Monday, March 30, 2009

Wikipedia SEO: Learn from the world's most search engine optimized website

If you've tried searching Google for some type of generic keyword lately, you might have noticed that the first result is a Wikipedia page with information about that keyword.

As an example, Wikipedia is first in the Google search engine results page for the following terms:

  • SEO
  • Chair
  • Charles Dickens
  • Baseball
  • Computer
  • Cool
  • Cantaloupe
  • God
  • Love
  • Derek

...You begin to get my point.

So, the question is, why is Wikipedia's SEO so good? Well, the domain has a Page Rank of 9, and its individual pages obviously receive a fair amount of links, depending on the page.

The back links coming in to Wikipedia are a huge boost to it SEO. But the site also features amazing on page optimization. The page title is an SEO keyword, the url has the keyword, the headers have the keyword, and every page on Wikipedia linking to it uses the same keyword. It's consistent.

And, of course, there is an absolute tonne on content on Wikipedia. How many hundreds of thousands of pages is it at right now? The point is: with SEO, content is king, and Wikipedia is the king of content.

If you're looking for a good example of a deep linking / interlinking SEO strategy, Wikipedia is probably the best place to start. When you're writing content on your website and you're wondering whether or not to link something, think back to Wikipedia's SEO. Is this the kind of keyword that would be linked on Wikipedia? Is it a keyword on your website? Then it should probably be linked.

Wikipedia is also a good example of how much text to link. In other words, link the keywords, and don't link entire sentences. If you link a big long sentence, you're diluting the anchor text's keyword density... and anchor text should be 100% keyword dense (as opposed to body content, which should be have a keyword density of about 3-4%) .

Overall, Wikipedia gives a pretty good lesson in SEO. Next time you use Wikipedia to look something up, make sure you pay attention to the SEO.