Some people are up in arms about the idea of Wikipedia adding ads to their site. The issue is not that ads are hated. The true issue with the Wikipedia and advertising is this:
The issue is not targeting or relevancy... the issue is that some will feel it is bait and switch. That something they thought was pure and easy to believe in now suddenly is part of the real world.
The truth is that the Wikipedia has always been chuck full of ads. I am not talking about the link spam that people sneak in, or when people promote their own brands, I am talking about the mindset with which Wikipedia articles are drafted. Lets look at the search engine optimization article.
First of all, lets start with the classification and associated fields:
Even Google's guidance on hiring an SEO, which is quite biased (and self serving) in nature, probably is not as biased as the Wikipedia's classification of SEO.
Now lets compare that frame of reference to the opinion of Google's lead engineer in charge of search quality. From my interview with Matt Cutts, where I asked Is all SEO spam? His response was:
Absolutely not--I need to do a post about this on my blog sometime. Lots and lots of search engine optimization is white-hat and not spam at all.
The way Wikipedia classifies SEO is an advertisement biased against the entire field of SEO, and thus acts as an ad for search engines and pay per click marketing.
Accepted Types of Information:
I knew that directly linking to my site or directly marketing myself on Wikipedia was not going to go to far with them generally hating the field of SEO so much. On the other hand, I knew their vile hatred of the field meant that me mentioning Traffic Power and linking to articles about Traffic Power that link to my site would stay in that article forever. And they have stuck thusfar.
The Wikipedia states:
When discovered, search engines may take action against those found to be using unethical SEO methods.
Why is ethics even tied to SEO techniques? Machines can't have ethics. When their results are inaccurate that must be the fault of some external third party with low ethical standards? What is that?
"Wikipedia hasn't been a real 'wiki' where anyone can write and edit for quite a while now." A few months ago, in the wake of controversies about the quality and reliability of the free encyclopedia's content, the Wikipedian powers-that-be - its "administrators" - abandoned the work's founding ideal of being the "ULTIMATE 'open' format" and tightened the restrictions on editing. In addition to banning some contributors from the site, the administrators adopted an "official policy" of what they called, in good Orwellian fashion, "semi-protection" to prevent "vandals" (also known as people) from messing with their open encyclopedia.
There is a bias toward those who want to talk down or shine a negative light on the field of SEO while true topical experts are driven off. Google founders Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page mentioned Danny Sullivan in some of their early research, and yet Wikipedians ran him out of the topic. Danny is probably the single most authoritative voice on search.
If I know my words are probably going to get edited out of the Wikipedia where is the incentive for me to put effort into editing there when my work is much more likely to be respected and profitable if I put it on my own site?
Not only does the classification and writing within Wikipedia reinforce the worldview pushed by the most powerful associated commercial entity (Google), but the types of things that are reference worthy are "famous" SEOs, which is going to be inherently biased toward people who established strong brands many years ago.
Which of the listed famous SEOs have entered the field this decade? None of them.
I have no doubt in my mind that many people newer to the SEO market than I know far more than I do.
Also as fields and language itself evolve will the large cross referenced content base that is the Wikipedia even be able to keep up with rapidly changing markets or linguistic changes?
General Factual Errors:
The SEO article on Wikipedia also states
Yahoo! and MSN Search do not automatically punish entire websites for small amounts of hidden text. Google's market share of daily searches has fallen rapidly from 75% to 56% over the past few years, as other search engines find many web pages that Google has banned and cannot display due to Google's severely limited index.
One would have to live under a rock, having no access website referral logs, the news, or financial markets to believe that Google has been drastically losing market share to competing search companies.
The ease with which people can edit the Wikipedia creates a bias toward quickly adding incorrect factoids, while discouraging true topical experts from participating, especially if their opinion is likely to get edited out if it does not conform to the flavor of the day group-think.
One simple fact that must be accepted as the basis for any intellectual work is that truth "whatever definition of that word you may subscribe to" is not democratically determined. And another is that talent, whether for soccer or for exposition, is not equally distributed across the population, while a robust confidence is one's own views apparently is. If there is a systemic bias in Wikipedia, it is to have ignored so far these inescapable facts.
I know one article is a small sample, and am not saying that I think the Wikipedia is a bad source for everything, just that in rapidly changing fields of commercial interests the Wikipedia is one of the last sources I would trust for an accurate view of the market. It is more representative of an advertisement that the most powerful sources in a market tell people that they should be thinking about.
Gain a Competitive Advantage Today
Your top competitors have been investing into their marketing strategy for years.
Now you can know exactly where they rank, pick off their best keywords, and track new opportunities as they emerge.
Explore the ranking profile of your competitors in Google and Bing today using SEMrush.
Enter a competing URL below to quickly gain access to their organic & paid search performance history - for free.
See where they rank & beat them!
- Comprehensive competitive data: research performance across organic search, AdWords, Bing ads, video, display ads, and more.
- Compare Across Channels: use someone's AdWords strategy to drive your SEO growth, or use their SEO strategy to invest in paid search.
- Global footprint: Tracks Google results for 120+ million keywords in many languages across 28 markets
- Historical data: since 2009, before Panda and Penguin existed, so you can look for historical penalties and other potential ranking issues.
- Risk-free: Free trial & low price.