Getting a Wikipedia Backlink to Your Online Store

wikipedia backlink to your online store

To continue to build traffic to your site and improve your domain authority, you have to stay focused.  Building traffic to your online store isn’t easy.

Today we are going to talk about an incredible backlink for your online store.

For those of you not sure what I’m talking about, you should start here:

What are backlinks?

Now that you understand what backlinks are and how they can help your online store, lets dig in.

Wikipedia Dominance

If you have ever used the internet, you have been on Wikipedia.  It’s essentially a monster sized, user curated, encyclopedia.  They offer information on just about any topic you can think of.

With the number of backlinks to Wikipedia and their content depth, they show up in just about all search results.

In short, they have authority.  Their domain carries juice and furthermore, they have traffic.

Wikipedia Traffic backlink to online store

That’s correct.  That’s not a typo they have 450 million unique users a month.  That’s serious traffic, that can’t be ignored.  But you can’t buy this traffic and you can’t buy advertising.

You notice the second sentence in the image above?

Advertising no welcome here…

So to get traffic to your ecommerce site from Wikipedia, you need a backlink to your store.

While Wikipedia is not the holy grail of backlinks (DMOZ is in case you were wondering but good luck with that) , it’s certainly a big one.

Step 1 Defining Your Wikipedia Opportunity

There are essentially 3 different ways to get a backlink to your online store from Wikipedia.  I will briefly discuss the 3 below.

1.  The Impossible Way

If you have ever tried to create a Wikipedia page from scratch you know its incredibly difficult.  The moderators and WikiPolice are serious about submissions.  I have tried a couple of times in the past and have never been successful.  This is not the way that I recommend you go about this.

wikipedia backlink with article too difficult

2.  The Less Impossible but Still Difficult Way

Many articles in Wikipedia are looking for Citations or references.  These are other sites published content to back up statements that appear in Wikipedia articles.  Below is what it looks like on Wikipedia

updating citation for backlink on wikipedia

You could write something authoritative on your site and provide the citation.  The problem is that these WikiPolice or good citizens are serious about Wikipedia.  They are not going to allow a weak blog post with some superficial content to be a citation.  If they are going to allow a backlink to your online store, it has to be legitimate content. Your post has to be killer and look legit to pass the sniff test.

3. The Way To Do It  

This last approach is the one that I personally use and have used to get backlinks to just about all our online businesses.  The approach is going after Dead Links.  Dead links are actually old citations or references in Wikipedia that have gone stale or died.

Every day websites are going out of business or are getting taken offline.  Large news outlets are pulling old stories and thus links are dying.  This is your opportunity to get backlinks to your online store.

Rather than creating a new citation or a new Wikipedia article, we are going to serve the people.  We will fix their dead links for them.

Step 2 Finding The Wikipedia Page With Dead Links

There are two ways to find these dead links.

1.  Good Old Fashioned Google

The first way is the good old fashion way of using Google.  You want to head over to Google and search for the following string in the search box.

site:wikipedia.org [keyword] + “dead link”

You are going to replace the word keyword and the brackets with your specific keyword.  For example maybe I was searching for a backlink on our Texas real estate form site.  I would type in something like so.

search on google for dead link backlink

Up will come the results showing all the pages on Wikipedia.  These pages all have the keyword phrase that I was looking for and a dead link request.

I clicked through on the first one.  It can be difficult to find the dead link on the page so press CTRL + F or Command + F for you MAC users on your keyboard.

This brings up the find box and I just type “dead link” in.  Sure enough there it is at the bottom of the page.

dead link on wikipedia

2.   Get Fancy With WikiGrabber

The second way is the new fancy approach.  As with everything online, techniques gets better and better every day.  There is now a site dedicated to helping you find these opportunities for FREE*.   Head over to WikiGrabber.com.

wiki grabber for finding wikipedia backlink for online store

This site helps you find pages on Wikipedia that need citations or have dead links.  They are probably doing the same thing we did in the first step behind the scenes. Either way it’s a pretty layout and easy to use.

Go ahead and enter your keyword in the search box and hit search.  You will see all the results show up below.  By default they will show citations first.  Click on the “Dead Links” button to filter your results to show just the dead links.

list of dead links for your online store

*Note this tool is currently FREE but the following popup greeted me while using the site.  I have a sneaking suspicion the free days are numbered.

paying for wikigrabber

Step 3 Resurrecting Content from the Dead

So now you know where to find the Dead Links but how are you going to fix this problem.  In comes the Frankenstein Machine.

recreating content for a wiki backlink

Our next step is to find the original content and bring it back to life.

You are going to click on the dead link on Wikipedia.   Not the word “Dead Link” but the actual reference.  It should take you to a dead page.  It can look like many different things but here is the example that I clicked on and what it looked like.

404 dead link to replace for your ecommerce site

What we are really interested in is the actual link.  We don’t care what the page looks like but we want to copy the url that is dead.

Now we are going to head over to the Wayback Machine.  The Wayback Machine is a historical index of the internet.  They have snapshots of lots of pages from various times.  They don’t have every page but at the moment have 438 Billion pages.

Let’s call it a good start.

Copy and paste the url that was dead into the Wayback Machine like so.

wayback machine for wikipedia backlink content creation

When the search results come up, you will see a calendar.  What you are looking for are blue dots.   These dots show days that they took a snapshot of the site.

indexed blue dots for ecommerce site

Click on the blue dot and cross your fingers.  Hopefully the original page that Wikipedia was referencing shows up.

In my case, the first one that I clicked on was too soon.  It actually showed a snapshot of the same 404 error page that I saw before.  This means we have to go back further in time to find an older snapshot of the page.

Sure enough I went back to 2011 and “Voila” there it was.  The page came up with all its content, in all its glory.

result on wayback to put on online store blog

It’s important to understand that this is not a full proof plan.  There are some cases where you just won’t be able to find old versions of the page.

Move on and find another one.

There are plenty fish in the sea.

Step 4 Planting Your Content Seed Again

Now that we have found the original content, we need to let the public enjoy it again.  You will copy and paste the content onto your site.

In the case of an online store I paste it on the blog and date the blog post well in the past.  I don’t necessarily want the post to show up as new content on the site.

I’m trying to bury it, truthfully.

NOTE: You don’t want to take credit for other peoples content.  Its important that you reference the main domain name in the post.  At the bottom of the post you may want to say something like

This post originally appeared on www.whatever.com and has been published for reference.

If the post had original references or authors, make sure you keep them in the article.  You are merely resuscitating the old content.

ANOTHER NOTE:  You may have to look around for opportunities that resonate with your sites readers.  Given the fact that you are republishing this content, you don’t want garbage on your site.  It should be relevant and on topic.  In my example I opted not to use this one because the content wasn’t relevant to my site.

Step 5 Replacing The Dead With a New Life

The last step in process is to replace the dead link on Wikipedia.  If you don’t already have an account, register for an account on Wikipedia. (It’s not required but makes you look better to moderators)

Once registered you want to try and make a couple of contributions on the site.  You want to help the community and more importantly divert attention from your backlink.  Help replace some other dead links by searching online for other references or make other contributions.

After you have done your good deeds, you are going to go to the Wikipedia page you were targeting and click on edit.

edit wikipedia to modify post

Once you click edit, the page will open in edit mode.  You want to find the reference to the old link.  Carefully replace the old link with the new one and remove the reference to the “Dead Link.”

This:

original wikipedia before backlink

Should Change to Something Like This:

revised wikipedia with a backlink

Scroll down and click to preview the page.  You want to make sure it links back to your page correctly.  Also check that you didn’t destroy something else on the page.

Once you are content with how it looks, you are going save the page.  I will sometimes make a note with my change to say that I found the original content and replaced the dead link.

I wouldn’t recommend that you say that its on your site.  Remember these changes have to go through moderators and WikiPolice.

People are serious about their Wikipedia so you have to tread lightly here.

The Wikipedia Backlink to Your Online Store Results

Not all attempts will be successful.  People may remove your backlink for any number of reasons.  Don’t give up.  If it gets rejected on your first pass, help contribute to the Wikipedia site in other ways.  Come back and submit it or another attempt later on.

People are more inclined to let contributors changes stay if they see you have contributed before.  More visited pages on Wikipedia are more difficult to update.  Smaller topics are easier to tackle.

Once you get the backlink though, it pays off.  A Wikipedia backlink to your online store contributes in Three Unique Ways.

1.  You will get the authority of a backlink from a high valued site.  This improves your site rankings in search engines.  It particularly boosts the page directly linked from Wikipedia but adds to the ranking of your whole site.

2.  You will start to see lots of other backlinks grow from other sites as they reference your post.  Besides those reference links, many other sites reproduce content from Wikipedia.  All these pages will result in backlinks to your page again from different domains.

3.  You will be surprised at the amount of referral traffic to your online store .  Because Wikipedia gets so much traffic, even the little reference links in the bottom of articles get clicked on.  Depending on the popularity of the page or topic, you can get some legitimate traffic.

Now get out there and go for it and let me know when you are successful.

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  • Its cool knowing how to get Wikepedia backlink to a site. This should be the desire of just about any website or online store. The five steps approach of finding Wikipedia dead link is very clear, and its sure time to get very practical.

    I have never used WikiGrabber before, and I guess this is the time to apply it!
    I left the above comment in kingged.com where this post was “kingged”.

  • Getting a backlink in Wikipedia is not easy in reason of the
    fact that it is one of the strongest backlinks you could ask for. It is also
    one of the oldest yet the biggest site on the web that carries huge authority.

    Your website should be high quality, useful to people and informative.

    I must say that anyone can add pages to Wikipedia and edit
    the information. Yes, I agree that WikiGrabber is very useful. It is easy to
    use, you can have a list of pages on Wikipedia that are related to search
    engines but need citations or broken links fixing.

    To wrap it up, this is a must read! Worth my time, I must
    say! Everyone wants to have a backlink on Wikipedia since it gives a great
    impact. Following the tips and the process will help.

  • Very interesting post Jonathan. And interesting concept. I’ve never really thought about getting a wiki link. Wonder what the success/failure rate is?

    Don’t know if I can find relevant content to my store, but I’ll have to look into it.

    Funny you bring up Dmoz. I use to be an editor a very long time ago. Think I lost it because I wasn’t doing anything with it for a long time. What a mistake that was. I tried getting in later, but denied every time.

    • Thanks for stopping by Ron and reading the post. I’m sure you can find some wiki that’s related in some way to your site.

      You had the golden goose with Dmoz but probably only for the category you were the editor for. I’m not 100% sure but I don’t think you have the ability as an editor to add to other categories.

      Thanks again for stopping by and commenting.

      Jonathan

      • I was thinking the same thing. If I remember correctly (been many years), as an editor you could only add to your category. Think you nailed it. Since I was in a very different market, I am probably not really missing out.

        Course many say Dmoz is not as powerful when it comes to links these days. Directory site links have been out for along time, Likely because they almost all turned spammy, if there are any even left.

        Heck I remember when Yahoo had a “directory”. Remember getting listed and a crap load of traffic. That did not last long.

        • Completely Ron. You are dead on that everyone says that directories have lost their juice but honestly I still see them working. Maybe not driving traffic but at least backlink juice.

          There are lots of things that people say don’t work anymore that I find still do. I suppose that’s whats so entertaining about making money online. Its changing every day. Just like the Yahoo directories. I remember using those directories to navigate the web before there were viable search engines. AOL and Yahoo owned that space.