Earlier this year, Wikipedia pondered whether Matt Cutts was notable enough to continue having a Wikipedia entry. Good sense prevailed, and his entry remained. Now debate has shifted to whether the entry about search engine marketing should go. Oh, and apparently Search Engine Land has an entry that might also get deleted, since we might not be notable enough. Time for the SEM villagers to grab torches and storm the Wikipedia castle!
Well, perhaps we can be calm and rational about all this. Let’s start with search engine marketing. The entry is here, and the debate over killing it can be found here. You’d think that Wikipedia having the top listing on Google for search engine marketing would be reason enough to keep that article going — and plenty of search engine marketing sites and companies would be happy to see Wikipedia bail out. But let’s address the concerns Wikipedians are raising:
Propose Deletion. This article is not Noteworthy. It is an overlapping topic….It is an overlapping (subset of Search Engine Optimazation). Search Engine Marketing belongs as a subtopic of Search Engine Optimazition, as it is currently written.
Search engine marketing does NOT overlap with search engine optimization. SEO is a subset of SEM. I know this, because I helped popularize and define the term "search engine marketing" back at the end of 2001. As I wrote then:
As the nature of search engine promotion has expanded and matured, the label "search engine optimization" hasn’t seemed to cover what some companies and individuals feel they do. But what should come to replace it, if anything?
The venerable phrase "search engine optimization" originally emerged to cover the optimization that was done for crawler-based search engines. Now directories are a big part of the search engine mix, as are paid listing services. In many cases, you aren’t really "optimizing" for these other venues, but you certainly are doing work that can influence how people are listed.
Personally, my preferred successor term is "search engine marketing." I’ve been using that since the middle of last year in some cases, especially when describing what’s taught at the Search Engine Strategies conferences.
I’ve like the term because I feel it encompasses many things: optimizing for crawlers, managing paid listings, submitting to directories — you name it. All of these activities are marketing on search engines.
Of course, what do I know? Wait a minute! According to Wikipedia, I’m a notable technologist on the subject. So Wikipedians, if you are debating, SEM is an umbrella term as I’ve outlined above that encompasses a range of activities (paid and free) designed to gain search behavior traffic and visits. Apparently, according to Wikipedia, I’m an expert in the area. So as an expert, consider me a third party source telling you that SEM deserves its own page.
Propose Delete, since this article is not noteworthy as is basically an ad for a website that sells ads, why should it be in Wiki? Look at the cites, one or two words in a cite and some do not mention this site at all. This is just a website that gets paid for advertising.
Ouch. Nearly 2,000 articles written in our short history, read by thousands of people each day, and we’re just some scum-sucking site with ads. Dang. Who gets yanked next, the New York Times because of all their pesky ads?
Wikipedia doesn’t yet rank highly at Google for our site name, so I guess the entire "don’t you want to suck down someone else’s traffic" argument won’t work. Heh.
But seriously, the consensus so far seems to be that Search Engine Land should be a subset of my personal page. By that argument, I look forward to the Search Engine Watch page being removed and shifted over to being a subset of me, as well.
The reality is that both sites stand independent of the individuals that created them or that were prime movers for them. The are collective and noteworthy works, just as much as Wikipedia is noteworthy and shouldn’t be considered a subset of Jimmy Wales or Larry Sanger.
Honestly, some of the other arguments for deletion are laughable:
There are no third-party sources about the subject. If you could improve the article with some industry news from reliable sources that discuss the set-up or the work of the company then it would be more acceptable. As is said above, a few minor citations in other news articles is not sufficient, and the Finance Visor article is basically a redistributed press release from the Company. If this site was important enough then someone would have written about it independently.
How about this? If Wikipedia founder (or cofounder, depending on who you want to please) Jimmy Wales can make the time to sit down way back in December and talk to Search Engine Land about his Search Wikia project, maybe he considers Search Engine Land notable? Would that work? Wait! I’m notable! Can’t I say as a notable expert in the search space that I think Search Engine Land deserves its own entry?
I liked this:
not particularly noteworthy, smacks of advertising
Yeah, let’s judge a site based on carrying ads. Anyone doing even a small amount of research into the site (which those in the debate should be doing) would quickly find it is cited from sources across the web. But that’s work, and it’s much easier to simply scan the site, see some ads and declare it to be bad because of advertising. It’s that type of attitude that weakens Wikipedia as the leading research resource it sees itself as being.
Reuters cited it as ‘search engine land blog’ so….for now the best place for it would be on Danny Sullivan’s page.
That just makes no sense. They cited the cite itself, to help define who I was — so the site belongs as part of my entry?
OK, JE Hochman was already on me earlier this year for not doing up a page listing all the places that cite Search Engine Land. As I explained, I used to do that back at Search Engine Watch but stopped maintaining it because I (and thus the site I run) got cited so much. It also feels a bit too self-referential, but clearly I need to do it if only for Wikipedians who remain oddly (for a site that is not mainstream) in love with third party references from mainstream media. Here’s a short list of some recent cites for now:
- Google Keeps Tweaking Its Search Engine, New York Times, June 3, 2007
- Google’s One-Stop Search to Yield Text and Images, New York Times, May 17, 2007
- Google Adds A Safeguard On Privacy For Searchers, New York Times, March 15, 2007
- Google takes hits from YouTube’s use of video clips, USA Today, Feb. 13, 2007
- Google income almost triples; investors aloof, USA Today, Jan. 31, 2007
- Experts say Google will be No. 1 in visitors in ’07, USA Today, Dec. 28, 2006
- Celebrities dominate Web searches, but some experts don’t believe it, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Dec. 21, 2006
- Looking for a Gambit to Win at Google’s Game, New York Times, Dec. 9, 2006