• http://www.jehochman.com JEHochman

    Deb, please have a look at Wikipedia’s conflict of interest guideline. I believe that webmasters should be able to do whatever they want with their own sites, but when they visit somebody else’s Web 2.0 site, they need to follow house rules. Breaking the rules when you are a guest in somebody else’s house is rude.

    Link building is great, but you need to keep reputation management in mind. Wikipedia’s rules strongly discourage self-serving edits. If you get caught, you and your client could suffer public embarrassment. We all know how well Wikipedia pages rank. Before taking this risk, I recommend reading this essay.

  • http://www.alliance-link.com debra mastaler

    I understand that by lumping the Wikipedia with the DMOZ and Yahoo Directory it may seem like you can just submit and be done. For the most part that isn’t the case but there are many many sites that would fit and be appropriate. I didn’t dwell on guidelines for any of the directories mentioned because I feel I write for an established SEO/tech crowd (and it’s hard to submit without reading them first), but perhaps I will in the future.

    While I agree that you should always participate in a Web2.0 site as they mandate, I don’t think my suggestion of contribtuing to the Wikipedia if it makes a “useful contribution” goes outside their guidelines. They do state: “Merely participating in or having professional expertise in a subject is not, by itself, a conflict of interest.” Whether you’re a site owner or just an advocate, you need knowledge and/or passion to contribute on a topic. Why promote a site that doesn’t support that passion or be penalized because you’re the owner?

    I do think it’s follow-up comments like these that’s soured a lot of people on the Wikipedia. If the tech community continues to read nothing but doom and gloom about submitting to the Wikipedia, it may fall victim to apathy and neglect much like the DMOZ.. Wouldn’t time be better spent making edits than dusting away cobwebs?

  • http://www.jehochman.com JEHochman

    > They do state: “Merely participating in or having professional expertise in a subject is not, by itself, a conflict of interest.”

    Indeed, I am the one who wrote that. There’s nothing wrong with using Wikipedia to meet people and build up your reputation as a thought leader by making sincere, non-promotional contributions.

    Everybody who gets caught abusing Wikipedia for self-promotion says that they were just helping improve Wikipedia and that their links well all wonderful goodness. For examples, see: Wikipedia:Grief.

    If you want to discuss this further, I’ll be at SMX, and will gladly buy beverages for anyone interested.

  • http://www.billdoll.com/dir/r/ci/internet/marketing/linxjinx/linxjinx.html ecacofonix

    Nice post Debra…I had been reading your post while doing what I call immodestly LinxJinx – The Inbound Links Encyclopedia and it is cool…naturally I have included this post as part of reference…

    Reading it the second time now, I realise I have not emphasises the yellow page directories in my “encyclopedia” – beginning to wonder how much of an encyclopedia it is :-)…I do think for business-focussed web sites (and most of sites are) yellow page inclusion benefits them on multiple fronts…cool idea…

    Thanks for your post