Learn all about Wikipedia backlinks in our guide.
Obtaining Wikipedia backlinks for your site is a guaranteed way to increase traffic and improve your rankings. Simply put, if you're not utilizing them then you're really missing out.
Wikipedia is one of the oldest and most trusted sources on the web. You should be looking to boost your own site's credibility and authority by association with Wikipedia.
By earning Wikipedia backlinks your site can also become a trusted source within your niche and start rising up the SERPs.
How Valuable Are Wikipedia Backlinks?
Wikipedia amasses 1.4 billion visitors each month and has a domain authority score of 100. So, it'd be fair to say that it's one of the most trusted and authoritative websites in existence.
Google and all other search engines place the most value on backlinks that come from authoritative websites. They also really like the fact that Wikipedia is moderated by humans. From the Google search perspective, there aren't many better sites than Wikipedia.
When you search for almost anything it's bound to bring up links to Wikipedia pages. This means that having links from Wikipedia is guaranteed to boost your rankings.
An expert Wikipedia backlinks SEO strategy drives organic traffic to your website and does wonders for the authority of your brand. Gaining valuable Wikipedia backlinks will also generate backlinks pointing to your site from other niche-relevant sites.
The 3 Opportunities For Building Wikipedia Backlinks
The are three ways of obtaining Wikipedia links to your site. You can identify broken links and dead links, and replace them with links to your own web page. You can also find opportunities for placing unique, external links on Wikipedia pages.
1. Broken links
One of the main methods of Wikipedia link-building is to find broken links within Wikipedia articles. When you click on a broken link it will usually take you to a page displaying a '404 error' code.
There are several reasons why a link may have become a broken link, such as:
- The site is offline temporarily.
- The URL is invalid or wrong.
- Elements within the page are broken.
If you've identified a broken link on a Wikipedia page then you need to act upon it. But how do you do it?
- To start off with, you need to use a handy tool called the Wayback Machine. This will show you how the page looked when the link was working.
- Copy and paste the URL into the Wayback Machine.
- You can then decide if the content on the page is relevant to your niche.
- If it's relevant enough, then you can use content you already have or create new content that fills the gap that's required by the Wikipedia article. You could also rewrite the content you found in the Wayback Machine and use this instead.
- A link to your content can then replace the broken link. Just like that, you've earned yourself a Wikipedia backlink.
2. Dead links
A dead link is a link that leads to a page that has been deleted or moved. Dead links make visiting a Wikipedia page unpleasant and can hurt the rankings of the page. This means that a dead link should always be updated or fixed as quickly as possible.
However, Wikipedia is an absolutely massive site and the Wikipedia moderators can't keep up with every dead link. This gives you a huge amount of link-building opportunities.
To turn dead links into valuable Wikipedia backlinks to your own site use the same steps that you use for broken links. If there's a dead link sitting on Wikipedia then it might as well be linking to your own content, right?
3. Unique links
A unique link to your site from Wikipedia is far more valuable than a broken or dead link. These Wikipedia backlinks matter a lot and you should aim to get as many as possible. But how do you create unique links?
- First, you need to make sure that you have a Wikipedia account so that you can edit the page.
- Identify the section that you want to modify and press 'edit'.
- Once you're in the Wikipedia editor, update the section with insights from a piece of content you've written about the subject.
- Then, add a link in the references section of the target Wikipedia page to your own page.
- This type of link-building is a more effective way of increasing traffic and authority than by replacing a broken or dead link.
How To Uncover Wikipedia Backlinks
Google advanced search
Google advanced searches are a great way to identify dead links across the web. It's also really easy to do.
- Open an advanced search query in Google and type in 'site:wikipedia.org' followed by your search term and 'dead link'.
- Google will then show you loads of Wikipedia pages related to the term you searched for.
- Then, simply hit 'ctrl+f' to identify the link.
WikiGrabber is a tool that allows you to uncover broken and dead link opportunities, as well as opportunities for unique links.
To use it, you search for a term related to the content you want to link to. WikiGrabber will display a list of all the pages on Wikipedia that relate to your search and which have broken, dead, or unique link opportunities.
There is a filtering option that allows you to choose which type of linking opportunities you want to view.
Using Broken Or Dead Links To Gain Even More Backlinks
By identifying broken or dead links on Wikipedia you can also find other backlinks that are pointing to them. You can then use this as an opportunity to gain even more backlinks for your own site.
To do this, copy and paste the link into a backlink checker such as SEMrush or Ahrefs. This will reveal all of the backlinks that are currently pointing to it.
You can then contact the different webmasters and ask to place links to your own content there instead. You can use a piece of existing content you have that's relevant to the subject or you can create a new piece of content.
If there are lots of backlinks pointing at the link then it may be worth taking the time to create a unique piece of content that can fill the gap.
Wikipedia's Moderation Process
One of the reasons that Google loves Wikipedia so much is that it's moderated by humans. This means it's not a good idea to add a huge amount of links to Wikipedia just for the sake of quantity.
The links that you add should be relevant and should lead to informative content about the subject matter. If not, it's highly likely that your links will be rejected by the Wikipedia moderators.
If the content you already have isn't fully relevant to the links you're placing on Wikipedia then you need to create some. This will ensure that your backlinks are approved by Wikipedia's moderators.
It's also best practice, in general, to avoid weak or spammy links as these will hurt your brand's image and negatively impact your rankings.
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Are Wikipedia links no-follow links?
Wikipedia may have a domain authority of 100 but all of its links are no-follow links. However, links from Wikipedia are still well worth it. Despite not passing on any link juice they increase your site's authority and visibility and still improve your rankings.
Although do-follow links should usually be prioritized to gain link equity, the unique value of Wikipedia links means they should still be pursued even though they're no-follow.
Who is allowed to edit Wikipedia?
Anyone is allowed to edit Wikipedia and it's free to create an account. Once you have an account, you can edit or create pages on Wikipedia.
It's even possible to edit Wikipedia without logging into your account but Wikipedia will track your IP address, so bear that in mind.
What is an embedded link on Wikipedia?
Embedded links are one way of citing sources on Wikipedia. An embedded link is a numbered external link that appears in the text of the article. There will also be a full citation in the references section of the page.
They're only meant to be used as citations for specific facts or sections.