How and Why to Set Up a WikiData Page for Your Brand

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How and Why to Set Up a WikiData Page for Your Brand

  • Studies have shown that Wikipedia content ranks for 99% of Google searches, putting high importance on having a WikiData page setup for your business.
  • Wikidata doesn't show up in search results directly. It doesn't provide any inbound links. So why do it? It's used by Google to better understand your business. 
  • Setting up a WikiData page may seem intimidating at first glance, but Wikimedia made it easier by creating an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to make one.

What is a WikiData page?

There’s a reason Wikipedia content dominates search engine results pages (SERPs): it’s credible, recognized, and very SEO-friendly. And when we say dominate, we’re not using that term lightly.

A study in which 1,000 search terms (selected with a random noun generator) were analyzed, Wikipedia ranked on the first page for an overwhelming 99% of searches. The majority ranked as the very first position on a topic’s SERP. This chart summarizes the findings of the study and shows Wikipedia’s position on Google for the 1,000 randomly-generated search terms. But Wikipedia has a little known sibling known as WikiData that can serve your brand well. 

Wikipedias position on Google

Chart courtesy of Econsultancy.

Clearly, having Wikipedia content is crucial to your business developing a strong presence on the web if you can earn it. But Wikidata is where search engines pull data from.

Even if you do not have a Wikipedia page, you can probably have a WikiData page. That’s where setting up a WikiData page is important.

According to its Wikipedia page, WikiData is “a collaboratively edited multilingual knowledge graph hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. It is a common source of open data that Wikimedia projects such as Wikipedia can use, and anyone else, under a public domain license.”

WikiData and the Knowledge Panel

The data on these pages represents key information about topics, concepts, or objects that could be search terms. More importantly, Google uses WikiData information - and many other sources - for it's Knowledge Graph. The Knowledge Graph feeds the Knowledge Panel you often see in the upper right corner of search results (desktop) or on top in mobile searches. Not only do these pages contain that information, but they also have it in myriad languages.

Persistent identifier

Each WikiData page has a unique, persistent identifier that starts with the letter “Q” and ends in a positive integer — i.e. Elvis Presley (Q303) — known as a “QID.” This enables search engines to find the basic information required to identify a search topic. But the item labels (in the case of our example, “Elvis Presley”) do not have to be unique, just the QID and the Wikidata page’s description.

For example, Elvis Presley (Q303) represents data for Elvis himself, the American singer and actor, whereas Elvis Presley (Q610926) is data for his self-titled album. While a page’s label does not have to be unique, its description and QID must be to dissolve any ambiguity between homonymic search terms.

The following is an example of the top of a WikiData page:

Douglas Adams

Why should you set up a WikiData page?

WikiData has been highly relevant to how search engines display results for more than a decade and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. Building a WikiData page is not your starting point to prop up your overall Wikipedia profile. Creating a WikiData profile does not give you a Wikipedia page, in fact it's the opposite - creating a Wikipedia page creates a WikiData entry automatically. But you don't have to have a Wikipedia page to have a WikiData profile for your brand. You can just create one to help search engines better understand your brand. It's basically invisible, but helps nonetheless.

Still, if you can earn a Wikipedia page it is highly recommended. Here is a quick rundown as to why:

  • Unique and in-depth content that ranks organically. Wikipedia pages are written around specific search terms and typically include relevant and related keywords and links that help them rank organically on SERPs. The nature of the content matched with Wikipedia’s high domain authority makes these pages nearly impossible to trump when it comes to SEO. Wikipedia is a well-established brand and a massive website. Data sources like WikiData help these pages remain reliable and authoritative, which means their high rankings don’t appear to be going anywhere.
  • Excellent internal linking structure. Wikipedia is great at contextual linking internally. This allows Wikipedia to spread its domain strength throughout its site. It’s a brilliant formula that keeps Wikipedia content relevant on the web.
  • Knowledge graphs. Appearing at the top right of search pages, Google’s Knowledge Panels give topics and information more visibility on SERPs. The data in these boxes are almost always taken from Wikipedia if a Wikipedia article exists.
    Knowledge panel

WikiData shares some of the SEO benefits of having a Wikipedia page.

If a WikiData page for your business already exists, you should check it to see if there are ways you can improve your WikiData entry. When your company is getting the type of visibility on the web that Wikipedia pages can create, having your WikiData in order is a worthy investment.

We suggest looking at the WikiData entry for Apple Computer. It's the template we often use when building out a clients' WikiData entry because it includes nearly every available option for a corporate client. That said, it's probably a lot more inclusive than you'll need for your brand. 

How do you set up a WikiData page?

Setting up a WikiData page might seem like an arduous task at first glance, it is certainly an "intermediate" level exercise. But Wikimedia has created an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to setting up a WikiData page.

The major elements of WikiData pages that have been added are properties, values, and statements. In short, a property paired with a value forms a statement

The statements section of a WikiData page stores the individual pieces of data about the entry that are taken from other Wiki sources.

Below, the WikiData entry for the worlds best author, Douglas Adams, is used as an example (at least we think he's the best). 

Wikidata page

On top of setting up the “bones” of your WikiData page, there are a few ways to optimize it:

  • Use Wikipedia for your source of information as much as possible
  • Learn from similar listings
  • Add social media profiles

All of this may sound like a lot to set up and maintain, and it certainly takes a bit of time. A partnership with a digital services company can help take a lot of this work off your plate. From the opening stages of finding out if you’re eligible for a Wikipedia page to the granular work of making sure your WikiData entry is optimized, uniting with a digitally savvy SEO company is a good way to ensure your Wiki content is up to snuff.

And to answer the inevitable question, does Reputation X edit Wikipedia pages? Yes, we do. 

Combine WikiData with Schema for ultimate clarity

While a WikiData entry can help your brand alert Google to your address, coordinates, social profiles, parent company, subsidiaries, and more, pairing with on-site schema ties it all together. 

We strongly recommend that after you've setup a WikiData entry for your brand, that you create website schema of the "organization" variety including SameAs statements to make it obvious the WikiData entry is really about your brand. 

To do this, use a WordPress plugin that creates website schema (free in most cases), or create it manually using a tool like this one. Select "organization" as the schema type, and when it asks for SameAs URLs (may be called Social) like your brands' Facebook, LinkedIn, or Crunchbase profile, add one for your WikiData entry too. 

Remember to test your schema using this tool to make sure it works right!

Conclusion

Once you learn how valuable WikiData content is across SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), the opportunity for quiet background SEO improvement becomes apparent.

Amid an increasingly competitive results page landscape, adding this layer of visibility can make a significant difference in a business’s web presence. If nothing else, the power and pervasiveness of Wikipedia’s content in the SERP rankings should serve as a reminder of how important domain authority, quality content (updated, readable, concise), and great internal linking are to acquiring and maintaining visibility on Google.


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