As an SEO (someone who participates in doing SEO work as part of their career) it can sometimes be very frustrating to see Wikipedia rank for everything under the sun - and they continuously do so for thousands upon thousands of results.
Wikipedia is a dominating force to be reckoned with on the Internet, and they can be very hard to overcome if you are trying to out rank them in the SERPs. A lot of work must be done to position yourself ahead of the monster of a web site.
For this reason, some of the most important work might include being proactive. What I mean by this is that before launching a web site based on an idea that you might have, think about whom else ranks for that search term, and if it is too competitive, then think about trying to dominate the SERPs with some other search term (Your ROI will probably be a lot better in this case).
Here are 20 different search terms, where Wikipedia shows up for these search terms ( as of October 7th, 2011), and what the search term is for that keyword (based on the Google keyword tool). The three search engines that we will cross examine will be Google, Bing, and a newer and interesting search engine called Blekko.
What Position is Wikipedia?
|bing||4||2||8 (Bing Crosby)||7480000|
|queen music||2||2||1 (Queen Music)||2400|
|make money online||n/a||n/a||10||60500|
|online christian dating||n/a||n/a||n/a||1000|
|air force ones||6||2 (Air Force One)||1||12100|
As you can see, Wikipedia showed up in all but three of the twenty searches for the three search engines combined. Wikipedia did not show up in the SERPs a total of 21 times out of 60 (35%).
Learning from Specific Search Terms
Dropshipping VS Drop Shipping and Air Force One(s)
It seems to me, that from a couple of searches, you can see that Bing doesn’t really do that good of a job on deciding what it is that you are actually searching for. How could the term “dropshipping” not be existent for Wikipedia but if you separate the two words it is number one? This shows me that Bing isn’t too good at understanding what it is that you are actually trying to say.
The case of the air force ones search also shows this. If you search for air force ones (the “s” included) you can most likely be sure that you are searching for the famous and very popular Nike Shoe. The Bing search returns the Wikipedia page for the plane that the president uses, while the Blekko and Google results show the Wikipedia page of the Nike shoe.
Not being able to distinguish the “s” in air force ones is something that people that are looking into optimizing in Bing might want to consider.
First of all, we all know that Google is constantly fighting spammers and warding off the people that take part in Black Hat SEO (as does Bing), so it makes sense that Google and Bing would rank Wikipedia #1 for the search term SEO.
That being said, I know from personal experience that SEOBook.com (I am an avid reader of the blog) is constantly linking out to the search engine Blekko. Not that I really truly think there is any correlation, as SEOBook truly is one of the best SEO sites out there (as well as one of the most entertaining), however I do find it ironic that it ranks #1 in Blekko.
Best HDTV and Acne Products
When it comes to search terms that are specifically targeted at products that people need to use or buy, or products to where it seems to the search engines that the searchers are looking for reviews, Wikipedia is usually nowhere to be found. These are also search terms that are very lucrative for Affiliate marketers.
You can see that by just adding the word “best” in front of the word HDTV, Wikipedia instantly drops from #1 on all three search engines to nowhere to be found in the top 10 results of the SERPs.
Bing and Queen Music
It seems funny to me that the Bing Crosby Wikipedia page for the search term “Bing” would rank for Blekko but the Wikipedia page for the company founded by Microsoft is nowhere to be found. Also, for the search term “Queen music” the Bing and Google results show the Wikipedia page for the band queen, (Bing gets it right this time in terms of figuring out what the searcher probably wants) while Blekko shows this Wikipedia page. Now, this might be what the searcher was looking for in the first place - it is actually a really interesting keyword search.
These two searches show me that Blekko may put a little but more weight on keyword phrases with a healthy mixture of backlinks, while the other two put a much heavier reliance on backlinks. “Queen Music” is definitely a lot more present in the Blekko Wiki results than it is in the other two results.
Then again, Blekko is able to do this because it completely bans site from their search engine that they consider content spam. You have to hand it to Google and Bing for trying to take care of those guys algorithmically!
These are only 20 searches. Doing exercises like these can teach you a lot about SEO and how the search engines work. I encourage you to try your own 20 searches and see how it works out for you and what you can learn!
This article was written by Philip Russell. By day, Philip Russell helps to provide a link building service at www.inetzeal.com. He enjoys writing articles about SEO and Internet marketing in his spare time. Additionally, follow him at Twitter.