How to Create a Company Wikipedia Page

All you need to know about writing a Wikipedia page about a company.

Wikipedia is one of the world’s most regularly viewed websites. Due to its size and the sheer amount of information it holds, there is little wonder that businesses see a page as a badge of honor. A famous journalist once said “if it isn’t on Wikipedia, it doesn’t exist.” It sets a tone on how we view businesses, conglomerates and startups when judging their Wikipedia presence.

Wikipedia’s English version is by far the largest, with over 6 million articles. Across the entire encyclopaedia, there is tens of millions of articles in nearly every conceivable language. This content is produced mainly by volunteers, armies of individuals who take pride in providing information on their given area of speciality.

Where this becomes a problem, is many businesses aren’t in anyone’s “specialist area” so a company can remain without a page for years, even though they pass Wikipedia’s general notability guidelines.

Our guide below explains exactly how to create a Wikipedia page for your company, and why it is such a significant step in any marketing or PR strategy. It gives anyone searching your business that added layer of security, proving that you are not only a credible business, but that you are one of the industry leaders.

Wikipedia top tip #1 - Read the Rulebook

Rules and guidelines are a big part of what keeps Wikipedia ticking. It is therefore crucial that new editors follow Wikipedia’s policies to ensure the upload is successful.

Step 1 - Create a user account

This step is fairly easy and straightforward, similar to creating any user on a forum or social media platform. Click on the “Create account” link at the top right of the webpage when on wikipedia.org.

There are a number of rules when choosing a username. Our best advice is that it should be something completely random. Using the company name can often be seen that the account is used by multiple users, which breaks one of Wikipedia’s main rules. Each user should only be used by a single person. Should that person leave the business, then a new account should be created by their predecessor. More can be seen here on Wikipedia’s username policy.

Step 2 - Build user credibility

Wikipedia has a strange relationship with a rule and how it is implemented. This rule is a single-purpose account or sometimes abbreviated to SPA. While Wikipedia will accept a user who is interested in only one subject, if every user was to do that then everything Wikipedia stands for would fail.

Since Wikipedia’s foundations are built on the premise that users interact and co-operate, if all users were to stay in their lane, the likelihood would be a collection of biased articles, written from a single perspective.

Begin editing by working on articles that need improvement. Our advice would be to work on something you are interested in personally, this can be film, music, a travel destination or a sports team. This way you will be driven to add to the encyclopedia, rather than just tick a box and move on. These type of edits are the ones that really improve Wikipedia, so your input will often be welcomed with open arms.

The amount of editing required before submitting a page is up for debate. We say continue up until a point where you feel familiar with Wikipedia, so maybe a month of editing periodically.

Wikipedia top tip #2 - Create A User Page

Wikipedians like to understand who they are dealing with. By creating a user page, it gives an impression on who you are and what your intentions are. This step isn’t vital, but can again demonstrate that you aren’t a single-purpose account.

Step 3 - Start the creation process

Before creating a page, it is incredibly important that you understand Wikipedia’s notability criteria for businesses. Some encyclopaedic subjects don’t have their own criteria, are therefore fall under Wikipedia’s general notability guideline. However, organisations and companies do have a list of notability criteria. Each industry or type of company has its own criteria, so its important to ensure you’re looking at the right guidelines for your particular business.

Neutral writing style

Another major pitfall when constructing a Wikipedia page is the writing style. Company pages are often written by PR or marketing personnel within a company, many of thom spend their entire careers writing promotional content. Unfortunately, the common promotional prose used by companies in press releases and online content won’t cut it on Wikipedia. The easiest way to reduce promotional content is to cut out adjectives that aim to promote rather than describe. One such example could be, “Wizards of Wiki is the oldest specialist Wikipedia consultancy in operation today, assisting Fortune 500 companies and other global conglomerates.” This would be rejected for a number of reasons, so should be replaced with something less promotional such as, “Wizards of Wiki was first founded in 2012, and assists corporations with editing Wikipedia pages.” While it is still slightly promotional, the focus is on a particular fact with added description. If the fact isn’t the main part of any sentence or paragraph, then it needs a rethink.

Where this becomes more difficult, is in order to get a page accepted, you need to prove a company is notable. Toeing the line with every sentence between promotion and establishing notability can be incredibly tough if you aren’t used to the particular writing style.

Not just references, but reputable publications

Any fact or milestone you include on the company Wikipedia page should be followed by a reference. The focus of this is to prove that the fact is accurate and correct, but when creating a page, the total references and their quality plays a part in the page getting accepted or rejected. People new to Wikipedia writing will often just reference the fact from a primary source or a source that doesn’t go through any editorial checks, such as a company bio. But it is important that the reference used is a third party reference, so that the fact can be properly checked.

Wikipedia top tip #3 - Hire a Wikipedia professional

Unless you are the next SpaceX or Uber, a member of the Wikipedia community is unlikely to guide you through the creation process even if you ask for help. This is why there are numerous Wikipedia consultancies and freelancers online offering services to help those that require help on Wikipedia.

It is important to check a couple of things prior to reaching out. Many consultants and freelancers have been black listed or ran into problems with Wikipedia in the past. It is therefore worth checking Wikipedia’s paid editing companies list to ensure you aren’t about to give your hard earned dollars to one of the cowboys in the industry. Wikipedia’s list of paid editing companies gives a useful summary of those that have been blocked at least once. You will also notice that since our foundation in 2012, we have never been blocked or ran into issues with Wikipedia.

This is also the perfect time to ask for assistance from a consultant. When your page has been rejected, it can set a negative precedence with the reviewers that can be hard to overcome in some instances. Therefore if creating a Wikipedia page about your startup or business looks difficult, reach out to a professional for guidance.

Step 4 - Code the page

Once the content is completed and references are added, it is important to structure the page correctly and code the page. Presenting the page in plain text would lead to the page getting rejected, so its crucial to at least add in basic Wikicode.

One of the easiest things to miss is interlinking, Wikipedia refer to this as “interwiki linking”. These are the blue links within the page that link to other pages, and is a crucial part of how Wikipedia works. Without the interlinking, it would be difficult for readers to navigate around and also severely effect Wikipedia’s SEO presence. Simply add two square brackets before and after a word you would like to link to. For example [[United States]].

Beyond that, using the citation wizard is a great way to add complex code and ensure references are displayed correctly, rather than trying to do so coding freehand.

Step 5 - Submitting a page

Once you reach the page submission stage, a lot of people start to think they’ve passed the complex part of the process, but sadly it isn’t as straightforward as it could be. As long as you declare a conflict of interest, there is no perfect method to upload a Wikipedia page, but there are two distinct options.

The first is to use the AfC, or the Articles for Creation process. This is Wikipedia’s step-by-step guide to creating a page and recommend COI users or new editors use it to submit new pages. The feedback and process is quite straightforward, the only concern is that waiting times for reviews vary wildly. At times reviews have been a week or two, but in 2021 wait times reached 5 months. Its worth understanding waiting times on Wikipedia are by far its biggest problem, so don’t expect quick results and any agency promising them should be a red flag.

The second option is the one that more experienced editors use and submit a page straight to Wikipedia’s live space. There are rules and regulations that govern COI editing and interaction with Wikipedia’s live space, but it is an option and something to be considered if you are an experienced editor.

Step 6 - Wait for feedback or acceptance

Waiting for feedback can be hard, especially if you have senior management constantly asking for updates. The biggest thing here is to be patient. Wikipedia’s AfC reviews are not done in chronological order, which is something that often infuriates people unfamiliar with the encyclopedia. The benefit is that if something isn’t in your area of expertise or really doesn’t interest you as a reviewer, you can skip past it. But the unforeseen problem is that unless your page is an interesting topic, lets say a startup focusing on robotics, its unlikely to jump up the queue.

Frustrated editors waiting for their draft to be reviewed will often bombard other reviewing editors or noticeboards with polite questions, such as “why hasn’t my page been reviewed yet?” But this approach can lead to someone looking at your page when they are in a hurry. When someone reviews the page you want it to be for the right reasons and it is a page they are interested in reviewing.

Its been rejected

When the review comes, don’t be disheartened if its rejected or the feedback is sketchy. Wikipedians have hundreds of pages to review, so will often reject a page if they aren’t happy and only give a concise explanation as to why.

If you are rejected, you can simply try again and try to tweak the content so that it rectifies the problems that were outlined in the feedback. Its also worth reaching out to an editor that reviewed the page to either ask for more information or guidance. Editors are often friendly when asked for help, but again don’t be discouraged if they’re too busy to get back to you.

The other option is to reach out to an agency. Most agencies, Wizards of Wiki included, will give you free advice on a draft. They will also likely offer their services and explain how the submission could be improved. If time is of the essence, then this can be crucial to getting a page accepted quickly, three or four rejections in a row can often take up a lot of time.

Its been accepted

If the page has been accepted then great! You’re now a Wikipedia editor that created a new page. However, don’t let it go to your head - continue to learn and collaborate with the community.

Wikipedia top tip #4 - Further considerations

When the page is accepted, there are other things to consider. A page can be updated by anyone since Wikipedia is a collaborative project. This means that in an ideal world other editors will add new coverage and information, it could also have negative information added. So it is worth keeping an eye on what is getting added to the page.

The easiest way to keep on top of any Wikipedia page is with regular, small updates. Large edits every couple of years can often defeat what Wikipedia stands for, since pages should be constructed by multiple editors. By making small and regular updates, it allows other users to tweak and improve each submission without getting overwhelmed. One option is to ask an agency to do this on your behalf if it becomes too time consuming.

Can a company edit its Wikipedia page?

Yes a company can edit its Wikipedia page, and is often best placed to do so, since they will understand the subject better than anyone else. Another advantage is employees will be able to find media coverage much quicker than a Wikipedia community member, since they will know exactly what they are looking for and where to look.

Can I write a Wikipedia page about my company?

Again, the answer is yes. By following Wikipedia’s guidelines, it should avoid any confrontation with the Wikipedia community.

Final thoughts

Creating and editing company Wikipedia pages shouldn’t be seen as an easy task. It is challenging but rewarding. The community aims to keep Wikipedia going and do what is best for the encyclopedia, therefore if they don’t want to be interested in helping on a single page (in this case your company page), remember to stay respectful.

If it all gets too much, composing and crafting a Wikipedia page can be done by one of the many agencies out there like ours.

Ready to chat?

Contact us

Need more time? Here are some of our services.