page is a great thing for content writers because people go to the wikipedia page, realize that they need more info and then hopefully click through to my page.

#14 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 03:39 PM

Good luck keeping the link there.

#15 Dr.Marie

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 03:41 PM

So far I have 3 articles where I have placed wiki links and the only one that was removed was done by a competitor. I simply went back and replaced it and it has stuck. 2 of those articles have kept their links for about a year now.

I think the key is to not be greedy and to only link out when you have superb content that is really going to benefit the reader.

Or maybe I am just lucky.

#16 EGOL

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 03:43 PM

I have seen people add links to wikipedia articles and BAM.... the next day every reference to their site was scrubbed out of wikipedia.

#17 AbleReach

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 05:37 PM

Wikipedia links sticking would depend on who is watching Wikipedia. Links may be replaced by a competitor outside of the Wikipedia "community," or an unsympathetic watchdog within.

#18 iamlost

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 07:03 PM

I have seen people add links to wikipedia articles and BAM.... the next day every reference to their site was scrubbed out of wikipedia.

Wikipedia links sticking would depend on who is watching Wikipedia. Links may be replaced by a competitor outside of the Wikipedia "community," or an unsympathetic watchdog within.

You both make good points. I'll just say that...
---not being easily connected to cited or linked sites is an advantage :)
---keeping the Wikipedia article objective, factual, and as thorough as a subject summary can be is an advantage. Don't treat it as a (obvious) marketing ploy; softly, softly...
---provide many (I like a 9:1) links to authoritative sites that are not yours for every one that is. Chose all linked pages, especially your own, carefully. By maintaining a high link quality on the Wikipedia page you imply a similar quality for your own. Then make that implication real.
---remember that modern search often utilises citations as well as links. Use wisely.
---while many are beating each other up on certain popular Wikipedia pages remember that the long tail is extremely alive and well in a heavily cross-linked encyclopedia. Use to your advantage.
---etc. :D

#19 EGOL

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 08:00 PM

Thanks!

#20 glyn

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 03:38 AM

I'm with Michael, and see mine and my clients sites dissing Wikipedia.

Google must be so happy for Wikipedia, it was the only way they could be sure of getting some decent results for a change.

Don't forget that if you are updating a few possible inclusions in Wikipedia it does help to have a range of private proxies to connect through. Be objective is one of Iamlosts bet points I think. Many people just scribble out some marketing crap.

#21 Michael_Martinez

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 02:04 PM

Per Wikipedia links -- I find that other people have been adding them to Wikipedia for some of my own ancient articles. I still get traffic for a 10-year-old news story I wrote back when news about that topic was flowing like a tsunami onto shore. I have no idea of why that one article is still interesting but the Wikipedia link was sending so much traffic I had to restore the article after I wiped out Xenite.Org earlier this year.

I would not want to risk losing that traffic by placing my own links in Wikipedia. There are some Wikipedia articles that link to really scruffy Websites. Still, I feel it's better to enjoy the piece of pie I have been served than to agonize over how large and tasty the other idiots' pieces are.

Love it or hate it, Wikipedia is a community resource and should be treated as such.

#22 Lawrence Kelley

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 11:28 PM

One of the reasons I became a Wikipedian! By the way, meetup this mechanical engineer organized is Wednesday (December 7th), 6:30pm, Panera Bread, Latham, New York: http://en.wikipedia..../Capital_Region Hope you can make one of our monthly meetings! Sincerely, - Larry / Clifton Park (WP Username = "Lawrence Kelley").

#23 jaholdensr

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 05:10 AM

Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forum and I came across it because of this thread being referenced by SE Roundtable. Because I had the data to available, I thought I'd run a little analysis to see whether Wikipedia was ranking better than it was six months ago.

http://www.searchroc...king-of-google/

The result? Yes, it most certainly is, even for terms it has no business ranking for (eg: buy zippo lighter).

#24 Michael_Martinez

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 04:58 PM

Well, I don't see Wikipedia in my version of "buy zippo lighter" but I do have to question the inclusion of the Justice Center of Atlanta in that SERP.

#25 jaholdensr

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 09:04 AM

Well, I don't see Wikipedia in my version of "buy zippo lighter" but I do have to question the inclusion of the Justice Center of Atlanta in that SERP.


My research was on Google UK, and I guess you're using google.com. I did notice some very strange irrelevant results at times though.

#26 bwelford

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 09:39 AM

One strange thing I noticed is that wikipedia.org is shown as not having a PageRank. Are there any other very popular websites that show an Unranked status?

#27 Dr.Marie

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 10:47 AM

I have seen people add links to wikipedia articles and BAM.... the next day every reference to their site was scrubbed out of wikipedia.


Interesting. Two days ago this exact thing happened to me. I realized I wasn't getting any hits from wikipedia and BAM all of my links were gone. Fortunately I only had 3 so it wasn't a big deal.

#28 EGOL

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 11:03 AM

Two days ago this exact thing happened to me.

Sorry about that... most people don't believe me when I talk about this.

#29 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 12:42 PM

Dang, sorry I was right about that one too then. Next time, I think I'll say, "Good luck keeping people from happily adding your links all over Wikipedia". Maybe then, that wish will come true instead of the other.

#30 iamlost

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 05:39 PM

Links are mutable - they come, they change, they vanish all the time. And while they exist their referred traffic quantity/quality and the values that SEs may attach to them also varies over time.

One of the problems with personality branding is that it attracts easy retaliation: this person == this site -> nuke references. It is immature and unprofessional but also a hazard of online link life. The editorial hissy fits at Wikipedia are of long standing and quite similar in some ways to the corruption that crippled Dmoz. Fascinating to negotiate.

#31 jsteele823

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 11:29 PM

Wikipedia is edited just like most well-run/moderated forums are - if you come in blasting links, expect them to be taken down.

Contribution is key - and I'd most definitely agree with the statement "don't be greedy".

But those little links can be worth gold.

As for changes, I've seen Wikipedia taking back some strong terms that I gained years back for a company I no longer work for. Not sure what they're doing currently, but I'd say something is definitely changing, and actually wonder if it has something to do with the ugly pictures they keep at the top of every page lately.

Edited by jsteele823, 08 December 2011 - 11:30 PM.


#32 AbleReach

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 11:55 PM

Is anyone willing to admit to having SERP data on one of those content sites that use copies of Wikipedia content? If so, are you seeing changes in your ability to show up in Google?



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