Monday, August 13, 2012

Learning from Wikipedia

Wikipedia comes off as a Google bully.

The go-to web encyclopedia shows up at or toward the top of the rankings in nearly every search. Do the two entities have some kind of sweetheart deal? Nope. Wikipedia has cracked the SEO code.

Quality AND Quantity
It’s no quick fix, quite the opposite, actually. To dominate the SEO game, patience, and A LOT of content, is virtue.  

To get Wikipedia-caliber rankings, think of Google as that unreasonable teacher you once had; you are regularly required to write novel-length papers. But you had to graduate, so you sucked it up and did it. You want your business and site to thrive, so suck it up and do it.

The more detailed, quality content you work into your site, the more keywords you generate.  As long as you distribute the keywords evenly and don’t resort to keyword “stuffing,” your rankings will improve.

This isn’t the opinion of some lone geek hacker. This strategy comes straight from the mouth of Google.

In his SEO video mailbag responses, Google Search Quality guru Matt Cutts constantly emphasizes “quality content” as the initiation for becoming one of the rankings elite. Again, this goes back to having the patience to crank out an opus per page of your own site.

Repetition without Being Repetitive
A Wikipedia search for “Mariana Trench” produced a 1600 word article. The word “Mariana” is used 26 times, not counting the Notes section. Because of the sheer length and detail of the article, use of this keyword was evenly distributed, avoiding keyword “stuffing.”

This goes back to the quality content concept stressed by Matt Cutts of Google. Speaking of which, the Wikipedia entry for Mariana Trench showed up number one in a Google search for that keyword.

Getting Crossed Up
Wikipedia also excels at cross-links. The contextual internal linking can hook a page on a comic book character to one detailing migration habits of bathypelagic fish. The catch here is the sheer volume of articles on Wikipedia’s site, estimated at 22 million.

With eight figures of page numbers, these cross ups can keep users clicking for hours. It’s like getting into a new band you saw open for the act you bought your ticket to see.

In Summation
If you can follow this blueprint with your site, you could be on your way to being the next Wikipedia. They’ve been at it for over a decade, and you might still be prepping for a launch, so just have some patience with your content, make sure it’s top shelf and construct your SEO around it.