When you Google a person (like “Phil Johncock”), place (like “Lake Tahoe”) or a thing (like “Beijing Olympics”), one of the web pages that most frequently appears in the top 10 displayed is “Wikipedia”. What is Wikipedia? Why do search engines like Google like Wikipedia? What are the key steps to creating a Wikipedia page?

In as brief a form possible, you will find answers here to these three questions.


What is Wikipedia?

According to Wikipedia, it is a free encyclopedia that “attempts to collect and summarize all human knowledge in every major language.” Articles (Wikipedia’s term for “web pages”) can be written and edited by volunteers around the world.


Why do search engines like Google like Wikipedia?

The main answer is in the volume of internal links. With over 10 million articles in every major language (about a quarter in English), most Wikipedia articles include words (underlined in blue) that link you directly to other Wikipedia articles. These are called “internal links.” Search engines love internal links!


What are the five key steps to creating a Wikipedia page?

STEP 1 – Choose a focus.

Here are two guidelines to follow: a) create articles for free (do not charge) and b) decide what articles (pages) you would like to write. For example, three types of possible articles you could write include: defining new terms in your field; family name; and people and businesses you appreciate.

Terms - I have a friend who recently coined the term “niggle”; I am writing a new Wikipedia article for “niggle” using the definition and examples found in her book.

Family name - My last name is not well-known. So, I created an article on the history of the “Johncock” name. I got help from Martin Johncock of Scotland (who supplied a graphic image of the family coat of arms) and Jack Johncock (my uncle, who had done a lot of prior research on the history of the Johncock family name). They served as my editors.

People and businesses you appreciate - I am currently writing an article as a birthday gift for Dorlene Johncock (my mother) and as an anniversary gift to Bikram Yoga Sierras (business).

Keep in mind that Wikipedia is not intended to be a PR channel but rather a source for non-biased, balanced and factual articles from credible sources. Nonetheless, you will benefit greatly from Wikipedia’s popularity! If you focus on the facts and cite your sources, you’ll soon reap the benefits.

Since Wikipedia is an “open content” encyclopedia, its credibility is maintained by requesting that articles not violate its Conflict of Interest policy (see hotlink below). That is why you don’t charge and you choose make a contribution to the body of knowledge as an expert.

STEP 2 – Research other Wikipedia articles

Research other Wikipedia articles like the one you plan to make: term, family name, other people or business. Do this by a) using Wikipedia’s “search” function or b) by clicking on the “Random article” link in the upper left hand corner on any Wikipedia page. I choose #b most frequently and scroll through a bunch of articles quickly until I find some that I like.

Look article layouts, organizations, and references. Notice how photos are placed and copyright cited. Notice if and how tables are used. You can even click on “edit” on the articles you like to see the Wikipedia “code” that is used. These will all come in handy when you are ready to add your article.

STEP 3 – Write your article & research internal links

Use the format (organizational structure) you found in step 2. Write a draft of your article. Look on Wikipedia to see which words in your article have “internal links.” Highlight these on your article so that you can create the internal links when you add your article. Luckly, you do not need to write down URL’s for internal links; Wikipedia will do this automatically for you.

Have several people review and edit your article before you add it.

STEP 4 – Upload any graphic images to Wikimedia Commons

This took me an hour to figure this one out. It requires you to use a site other than Wikipedia. Sign up for the Wikimedia Commons (see hotlink below). Upload all graphic images you want to use and copy/paste the URL for those images so that you can add them with your article. Make sure you have the copyright for the photo adequately cited (see hotlink below).

STEP 5 – Upload your article to Wikipedia

If you haven’t signed up to Wikipedia, do that (see hotlink below). Log in. Read the article “Wikipedia: Your First Article.”

Then, search Wikipedia for the title of your article. If you receive the message: "No page with that title exists" – then, click the red "Create the page" link to start adding and editing your article.

If you know it will take a few edits to properly list references, add graphics and make internal links you want, you can: a) put {{underconstruction}} on top of the page so that others won’t tag it for deletion, b) conduct a test by putting an article in the subpage of your user page or c) experiment in the “sandbox” (see hotlink below). Then, when you’re ready, “Create the page.” Copy and paste the code to transfer your article to its future home!

Enjoy creating your Wikipedia pages!

Warmest regards,

Phil Johncock
Founder of BrandYourNiche.com
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Sign up – Wikipedia & Wikimedia Commons

Wikipedia: Your First Article

User Page

Conflict of Interest Policy

Fair Use Copyright for Graphics


Wiki Tools

Citations of Facts

Author's Bio: 

Phil Johncock - Award-winning author, educator & mentor | Founder of 4Grants.Net & BrandYourNiche.com

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