Thursday, 27 August 2020 02:47

Wikipedia Backlink Value Under Scrutiny - Is It Worth The Effort?

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Are Wikipedia Backlinks Worth The Effort?
Recently, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller commented in a Reddit thread on the value of backlinks from Wikipedia and the return on effort invested into building them.

Wikipedia is one of the most authoritative sources on the internet without question. It holds the #21 Ahrefs Rank (AR) spot among the millions of websites in their database ranked by the size and quality of their backlink profiles.
Wikipedia Ahrefs Stats
While it might make sense to think that Wikipedia is a brilliant source for building links, there is one unique factor that has resulted in the return on effort aka ”link juice” becoming virtually non-existent: The ability for users to edit the content, and use it as an easy means to cite their content as a resource.

This should come as no surprise to you. When Wikipedia was first launched in 2001, it was a link-building goldmine. SEOs were quick to jump on the opportunity. Fast-forward to 2007 when Wikipedia changed its policy forcing all outbound links to contain the nofollow attribute.

This doesn’t mean Wikipedia should be disregarded as a link-building source. At the time of this writing, there are 135,859 articles in need of expansion and quality sources are still very much a needed element for citation.

Further, a Wikipedia link can actually generate relevant traffic to your website.

On August 22 2020, a Reddit user posted a question to the SEO subreddit asking how someone can get backlinks from Wikipedia. Google’s John Mueller responded:
Randomly dropping a link into Wikipedia has no SEO value and will do nothing for your site. All you're doing is creating extra work for the Wikipedia maintainers who will remove your link drops. It's a waste of your time and theirs. Do something that's useful in the long term for your site instead, build something of persistent value.

Deconstructing Mueller’s Response

We know there is no true SEO link value in Wikipedia links due to the nofollow attribute. There are indeed other value-inclusive elements you do get as with any nofollow link.

In the event of link spamming or inadequately-cited sources, it’s certainly a burden on the Wikipedia moderators responsible for reviewing and removing bad links. All links from Wikipedia have to be approved by moderators.

Is it a waste of time? There are just too many factors in play to say definitively. Let’s look at another Reddit thread that popped up on August 24 when a user asked:
Do you blindly believe and follow what John Mueller Says?
Mr. Mueller is undoubtedly influential in the digital marketing realm and his insights have presented lots of pros and cons among various SEO tactics. Irrelevant to whether you believe them or not, one of the common themes within the Reddit discussion is the importance of testing things out yourself. Check and verify and do your own experiments. And that’s a fundamental quality of any good SEO. There is nothing “black hat” about trying to get your content cited as a Wikipedia page source -- Just so long as it’s quality, relevant, and helpful.

Scope of Backlinks on Wikipedia

Perhaps you've targeted a specific Wikipedia page that you think is firmly nestled in your niche. Why not write a detailed piece specifically researching and addressing a needed citation within the article? The worst case scenario is it’s not accepted but you have a new post on your website that could be appealing to other link-building opportunities.

Best case scenario? If the citation is accepted, and, you’ve researched the Wikipedia article correctly beforehand and determined it’s a high-volume page, you could get some serious referral traffic to your website.
Snapshot of References on Backlink Wikipedia Page

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