Writing your own Wikipedia article - why?

Dr. Ralf Friedrich

Dr. Ralf Friedrich, February 15, 2022

Writing your own Wikipedia article - why?

Reading time: 4 minutes

Brief scenario: You ask an acquaintance for help because you have a problem in your company. You know that he had a similar problem a few years ago. Unfortunately, he can't help you personally, but he recommends another company that helped him fix the problem back then. What do you do?

You Google and find a Wikipedia article about this company at the top of the search results.

What do you think now?

"Wow. The company even has its own Wikipedia entry!"

A Wikipedia entry boosts the image.

The advantages of having your own Wikipedia article  

Everyone knows it and everyone loves it: The quick click on Wikipedia, when you once again have no idea what certain things are about or which person is behind a name.

Whether it's historical or social events, chemical or biological processes, scientific discoveries, or important people: Wikipedia knows everything.

In this day and age, Wikipedia is the first "place to go" to find information about any subject online. In Germany, the reference work ranks 7th among the most frequently visited websites.

Since its founding in 2001, its reputation as a serious, transparent and reliable source of information has grown steadily. One of the reasons for this is that Wikipedia articles have improved in quality over the years thanks to active authors, reviewers and administrators. They check statements, data and sources, correct them and ensure that the neutrality of the articles is maintained.

Google and other search engines also love Wikipedia. If Wikipedia has a matching article for a search query, it displays it in the first place of all results.

You also want to be found on Wikipedia and have your own article?

Perform relevance check now

Wikipedia articles are great for your SEO.

In a digital age, quick and easy online accessibility has become an absolute necessity for successful businesses.

For all individuals and companies who want to be noticed by the world, writing their own Wikipedia article now sounds like an enticing proposition. After all, such an entry not only attracts attention, but also increases the respectability of one's own company.

But if you think you can just sit down at your laptop and type away, you're wrong. Writing your own Wikipedia article sounds easier than it actually is.

Wikipedia: What you (don't) use it for

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that provides information on any field of knowledge. More than 55 million articles exist in almost 300 languages. In addition, anyone may create and edit such articles. 

At the same time, Wikipedia is not a website where any person or company can be looked up. It is not a network like LinkedIn or Instagram, where anyone can present and display themselves as needed.

Wikipedia stands for objectivity and legitimacy. For this reason, the encyclopedia only contains articles on topics that can be identified as relevant or that meet the internal relevance criteria. Wikipedia is not interested in being part of a marketing strategy for a brand or a company. What counts are facts that can be proven, not nice phrases that make you and your company look good.

Writing Wikipedia articles: Who is relevant?

The given relevance criteria give you a rough idea of the requirements your company has to fulfill to be considered relevant. In principle, the fulfillment of one of the criteria is sufficient to be allowed to publish a contribution. This can then only be deleted if you violate other guidelines or principles of the Wikipedia community.

It should be noted, however, that there are also subject areas for which individual relevance criteria have not yet been defined.

The relevance criteria to be met are also controversial and therefore a constant topic of discussion in the community. Changes to the existing relevance criteria are therefore not excluded.

Relevance criteria for companies

For a company to be encyclopedically relevant, one of the criteria must apply (or has applied in the past): 

  • There are at least 1000 full-time employees in the company.
  • The company can boast annual sales of more than 100 million euros.
  • The company has at least 20 permanent establishments within the meaning of Art. 5 OECD-MA DBA (this includes its own branches, production sites, subsidiaries, retail stores, but not independent commercial agents or distributors), and exceeds at least two of the three characteristics specified in Sec. 267 (2) HGB.
  • The Company is traded on a German stock exchange in the regulated market or in an equivalent stock exchange segment in other countries.
  • The company has a dominant market position or innovative pioneering role in a relevant product group or service (independent source required).

What if my company is not suitable?

Due to Wikipedia's strict (but necessary) criteria, not every company is suitable for its own article. However, this does not mean that your company cannot benefit from Wikipedia at all.

Often, just mentioning the company in another Wikipedia article gets you the attention you want. Various successes and recognitions are enough to be mentioned in well-known articles with it.

For example, did your company help develop and implement a well-known app? Can you prove this via a publication? If yes, we can implement the entry of your company in the corresponding Wikipedia article.

Even this mention of your company as a contributor to innovative articles attracts positive attention.

Wikipedia article as a status symbol

With Wikipedia among the top ten most visited websites in Germany, it shows how beneficial having your own article can be to your company's reputation.

Wikipedia is the "place" to find objective and reliable information about relevant people and companies.

The strict relevance criteria ensure that only verified and important topics are published.

The difference to the online presence on Instagram, LinkedIn and Co. is that advertising and self-promotion are completely excluded. It's not about selling yourself or your company as well as possible. It's about using hard facts to show why you and your company are a relevant part of society. And why people should know about it.

If we think back to the wow moment of the beginning, we realize: Having your own Wikipedia article is definitely considered a status symbol. If you have one, you can proudly say: "I've done it.

Dr. Ralf Friedrich

Dr. Ralf Friedrich

Ralf is our secret weapon for text. With a PhD in German language and literature and a deep understanding of online marketing, he has been using it to create professional, linguistically high-quality and search engine optimized texts for over 12 years.

Do you need support for a project?
Book a free initial consultation now