Building a Solid Internet Presence Through Wikipedia

The next time you enter a search query on Facebook, there is a good chance that the results you see will be complemented by information pulled from Wikipedia, and the layout you get will look similar to what you see on the Google search engine results page (SERP). According to a June 2020 report published by Social Media Today, Facebook is working on expanding its Knowledge Graph by incorporating data and information that exists beyond the walled garden of the world’s most popular social network, and Wikipedia snippets are poised to be a significant part of this effort.

Facebook users noticed the Knowledge Panel showing Wikipedia information during the second week of June. Not every search query returned a Knowledge Panel; however, users who searched for information about United States President Donald Trump and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi definitely saw the Wikipedia infobox on the right side of the SERP. This suggests that Facebook is looking to improve its proprietary search engine with relevant content from various sources.

Unlike major search engines such as Google and Microsoft Bing, Facebook is not providing outside links; instead, it seems to only be displaying links to existing Instagram accounts, and this makes sense because the image sharing network is a Facebook property along with the WhatsApp mobile messaging app. The Knowledge Box is a Google feature that dates back to 2012, and it has become standard in various search engines. More often than not, the main source of insight displayed on the infobox comes from Wikipedia, and this adds a layer of authority and trust to search results.

Why Wikipedia Pages Matter for Business Enterprises

Even though the aforementioned new Facebook search feature is still being tested, social media analysts strongly believe that it will go live in the near future and become standard. Business owners and brand managers should be paying attention to this new feature because it underscores the importance of Wikipedia in terms of establishing a strong and trustworthy internet presence.

The bottom line of a Wikipedia snippet showing up on Facebook search results is as follows: Let’s say a Facebook smartphone user is looking for information about Tesla Motors, the American automaker that has become a global leader in electric cars. This is a search query that would probably be more adequate to conduct on Google, but in this case the user wishes to stay within the Facebook mobile app, and a good strategy in this regard would be to display relevant information on the Knowledge Panel next to the top result , which should be the Tesla Motors profile.

There’s no question about the internet phenomenon known as Wikipedia, a digital information platform we have grown accustomed to. Despite previous controversies, Wikipedia has become a trustworthy source of information, and its contribution to the Google Knowledge Panel is a likely reason for this development. Seeing Wikipedia information on Facebook makes perfect sense because it can serve as a research tool as well as a means of fact-checking Facebook profiles.

When we look at this example of a company Wikipedia page, which is for an online jewelry marketplace, we get information that we can appreciate. The business model, founding history, reasons it was launched, and current status are all there. Seeing some of this info on Facebook is certainly welcome, especially if it appears just to the right of the company profile. Let’s not forget that Wikipedia entries for companies tend to include outbound links to official websites, news stories, opinions, and even social media profiles such as Facebook, for a small business that is working on organic search engine optimization, this collection of relevant links on Wikipedia is like gold.

There’s a lot more than just SEO juice for companies that wish to make the most out of their Wikipedia pages. First of all, Wikipedia is often the first information gathering place that internet users check when they want to learn more about business entities or brands; they are more likely to check Wikipedia before they visit a company website or its “About Us” section. For many internet users, a visit to Wikipedia is better than checking out the Frequently Asked Questions section of a business website.

With all the above in mind, companies that ignore their Wikipedia entries are effectively missing out on a great opportunity to establish the internet presence they deserve. The best way to handle this marketing aspect is to retain a digital agency that offers Wikipedia management as well as online public relations. You would be surprised that there are not that many agencies offering this service, but this is bound to change very soon.