Enlisting Complete Strangers To Help Secure Your Wikipedia Profile

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Secure Your Wikipedia Profile

Well just meet her. Maybe she’ll be somebody you’d LIKE to kill.”

Owen (Danny DeVito) to Larry (Billy Crystal) referring to Owen’s mother. – Throw Momma from the Train (1987)

 

Wikipedia doesn’t like self-promoters and goes to great lengths to discourage contributors from posting autobiographical or self-interested entries.

“If your life and achievements are verifiable and genuinely notable, someone else will probably create an article about you sooner or later,” Wikipedia writes in its voluminous “dos and don’ts” set of instructions.

I added the italics above – probably – because Wikipedia’s rules beg the question, what do you do if you or your company do merit an article on Wikipedia and no one has gotten around to writing one?

That is what I’ll discuss in this column, the third in PanPrestige’s Wikipedia series.

Wikipedia is so intent on preventing people from “gaming” the system that it throws up all sorts of obstacles and warnings. These speed bumps can prevent legitimate articles from ever seeing the light of day on the site.

I know from firsthand experience. Facing an ever-expanding Wikipedia rulebook and thousands of random volunteer Wikipedia editors – each of whom makes judgment calls that at times can seem illogical – even veteran journalists such as me find posting to Wikipedia a hit-and-miss adventure.

When you’re justified, and Wikipedia is just slow to acknowledge it, persistence pays.

Because Wikipedia values the “consensus of the community through discussion,” it helps to know and network with other contributors to Wikipedia who can offer you valuable feedback – and when necessary, act directly on your behalf.

Danny DeVito

Danny DeVito

Several years ago, in teaching a class on how to use Wikipedia both properly and effectively, I created a sub-community within the broader Wikipedia universe that I call “Criss-Cross Communicators” or CCC for short.

The CCC concept was inspired by the 1987 comedy, Throw Momma from the Train, starring Danny DeVito and Billy Crystal. That film, likewise, drew inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1951 thriller, Strangers on a Train.

SWAPPING PROFILES

The plot of both films is simple. Two men, virtually complete strangers, each want to kill someone. To avoid detection, they agree to “swap” murders. DeVito has no motive to murder Crystal’s ex-wife, and Crystal has no reason to do away with DeVito’s mother. Criss-Cross.

Recognizing Wikipedia’s aversion to self-promotion, my loosely organized CCC group also set as its mission to bring together strangers to help one another and avoid suspicion. Only crime is not our motive. Addressing Wikipedia’s “probably… sooner or later” reasoning for why individuals should not promote themselves, is our intent.

When “later” is much, much, much later – meaning you’ve waited patiently and nothing about you has surfaced on Wikipedia – CCC provides a system whereby members can make the case to fellow strangers that they merit a biographical Wikipedia article (or an entry about a business, product, or service that they have created).

A MODERN WHO’S WHO

With the pre-condition that every CCC “stranger” must objectively qualify for a Wikipedia posting, our private group makes it possible for an entrepreneur in Waukesha, WI, to write a biographical profile of a prominent liability attorney in Augusta, ME, who contributes a post about an inventor in San Luis Obispo, CA, who generates an accurate article about the original Waukesha entrepreneur. Criss-Cross.

CCC is very much a microcosm of the giant, global Wikipedia ecosystem. Only we are a tiny alliance of like-minded men and women who don’t want to leave it to pure chance that our achievements will someday draw the attention of qualified Wikipedians.

Wikipedia warns – and it bears repeating – that those seeking to have their biographies appear on the global community encyclopedia should be mindful of what they desire.

Every biographical profile on Wikipedia is subject to edits by anyone and everyone. That means friend and foe alike.

It can take an extraordinarily long time for Wikipedia to detect and delete content added maliciously by other site users, known in Wikipedia parlance as “vandalism”. Moreover, if your critics chose to post negative – but accurate – information about you, those details may stick with your profile for the remainder of your life, and even beyond.

All the risks and hurdles aside, to my way of thinking, Wikipedia is the 21st century equivalent of Marquis Who’s Who, the noted American reference biographer that has been the definitive arbiter of global leaders and achievers since 1899.

If you are an individual of influence whose lifetime of accomplishment belongs in the public record for posterity, you owe it to yourself and to the general public to ensure that you receive your earned recognition on Wikipedia.

That is simply not a distinction that you should trust to serendipity.

 

 

Want To Join Our Criss-Cross Communicators Group?

CCC welcomes applicants to join our group of “strangers.” To be admitted you must:

  1. Already have a biography on Wikipedia or be eligible for one based on Wikipedia’s published criteria for Biographies of living persons.
  2. Be willing to evaluate, write and post to Wikipedia a biography of a complete stranger who also meets the Wikipedia criteria. (Don’t worry, you can submit your draft to our group for evaluation and help prior to submitting it “live” to Wikipedia.)
  3. Agree to respect the privacy of other members of CCC.
  4. Provide us your actual name, affiliation, title, email, and phone number.

CCC is comprised solely of volunteer members. There is no fee to join our group. To apply for membership or to contact us with questions and suggestions, visit: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/buzz-snatchers.

Read our previous Wikipedia columns:

4 Reasons You Must Harness the Titanic Branding Power of Wikipedia

Can We Quote You? – Wikipedia Loves Citations

If you would like a strong Wikipedia presence to strengthen your personal or business brand, I encourage you to contact Pan Prestige to discover how we can make getting your own Wikipedia listings and citations pain-free. If you already have one or more Wikipedia pages, contact us for a free evaluation of how effectively you’re harnessing the titanic power of the service.

Can We Quote You? – Wikipedia Loves Citations

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Wikipedia Loves Citations

There are many portals into the powerful Wikipedia ecosystem, and you’d be selling yourself short not to explore them all.

Wikipedia has the power to boost your online reputation like no other website in the world. For sheer audience size, credibility, and SEO firepower, Wikipedia is unparalleled.

[Read my last column, 4 Reasons You Must Harness the Titanic Branding Power of Wikipedia]

Many business people, if they use Wikipedia as a reputation booster at all, confine themselves to an entry for themselves, their company, their product or their cause. Gaining approval for such entries can be tricky, so most executives don’t bother.

But whether you already have a Wikipedia entry, or you think – rightly or wrongly – that you can’t qualify for a Wikipedia article – that’s no reason not to be highly visible on the site.

The Wikipedia modus operandi relies on verifiable third-party references. Because it’s a communal encyclopedia, Wikipedia does not publish original research. Even if you are a brain surgeon writing on brain surgery, Wikipedia wants you to publish your expertise elsewhere, and then cite that source material on a Wikipedia entry.

Do you hear opportunity knocking? You should.

When you contribute an article to a professional trade magazine or reliable website, for example, that instantly qualifies you to be a source cited by Wikipedia.

Let’s assume, for the sake of illustration, that you are an oral health provider who specializes in dental implants. There is a lengthy Wikipedia entry under the heading, “Dental Implant” that is a definitive monograph on the topic. Both dentists and consumers with questions about dental implants will likely find what they’re looking for here.

Indeed, when you search for “dental implants” on Google, it’s the Wikipedia article that comes up #1 in the organic search results.

What You Can Learn From Dental Implants

As of this writing, there are 53 references cited in the Wikipedia dental implants article, the majority of which come from dental journals and academic papers. But my eye is drawn to reference #33 – “Focus on implant home care before, during, and after restoration.” This article was published in 2012 in RDH, a dental trade magazine, and was written by Susan Wingrove, who describes herself as a “national and international speaker and practicing dental hygienist.”

What a great visibility booster for Ms. Wingrove, who herself does not have a Wikipedia listing.

I don’t know Ms. Wingrove nor had I ever heard of her prior to this writing. I discovered her on Wikipedia just like thousands of others interested in dental implants might first find her.

It’s obvious that Ms. Wingrove didn’t write an article for RDH magazine and then cite herself on the Wikipedia entry for dental implants. But she could have.

Ms. Wingrove’s bio notes that not only is she an established public speaker, but she is also a published author, has written for respected dental journals, and is an entrepreneur. That begs the question why doesn’t she have her own Wikipedia entry? She’s certainly is eligible.

The key point here is that on Wikipedia, it’s easy to cite yourself on other people’s listings – and thus significantly bolster your online visibility. The lesson applies not only to articles that you’ve authored, but also to news organizations that quote you or blogs that mention you.

Answer These 4 Questions

Ready to try it out? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Have I authored a published article for a trade magazine, newspaper, or academic journal?
  • Have I been interviewed in print or on television by a local, regional or national news organization?
  • Have influential bloggers, review sites, or other respected websites mentioned my name?
  • Do I own or have access to a respected website where I can post a story under my name?

If the answer to any of these is yes, then you should seek out existing Wikipedia entries where the topics are relevant. Once you locate them, it’s a snap to add content and a citation to your previously published online appearances. [Remember the entries you’ll use have already been “approved.” You’re simply updating them.]

Where might you mine for such articles? In Ms. Wingrove’s example, here are only a few possible Wikipedia pages where I think she could contribute content and citations:

The opportunities for visibility on Wikipedia are numerous and limited only by your willingness to search them out. Happy hunting!

Read my last column, 4 Reasons You Must Harness the Titanic Branding Power of Wikipedia

[In my next column, I will explain why the best Wikipedia strategy requires an alliance with like-minded individuals. I’ll also provide you an opportunity to connect with others seeking to use Wikipedia to maximize their online visibility.]

If you would like a strong Wikipedia presence to strengthen your personal or business brand, I encourage you to contact Pan Prestige to discover how we can make getting your own Wikipedia listings and citations pain-free. If you already have one or more Wikipedia pages, contact us for a free evaluation of how effectively you’re harnessing the titanic power of the service.

4 Reasons You Must Harness the Titanic Branding Power of Wikipedia

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Harness the Titanic Branding Power of Wikipedia

Many otherwise very savvy people mistakenly believe they are not eligible for their own Wikipedia profile, or worse – they underestimate the importance of using Wikipedia to turbocharge their personal and business brand online.

Avoiding Wikipedia makes as much sense from a business productivity and competitive marketing standpoint as eschewing a dedicated website, LinkedIn profile, or Twitter account. Which is to say it makes no sense whatsoever in our globally connected digital world.

Here’s what Wikipedia offers you that you’ll be hard-pressed to match anywhere else on the Internet.

  1. Wikipedia’s Audience is Vast
    More than half a billion global visitors seek out Wikipedia each month. In that regard, no news organization in the world can come close to matching its reach and influence.
  2. Google and Other Major Search Engines Prioritize Wikipedia
    While search engine optimization experts and other online branding gurus are constantly adjust their strategies to cope with frequently changing algorithms, Wikipedia remains a consistent and surefire organic search engine results darling. Your entry on Wikipedia will be shielded from the changing patterns of search engine algorithms. Internet users seeking you specifically or information on your expertise, business, product or services, are almost certain to encounter your Wikipedia profile on the first page of their organic search engine results.
  3. Wikipedia Carries With It Third-Party Credibility
    Sure, you can invest a huge amount of money promoting yourself on your own website or through news releases and PR campaigns. Done well, these branding solutions can deliver visitors who’ll read your content. But Internet users know the difference between content you create and publish, and content that carries with it the third-party credibility of an encyclopedia. Remember how as a kid or adolescent, Encyclopedia Britannica and others like it were the ultimate source on any topic or historical event? Today, it is Wikipedia that enjoys that mantle.
  4. Anyone Can Contribute to Wikipedia and Use Its Content for Free
    What many people don’t understand is that “Anyone” includes you! You’re free not only to contribute and edit entries about you and your business, you’re also free to contribute and edit articles about your industry, your customers, your vendors, and – yes – even your competitors.

So if Wikipedia is such a great brand builder, why do millions of otherwise eligible individuals, businesses, services and products have no Wikipedia listing? Because, frankly, they don’t understand Wikipedia and they don’t want to invest the time and energy to learn enough to effectively utilize it.

Wikipedia plays by a unique and somewhat complex rulebook. Moreover, a vast and loyal Wikipedia community of volunteers works tirelessly to enforce those rules. Among their top priorities is to keep self-promoters, advertisers, campaigners, scammers, kooks, and others with narrow self-interest from abusing the site.

But don’t be misled. Wikipedia wants to feature legitimate, verifiable content. If you are a person of interest to the general public or you own a business that peaks the public interest, there is a welcome mat awaiting you on Wikipedia.

My goal here has been to awaken you to the power and potential of Wikipedia to help establish or bolster your online reputation. More importantly, I want you to accept that regardless of what you’ve heard, or your own prior Wikipedia rejections, you can flourish on Wikipedia.

Among the topics we’ll explore in future edition of this series:

  • What You Absolutely Must Do Before You Ever Submit Your First Wikipedia Entry
  • Land Mines To Avoid If You Don’t Want To Get Booted From Wikipedia
  • Why Wikipedia is Best Played as a ‘Team Sport’
  • How to Use Wikipedia to Bolster Your Brand and Reputation, Even If You Don’t Have Articles on the Site that are Specifically About You or Your Business

If you would like a Wikipedia page to strengthen your personal or business brand, I encourage you to contact Pan Prestige to discover how we can make getting your own Wikipedia listings pain free. If you already have one or more Wikipedia pages, contact us for a free evaluation of how effectively you’re harnessing the titanic power of the service.

How to get to First Page of Google (and stay there…)

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Paid advertising on Google and Facebook doesn’t return the original investment, SEO isn’t stable enough, and ‘likes’ won’t pay the rent. So how can you get consistent consumer traffic over to your site?

How to get on first page of googleYour site, blog or Facebook profile are nothing more than a virtual business card. In order to generate leads and bring in customers, you have to have to build up firm infrastructure. Many attempts at online marketing fail because they don’t manage to generate long-term, positive ROI (return on investment) campaigns. Marketers and advertisers zigzag between search-engine optimization (SEO), paid advertisements (such as PPC), and attempts at social media marketing, but just don’t manage to return their investment.

What are the disadvantages of today’s SEO?

Most campaigns do exactly the same things: keyword research, internal optimization, and link building. These techniques are becoming increasingly irrelevant, and aren’t successful in the long run. The main problems with today’s SEO are:

  • Over-aggressive promotion, most of which is based on large-scale link building, can bring in traffic in the short term. However, since Google is actively trying to punish sites which it thinks aren’t being “naturally” promoted, this kind of campaign puts your site in danger of being hit by Google’s next update.
  • Over-passive promotion is also ineffective when trying to promote a site in a highly competitive niche market, on a reasonable budget and timeframe. In some niches, it’s difficult to acquire “natural” links, even over a long time, and the campaign won’t yield any significant results. The most effective criterion in Google’s page ranking is still the number and the strength of incoming links.
  • Single keyword promotion is unstable. Even if your SEO is done in a highly professional manner, and your site is highly ranked for an important keyword, nothing is permanent. When your site drops from first place to second for that keyword, organic traffic drops 85%, on average. Moving down from second to third place causes a 54% drop in traffic, and so on.
  • A fixed monthly fee that has nothing to do with the stage your campaign is in doesn’t make sense. Once your site is highly ranked in the search engines results pages, traffic will keep coming in even when you stop actively promoting the site (by building strong incoming links), and make do with content updates.

What’s the winning strategy?

Successful, long-term promotion has to be thorough, content-based, and use a combination of methods and techniques:

  • Generate visibility on search engines and strengthen the domain and the brand. Create a reputation management campaign to increase your online presence, and use your brand name to appear on search engine results. This kind of campaign strengthens the value that Google gives your site, and builds up an excellent infrastructure for SEO.
  • Content marketing. Simply write high-quality content and post it on authority sites, either independently or through a PR service.
  • Building and buying web domains. The best way of generating online visibility is by ensuring that all the content that you publish is on sites that you fully own and control.
  • Setting up a successful link network between all your web domains, in order to promote your main site.

It’s only once you’ve managed to create an established authority site that you can and should start directing traffic with competitive keywords, and not just the name of the brand. This is done mainly by internal and external optimization.

The advantages

  • The incoming traffic is made up of potential customers, who are exposed to relevant content from a number of different sources.
  • You can perform ‘segmentation’ of your online audience. This means writing and publishing different types of content aimed precisely at each target audience. For example, if the target audience of the reputation management industry is made up mainly of doctors, lawyers, celebrities and politicians, different articles should be published each time, aimed at each specific audience in turn.
  • Page-one results on a search engine containing numerous citations linked to your brand form a sort of ‘shield’, protecting you from possible damage of your reputation from negative reviews and unflattering content.
  • Organic traffic keeps flowing in once your campaign is over with no further effort, apart from updating content on your site.