All businesses need to consider reputation management and when someone types your company name into a search engine, you want to own as many of the results as possible. Your business website, your blog, your Facebook page, Yelp listing and other business profile pages are going to rank well. While this is good and you control these pages, the more pages you control the less likely it is for an angry blogger or a questionable article to show up. To increase your listings, you need to look at Wikipedia which is a ranking powerhouse and will always be on the first page particularly on Google. While it might seem like a good idea to have a Wikipedia page for your business, you need to consider everything.
Qualifying For A Wikipedia Page
A lot of people do not realize that many small businesses will not actually qualify for a Wikipedia page. In these cases, understanding the pros and cons of the page will be moot. While anyone can create a Wikipedia page, if you make a page for a business that does not belong, the administrators will remove it. The Help pages on the website do indicate that Wikipedia is not a business directory.
In order to qualify for a Wikipedia page, your small business needs to reach some level of notoriety and be noteworthy for some accomplishment. Wikipedia does have a page which details what the notability guidelines are. Notability will generally come in the form of high-level media coverage. This means that the feature article in the local newspaper is not going to be enough, but a feature in TIME magazine could do it.
Of course, this is not always the case. A good example of this is Charm City Cakes which is a bakery in Baltimore that appeared on the Food Network show Ace of Cakes. Their Wikipedia page is not actually about the business and focuses on the show. However, Junior’s Cheesecake is a famous New York restaurant and they have a Wikipedia page. This can make it hard to determine what is notable enough and what is not.
Zip’s Drive-In is a small fast-food chain which does have a Wikipedia page while Burger Ranch, which is similar, also has one but their page has a notice stating that the article might not meet the general notability guidelines. The New York-based Apple sales and services provider Tekserve has a Wikipedia page, but Sparks Steak House’s page is not actually business-related. It has been listed as notable because it was the establishment where the Gambino crime family boss and another mobster were gunned down in 1985.
The Hollywood-based Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles does have a Wikipedia page, but it can be hard to determine how it passed the notability test. Based on this, you can see that there are many small businesses that have Wikipedia pages. However, you will have to pass the notability test and your page might not be fully related to your business offerings.
The Benefits Of A Wikipedia Page
There are many benefits to a Wikipedia page, with the first being great exposure. Wikipedia is a heavily used resource and when you have a page you will get more exposure. This means better visibility for your business which is always a good thing.
You also have control in terms of reputation management if you use a Wikipedia page creation service. Wikipedia is likely to be one of the top results for any search for your company name. This will help you manage the reputation your business has online.
Having a Wikipedia page will also increase trust in your business. This is important because you can never underestimate trust from search engines and customers. A Wikipedia page will actually help you with both so you are killing two birds with one stone.
The Drawbacks Of Wikipedia Page Creation
While there are benefits to a Wikipedia page, there are also some drawbacks you need to know about. The first is that you do not actually have a say in what is said about your business. If you qualify for a Wikipedia page, the website will frown on you or an employee creating one and they will frown even harder when you try to correct the page. As the owner, you do not meet their neutral point of view policy. The best option you have for influencing your page is to identify yourself as an employee and engage on the talk page of the article where you suggest corrections or additions. However, you will not be able to make any changes yourself and this can become frustrating.
Wikipedia pages also need constant monitoring. As a small business that qualifies for a Wikipedia page, you are going to have competition and some angry customers out there who would love to make you look bad. While you are unable to edit the page, these people could. This means that you have to be vigilant and look for updates to the page and hope that someone will correct any untruthful information. There are times when this level of monitoring will become very time-consuming.
The last drawback is that you have no room for errors. The additional exposure that comes from the page will leave you with little room for error when it comes to your business’s future. If the CEO of the company is pictured in a compromising situation, it will be on the Wikipedia page. Any lawsuits against you will also be on the page which will impact the trust being built.
There are a lot of people and small businesses that probably qualify for a Wikipedia page, but they do not want one. There are a lot of potential problems that come with this and there is a lot of monitoring which has to be done. These points stop a lot of small businesses from getting a Wikipedia page, but this might be different for your business.
There are some businesses that would benefit from the status and exposure that a Wikipedia page offers. This is particularly true for businesses that have the time and resources to monitor the page and help make a correction. However, for most small businesses the drawbacks will outweigh the benefits and you need to consider this. There are many other marketing channels that can be used to greater effect with less time and effort which you might want to consider instead.