Wikipedia Backlinks: How To Boost Your Site’s SEO With Links On Wikipedia

How I Get Permanent Links From Wikipedia for Every Website I Build

No matter what any SEO expert tells you, getting backlinks from high authority sites is still the most important ranking […]

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No matter what any SEO expert tells you, getting backlinks from high authority sites is still the most important ranking factor (along with high-quality content).

The more authoritative links a site has, the faster it ranks in search engines.

This is precisely why backlinks from Wikipedia are considered as the holy grail of link building.

Even a couple of backlinks from Wikipedia can skyrocket your site’s authority and send thousands of visitors in referral traffic.

But how exactly can you get backlinks from Wikipedia? Aren’t all external links on Wikipedia tagged as no-follow? Even if you get a link on Wikipedia, will it stay there forever?

In this article, I’ll tell you exactly how I build backlinks from Wikipedia for every niche site I start and use its authority to get dozens of links on other websites.

Keep reading.

Why Wikipedia Backlinks Are Good For SEO

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must’ve seen and used Wikipedia. 

It’s the world’s biggest crowdsourced online encyclopedia that has information about every topic imaginable.

It is one of the highest authority sites on the internet because each and every page on Wikipedia is manually moderated and only verified and useful links are approved on it.

This is why it has a very good reputation as being nearly untouchable by SEO spammers even though it’s a publicly editable site where anyone can contribute or suggest edits about a topic.

As a result, any links that do make it to Wikipedia are considered safe and reliable by Google Search.

And that’s not all.

Because of the amount of traffic Wikipedia receives any link that makes it to a Wikipedia page usually gets a lot of referral traffic from it.

Plus, people from all over the world use Wikipedia to reference their content. If your link makes it to a Wikipedia page, there are high chances that other relevant sites will also link back to you.

Wikipedia Links Are No-Follow. Who Cares?

No Follows

External links from Wikipedia are no-follow. They carry no link juice, so what’s the point of taking the time and effort to put our link in there?

Is there an impact on SEO?

There is a never-ending debate out there on whether nofollow links have any SEO impact. Here’s my take on it:

If a link is on a strong site with lots of authority and will pass along traffic, then get it.

It builds your site’s brand authority.

Search engines are paying attention to everything now like tweets, Facebook shares, traffic data, time on site, browser usage, toolbar, etc.

So these links have become more about building your brand on a trusted and authoritative page. You build your own site’s brand authority by being linked to from a huge authority website like Wikipedia.

Because Wikipedia is so strict on who they link to, any link they list is automatically considered an authority figure in the average reader’s eyes.

Also, by being linked to as a reference, it opens opportunities to acquire a lot of links in the long-run from people who use that Wikipedia page as a reference.

Referral Traffic From Wikipedia Backlinks

The links I have on Wikipedia each send anywhere between 5-20 visitors a day. I’ve heard of some people getting over 100,000 visitors a month from their Wikipedia link, but I’ve yet to experience anything like that.

How To Build Backlinks On Wikipedia

Ok, now that we know why they’re so valuable, let’s talk about how to get them. Follow these 3 simple steps and you should be able to get a permanent link on their site.

Step 1: Find Dead Links On Wikipedia

When a Wikipedia editor finds a dead link (a link to a page that no longer exists) in one of their pages, they don’t remove it right away. Instead, they leave a little note there for editors to come and double check it later on before it’s completely removed.

It looks a little something like this:

Wikipedia broken link building

We’re going to locate these dead links and replace them with our own.

1. Open up Google and do a search: site:wikipedia.org [your niche] + “dead link”

For example, if your keyword is ‘skiing’ you would do a search for:
site:wikipedia.org skiing + “dead link”

A great tool that does this for you is WikiGrabber. Simply input your keywords and it will find all the relevant pages that contain dead links.

2. Visit whatever page it brings back and do a page search by holding “Ctrl” and pressing “F” on your keyword. Type in dead link. This will show you exactly where the dead links are located on the page.

Step 2: Recreate The Content For Wikipedia

Now that you found it, you have the rare opportunity to edit the link and replace it with yours. What you want to do is create the exact same page it was when you first saw it.

To do this, you have to create a new page on your site.

First, we have to see what was on the dead page before it was deleted.

Go to archive.org and search the URL to see what content was on the page when it was live.

You can create a similar page with related content on your site, but I usually just copy and paste the entire thing onto my new page.

Step 3: Replace the Dead Link On Wikipedia

Next, it’s time to go in and edit the link on the Wikipedia page. This is where it can get kind of confusing.

The link itself is placed in the “References” section of the page. But when you try and edit that section, you should see something strange like this:

Replacing the Wikipedia

You can’t edit that, right?

Well that’s because everything listed in the “References” section is auto-updated when you edit the actual content.

How To Add Your Link In Wikipedia References

You should see a number next to the reference. That’s the locator of where the citation is in the content of that Wikipedia page. You’ll see it in brackets throughout the page.

For instance, if the “reference” with the dead link is listed at #20, you can do a Ctrl + F search for [20] and it should show you exactly where it’s located within the content.

Find that number in the content body. Then click on the “Edit” link.

When you open the editor, and locate the dead link, you’ll see that the link is formatted in a strange way that looks something like this:

< ref >[http://aom.dead-inside.org/inter/death/index.htm Dead Inside]{{dead link|date=May 2014}}< / ref >

It’s not as confusing as it looks. The URL at the beginning is the URL of the link. That’s separated by a space and whatever comes after it is the anchor text.

Get rid of the entire part that has dead link in it, replace out the URL with your own, and edit the anchor text.

The updated line should look like this:

< ref >[YOUR NEW URL HERE your anchor text here]< / ref >

Save the page and that’s it. The link has been updated.

Done.

Are Wikipedia Backlinks Permanent?

The beauty of this method is that, although you’re doing some shady SEO tactic, you’re improving Wikipedia at the same time.

A real link to real helpful content is much better than a broken link.

Therefore, even with a manual review from an editor, the link will remain on the page.

Just remember not to overdo it.

Remember that Wikipedia tracks your user ID and IP address. If they see too many edits, all your links can be taken down, even the really helpful ones that you put a lot of time into.

If you successfully get a link, don’t go overboard and be happy that you now have a powerful link from Wikipedia to your site.

The Hidden Opportunity In Wikipedia Link Building

Finding dead links on Wikipedia and replacing them with your content has another amazing benefit.

Thousands of websites use the links from Wikipedia as references in their content.

If you find a broken or dead link on Wikipedia, it’s likely that dozens of sites have linked to that same URL.

But since the link does not exist anymore, every one of those sites is a potential broken link building prospect for you.

Just copy the dead link and search for it Ahrefs, SEMrush, or any other SEO tool. Make sure you search for the exact URL and not the domain only.

Check the backlink profile of the URL with your favorite SEO tool and you’ll find exactly who’s linking to it.

All of them are your link building prospects.

Reach out to them with your resource, tell them about the broken link, and offer your resource as a replacement.

You can easily get dozens of backlinks this way.

Are You Ready To Get Backlinks From Wikipedia?

Getting backlinks from Wikipedia takes a little effort which is why many SEOs and marketers don’t go for it.

My advice: don’t be lazy.

Even one good link from Wikipedia can elevate you above your competitors.

Just follow the process I’ve outlined in this article and give t your best shot. There’s no reason why you can’t get backlinks from Wikipedia.

But as I said earlier, don’t overdo it or you’ll lose all your links.

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.

Wikipedia For SEO And Backlinks – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is the world’s biggest crowdsourced encyclopedia with millions of ages and content about every topic imaginable.

Is Wikipedia good for SEO?

Wikipedia is one of the highest authority sites on the internet which is why a backlink from Wikipedia to your site can dramatically increase its authority.

How do I get do-follow backlinks from Wikipedia?

All external links on Wikipedia are tagged as no-follow which is why you cannot get do-follow backlinks from Wikipedia.

Are no-follow links from Wikipedia useful for SEO? 

Yes, no-follow backlinks from Wikipedia are still useful because of the site’s authority plus the amount of referral traffic it generates.

How do you get an article on Wikipedia?

You can create a new page on Wikipedia or suggest edits to its published content.

How do I find broken links in Wikipedia?

You can use the broken link checker Chrome extension to find broken links on Wikipedia. The broken links that are identified by Wikipedia editors are marked as [dead link] 

Why does Google rate Wikipedia so highly?

All the content on Wikipedia is manually approved and strictly moderated by its team.

This is why anything that goes live on Wikipedia is verified and of the highest quality. This is why Google considers Wikipedia a reliable information source.

56 comments

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  1. Hey Chris, great post. Here is a tool that cuts down on the search phase of this strategy. It searches for pages that have dead links, or needs additional citations. Its topic based, so it helps dig up pages that might not be on a persons radar.

    http://wikigrabber.com

  2. Hi Chris,

    Awesome share. Thanks for taking the time to write it up.

    I was just wondering, do these type of links to new pages have an overall effect on the site? I see that you create a new page to compliment what was previously on the dead link, but getting a link to that page will only help that pages rankings right? Or will it have an effect on the domain and the entire site?

    1. Hey Logan. Yes, it has an effect on the entire domain. Domain authority builds up and makes it easier to rank for other pages.

  3. I posted 1 backlink it works, i have 3 more lined up buuut you don’t mention specific limits only that wikipedia tracks 🙁 how many is too much? My 4 links? 🙁

    1. Hey Mikula,

      Yeah definitely stop at 4 if you’ve been doing them all at once. Not 100% how Wikipedia tracks things and what would trigger an alert, but I normally do just 1 at a time for one of my main pages or my homepage per site.

        1. That sucks. I’ve done 2 in a row before and it did work. Hopefully they’ll stick next time. But I usually only do 1 every month or two. It’s wikipedia. If one sticks, awesome!

  4. Hey Chris,

    Just going through all your posts and saw this one as something I will try tonight.

    You should add this one in the course 🙂

    Thanks!

    Toki

    1. A link profile that’s only dofollow isn’t natural. Nofollow links don’t directly pass link juice, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable for ranking.

      Links from Wikipedia can send you a lot of traffic, and also set you up to earn natural dofollow links down the line. Wikipedia pages usually are ranked in the top 3 for most search terms, and those looking for sources to link to will usually check Wikipedia, and the pages they’re linking to as references.

  5. Question on the title of this post implying these are “permanent links”. I’ve noticed that many people swap out my links for their links. Nothing can stop this. It seems that none of my links in wikipedia last longer than a month or so. Does this happen to you? Any secret to avoid this?

    1. This happens once in a while but it shouldn’t be a frequent problem unless you’re in a niche full of internet marketers. If you are… then try targeting a different related wikipedia page rather than your target one. Another thing is frequency at which you do this. Too many edits from the same IP can raise flags – every edit is recorded so stay under the radar.

  6. Thank you Chris,

    This post is very informative and I actually gave it a try. I found a dead link on a Wikipedia page and created a page on my site with exact the same cached content I got from Archive website. It turned out that the Wikipedia Editor overwrote my link and replace it with its original dead link. I also tried the other niche and the result was the same. I guess they probably know people are doing this and try to stop them from doing that so they prefer dead links on Wikipedia now?

    1. I hope it isn’t getting saturated with SEO’s overusing the method. Hmm but as long as the dead link is fixed with a legitimate link to a source I don’t see why they would feel the need to remove it.

  7. Hello Chris,
    I want to ask you about .edu links and creating for them profiles like this page boinc.berkeley.edu . This profile is nofollow but we can create more by searching it like this :
    site:.edu “Log in / create account”
    site:.edu “powered by Foswiki”
    site:.edu “System/UserRegistration”
    We can found some follow links.
    But tell me how it looks in google rankings by penguin or other google spam systems?

    1. These are usually not worth the time and effort to build. These pages are in super deep directories rarely crawled by Google and pass zero link juice. Building too many of these can spam up your link profile.

  8. Quick question, does it make sense to take a measurement of the traffic before deciding which page to attempt to ‘fix’.
    Great blog, articles each add a ton of value, thank you for that.

    1. Hey Justin, yeah definitely. Good point! Popular wikipedia pages can drive a LOT of traffic, so if there are a bunch of pages on your topic, then it’s effective to analyze traffic/backlinks and pick the best one to fix.

      1. My authority-silo-homepage article/guide has about 85 keywords, 25 of which are plurals, so about 60 unique keywords.
        I inputted all 85 words into the wikigrabber and found 6,000 wikilinks that needed citations or were dead (2600 unique). I haven’t combed the 2600 to see what was relevant yet.

        Does the two make a difference, “citations needed” vs “dead links”?

  9. Wiki is certainly getting strict on links allowed. I paid a super editor on wiki to setup a link, and the day it was indexed, it was also removed, and there is nothing worse then getting a link, then starting a campaign to send more backlinks to the page, needless to say, for me it was a simple waste of effort, time and resources that I could have used elsewhere. yes, if you can get them great, then you have to monitor, and worry if your link will be canned shortly after…

    1. LoyAnn,
      Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I have seen sites with people advertising for this service, and they always warn this may not be permanent. I have seen others complain about the same thing.
      I did notice that one guy (he claimed to be an editor with wikipedia; of course he can’t divulge his identity) had packages. The very basic package was creation of the content. The more advanced packages were creation of supporting content pages.
      This to me tells me that Wikipedia is going to take a look at the site as a whole. Probably run the site through Majestic to get Trust Flow metrics. I know I would if I was Wikipedia, wouldn’t want fake sites coming in to steal a citation if they aren’t truly going to be dedicated to that subject.
      So the supporting content pages are for adding more Topical slant for the content that will be hosted there so the site passes the smell test imo.
      Do you mind if I ask you if your site had thin content or lack of TF/CF for the niche you were going for? Also did the vendor you use have various packages like I described?
      I have also seen vendors offering a non-slanted take on your brand to create your own wikipedia page. That will help coming up in the knowledge graph which would be good also imo for passing the wiki smell test..

  10. Sorry Chris. did i see wrongly?
    Copy paste the dead page content from archive. com?Not a new related more constructive content?
    Will wikipedia allow?
    Thanks

    1. Nope you read it correctly 🙂 The page is a dead page – doesn’t exist anymore. We’re just getting it from the archives.

      Wikipedia will allow it… the only thing is that copy and pasting any content is questionable. So while 95% of the time, it’s fine and nothing will happen, technically you are scraping content and the original content creator might not like it.

      The best option is to re-create it as you said into a more constructive piece of content.

  11. Great tutorial and well research write up,thank you chris for the useful resource, i have gotten a lot info to learn from this post, but as a new blogger i just discovered the method is real tedious and time consuming as well.

  12. Hello Chris
    This is something really deep.My niche is not all that competitive.I used to get people who would ask some cents to creat a wikipedia link for me.

    Am great I just landed on thos article.I just pray that you continue posting informative articles like this.I learn a lot from you.

    Thank you.

  13. Thank you, Chris,

    This post is very informative and I actually gave it a try. I found a dead link on a Wikipedia page and created a page on my website with exactly the same cached content I got from Archive website. It turned out that the Wikipedia Editor overwrote my link and replace it with its original dead link. I also tried the other niche and the result was the same. I guess they probably know people are doing this and try to stop them from doing that so they prefer dead links on Wikipedia now?

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