Offering Wikipedia editing services to clients will boost your profits and theirs
Wikipedia editing services exist because of Wikipedia’s ability to drive traffic to a business website. A Wikipedia article on an organization is SEO gold. If you are not offering Wikipedia article editing to your clients, both you and your clients are missing out on a significant income stream.
But you may have heard that Wikipedia editing for pay is “illegal.” Or that article editing by a paid professional “can get you into trouble.” The former is not true. The latter is very much true, if you attempt to edit without understand the rules of editing Wikipedia.
If it’s the Wikipedia article gold you are after, To the Point Collaborative’s Wikipedia editing services can help you mine that SEO gold.
You should leverage Wikipedia’s SEO power as a part of your overall marketing strategy. In this article we will share our knowledge of Wikipedia article editing in a conflict of interest situation (COI) with you. We’ll share the history of Wikipedia, how the community originally shunned, but now accepts, paid and COI editing.
More importantly, you will learn how anyone can edit Wikipedia – if you follow the rules. And how offering article editing services will produce more website visits for you and your clients, more revenue, and a new source of potential lead generation.
Why does Wikipedia article editing matter to your clients?
Because of the potential to boost you and your clients’ website traffic. And your profits. If web pages have already been professionally enhanced for SEO, a Wikipedia article provides the perfect avenue for people to find those pages. But the article must be written correctly to meet Wikipedia’s exacting article standards.
Google and other search engines love Wikipedia because its algorithm uses links from trusted websites to measure the relevance of other sites. Have you noticed that a company’s Wikipedia page always shows up in the first 10 search results on Google? Often, it is in the first three.
Wikipedia is THE trusted search engine source.
As an avenue for website traffic, Wikipedia is the gold standard. If you don’t have an article, you can’t mine that gold. And if you have a page that isn’t up to date, how do you improve it?
These are two very different challenges. Creating a presence on Wikipedia when you don’t yet have a company page can be very difficult these days. But not impossible. Fixing an existing article is a more manageable task. But both require very specific knowledge of Wikipedia’s culture, its rules, and its key players. To the Point Collaborative has that knowledge.
Attempting to write something new, or revise an existing page, is generally best delegated to Wikipedia article experts. The job is especially tricky for people who are paid to manage client reputations but who do not edit Wikipedia frequently. ‘Paid editor’ is a term describing anyone on a company payroll, or in a consulting role, who edits a Wikipedia article about that company (or person). You can easily do more harm than good for your client or company. We’ve seen the damage.
Who decides whether or not you can edit a Wikipedia article?
It is commonly said that “anyone can edit Wikipedia.” This is true! But thousands of people who stumbled into Wikipedia and blindly edited articles have had their editing accounts banned, sometimes for life. This is never good for client relations. If you DON’T educate yourself and follow the rules of editing, you will likely be sanctioned.
Who would do such a thing? The volunteer editors. They are the key to Wikipedia success–or failure.
Volunteer editors founded and built Wikipedia. Nearly two decades ago, a group of idealists wanted to create an online knowledge repository that would be completely volunteer driven. Volunteers would collaborate to decide what to include in this on-line encyclopedia. They would agree on how articles would be written. They set standards for good articles. They set guidelines for proper editing etiquette – this isn’t a bad thing. But wait, there’s more…
Most of the volunteers were, and are, older white males. Theirs was a culture of academia, discussion, and debate, based on democratic principles. Volunteers pondered issues. They weighed in at length. They voted. Policy discussions, or evaluations of new technology, could last for months. They were never in a hurry.
These initial volunteers have since been joined by many others who take Wikipedia very seriously. Some make hundreds of edits every day. The most active and dedicated achieve administrative status. That gives them the authority to, among other things, censure editors they think are not ethically editing. They also decide whether or not a topic is worthy of a Wikipedia article. They are the gatekeepers.
Ground rules for paid and conflict-of-interest editing
The volunteers who launched Wikipedia did not anticipate its immense popularity. They were unprepared for success. In particular, they did not foresee the intense desire by certain individuals and organizations to be included in Wikipedia.
But Wikipedia was so popular that businesses saw an opportunity to include it in their marketing strategies. A decade ago, it became clear that companies and individuals were paying people to write about them on Wikipedia. The volunteers pushed back against these paid editors – hard.
Over time, aided by myriad technological enhancements, the volunteers who opposed paid editing built barriers to stop it. This worked for a time. However, once they realized paid editing wasn’t going away, they established rules and tools for what they call Conflict of Interest (COI) editing.
Here are 5 key rules volunteers created for COI editing
- Anyone being paid to edit must declare so on their account’s user description page. The declaration must include who is paying them, and which articles they are editing.
- Paid Wikipedia article editors are “strongly discouraged” from making direct edits themselves.
- Paid editors are also “strongly discouraged” from creating a new article about an organization or person paying them. (In fact, creating a new article about a client is almost impossible without strong support from volunteer editors.)
- Paid editors are instructed instead to request their edits be made by members of the volunteer community through a relatively new method using an editing tool, the Simple COI edit request template.
- Paid editing requests are to be made on article talk pages. Here is an example of a talk page with Simple COI edit requests posted on it.
Much of the above can be found here in Wikipedia’s help section.
Can a paid editor ‘get around’ the barriers to paid editing?
In other words, can I edit Wikipedia while being paid by my employer or client?
The answer is, Yes! Paid editing is permitted under Wikipedia’s editing rules. BUT: You must do it the right way. Now that you know the definition of a paid/conflict of interest editor, and the barriers to it, you need the right training to edit properly, ethically, and successfully. Or, you need to engage a trained professional to provide those Wikipedia article editing services.
Guess what? That’s our expertise!
To the Point Collaborative has been working with, and training, paid editors for nearly a decade. We teach them the (ever-changing) rules that apply to paid editors so that they can edit articles effectively while being paid. We have many “alumnae” currently editing for pay and doing so quite well. Some even added it as a new service to their clients after training with us.
Don’t have time to learn editing yourself? No problem! To the Point Collaborative can do it for you. Rather than teaching you how to edit, we will negotiate article edits with volunteers on your behalf. You can offload the often tedious article editing to the Wikipedia experts while you spend time parlaying your own expertise.
Are you ready to mine some website traffic gold? Let’s Talk!
To The Point Collaborative offers Wikipedia services for nonprofits and companies who care about protecting their brand. We’d be delighted to help you with your Wikipedia needs. A good Wikipedia article generates so much traffic to your site. It needs to be part of your marketing strategy. But you need to have an expert managing your Wikipedia articles. That expert can be you, or To the Point Collaborative on your behalf.
We can manage your Wikipedia needs, train your team, or customize a blend of both.
Schedule a free 20-minute consultation to find out more.