Wikipedia Asks For Help Editing The SEO Article

A popular Wikipedia editor Jehochman has requested that several respected SEOs contribute their time to editing the SEO wikipedia page. As you can see on the discussion page Jehochman said on May 16th, “I’ve invited half a dozen editors who have experience with this topic to evaluate the references.”

While some SEOs are helping with the SEO article, others like Rand Fishkin believe it is a battle we cannot win. By that, he means, since Wikipedia entries can be edited by anyone – there is nothing stopping someone from coming in and changing all the work they would put into the article.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Search Engines: Wikipedia | SEM Industry: General


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Michael Martinez

    The article is not curretnly representative of the SEO industry in generally, is factually incorrect on several points, and is actively promoting a handful of SEOs over and above many other equally worthy SEOs.

    This is just totally inappropriate and it is not a good project.

  • JEHochman

    Drop by SMX, and I’ll buy you a beer. Okay, Michael?

  • Seth Finkelstein

    Let’s put it this way – in a controversial Wikipedia article, an expert not only has to do the work, but to constantly defend it against the madness of crowds. If that’s the way you want to spend your time – go for it. It’s *possible*, sometimes – but very draining.

    And many Wikipedians consider SEO to be identical to black-hat and spamming, an equivalence which goes to some high-up people, so opposing it has a lot of potential for fights with admins.

    All in all, I’d say anyone who takes this one is letting themselves in for a huge amount of hassle.

  • Lucky Lester

    Oh and another thing to consider is how good ole Wikipedia will pay you back for your time by giving you some nice text links. rel=biteme

  • Carsten Cumbrowski

    ” since Wikipedia entries can be edited by anyone – there is nothing stopping someone from coming in and changing all the work they would put into the article.”

    Nothing? Did your mouse and keyboard broke?

    Do you think that you and the “vandal” who messed up your 100% perfect content are the only two who know where the “edit” button is or the “revert this edit” in the article’s edit history?

    In case you do, don’t “know” it too well and start an “edit war”.

    Every page has a talk pages, you know? There is also something called mediation and arbitration only to mention two examples for solving disputes.

    There are more, you will figure out what those are. :)

    I am just messing with you. hehe.

  • rustybrick

    Rand was saying that if he contributes and someone edits it, and then someone else edits it and this cycle repeats – what Rand contributed can be night and day to what is there a year from now.

    That is his point.

    I know other editors maintain and keep tabs on things. But you know how it goes.

  •,,2044595,00.html Seth Finkelstein

    Note the “tar baby” in action – “something called mediation and arbitration only to mention two examples for solving disputes …”

    If you want to spend your time in mediation and arbitration with, by definition, the most recalcitrant and obstreperous person interested in that article – well, YOU CAN! For the greater glory of Wales. People do it.

    But it’s just not an attractive proposition.

  • thekohser

    Seth Finkelstein (as usual) is correct. Wikipedia elites despise SEO pros, and they simply lump them in with spammers and serial killers. A recent “essay” on Wikipedia suggested that spammers and SEO optimizers had one convenient “solution” to their problems — seppuku. Nice, huh?

    I’d like to share that I’m co-developing a business-friendly wiki directory at Users are welcome to write articles about their business or their clients — and these articles will be PROTECTED from outside editing. We get very impressive Google search results, too, thanks to semantic tag features that Wikipedia has chosen not to enable.

    Lastly, find out how you can win between $50 and $200 for wiki page design — just Google the words “Centiare Prize”.

  • JEHochman

    In the interest of giving credit where credit is due, I want to point out that Raul654, perhaps the second most influential Wikipedian after Jimbo Wales, has accepted our position that blogs and online resources can be reliable sources.

    The SEO article has been promoted, and is now a featured article. The Wikipedia user who I flamed, SandyGeorgia, responded with great poise and helped me get the article promoted. I hope everyone who despises Wikipedia will reconsider their opinion in light of these developments.

    @thekosher: I am sorry to burst your bubble, but the Wikipedia “elites” don’t hate SEOs that much.

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