How I Get Permanent Links From Wikipedia for Every Website I Build

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wikipedia link building

Wikipedia has a very good reputation as being nearly untouchable by SEO spammers. It’s one of the biggest, and most authoritative websites in the world, and it allows just about anybody to go in and edit the content… without even logging in or anything.

Even so, it’s been immune from spam for the longest time. Impressive.

I’m going to show you the proper way of getting a link from Wikipedia. If you do it right, the link will be permanent and pass any manual review by an editor.

Wikipedia Links Are No-Follow. Who Cares?

External links from Wikipedia are no-follow. They carry no link juice, so what’s the point of taking the time and effort to put our link in there?

Is there an impact on SEO?

There is a never-ending debate out there on whether nofollow links have any SEO impact. Here’s my take on it:

If a link is on a strong site with lots of authority and will pass along traffic, then get it.

It builds your site’s brand authority.

Search engines are paying attention to everything now like tweets, Facebook shares, traffic data, time on site, browser usage, toolbar, etc. So these links have become more about building your brand on a trusted and authoritative page. You build your own site’s brand authority by being linked to from a huge authority website like Wikipedia.

Because Wikipedia is so strict on who they link to, any link they list is automatically considered an authority figure in the average reader’s eyes.

Also, by being linked to as a reference, it opens opportunities to acquire a lot of links in the long-run from people who use that Wikipedia page as a reference.

What about traffic?

The links I have on Wikipedia each send anywhere between 5-20 visitors a day. I’ve heard of some people getting over 100,000 visitors a month from their Wikipedia link, but I’ve yet to experience anything like that.

Ok, now that we know why they’re so valuable, let’s talk about how to get them. Follow these 3 simple steps and you should be able to get a permanent link on their site.

Step 1: Locating the Link

When a Wikipedia editor finds a dead link (a link to a page that no longer exists) in one of their pages, they don’t remove it right away. Instead, they leave a little note there for editors to come and double check it later on before it’s completely removed.

It looks a little something like this:

Wikipedia_broken_link_building

We’re going to locate these dead links and replace them with our own.

1. Open up Google and do a search: site:wikipedia.org [your niche] + “dead link”

For example, if your keyword is ‘skiing’ you would do a search for:
site:wikipedia.org skiing + “dead link”

A great tool that does this for you is WikiGrabber. Simply input your keywords and it will find all the relevant pages that contain dead links.

2. Visit whatever page it brings back and do a page search by holding “Ctrl” and pressing “F” on your keyword. Type in dead link. This will show you exactly where the dead links are located on the page.

Step 2: Re-creating the Page

Now that you found it, you have the rare opportunity to edit the link and replace it with yours. What you want to do is create the exact same page it was when you first saw it.

To do this, you have to create a new page on your site.

First, we have to see what was on the dead page before it was deleted.

Go to archive.org and search the URL to see what content was on the page when it was live.

You can create a similar page with related content on your site, but I usually just copy and paste the entire thing onto my new page.

Step 3: Replacing the Link

Next, it’s time to go in and edit the link on the Wikipedia page. This is where it can get kind of confusing.

The link itself is placed in the “References” section of the page. But when you try and edit that section, you should see something strange like this:

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 11.12.19 PM

You can’t edit that, right?

Well that’s because everything listed in the “References” section is auto-updated when you edit the actual content.

So here’s how to change the actual link

You should see a number next to the reference. That’s the locator of where the citation is in the content of that Wikipedia page. You’ll see it in brackets throughout the page.

For instance, if the “reference” with the dead link is listed at #20, you can do a Ctrl + F search for [20] and it should show you exactly where it’s located within the content.

Find that number in the content body. Then click on the “Edit” link.

When you open the editor, and locate the dead link, you’ll see that the link is formatted in a strange way that looks something like this:

< ref >[http://aom.dead-inside.org/inter/death/index.htm Dead Inside]{{dead link|date=May 2014}}< / ref >

It’s not as confusing as it looks. The URL at the beginning is the URL of the link. That’s separated by a space and whatever comes after it is the anchor text.

Get rid of the entire part that has dead link in it, replace out the URL with your own, and edit the anchor text.

The updated line should look like this:

< ref >[YOUR NEW URL HERE your anchor text here]< / ref >

Save the page and that’s it. The link has been updated.

Done.

Will the Link Be Taken Down?

The beauty of this method is that, although you’re doing some shady SEO tactic, you’re improving Wikipedia at the same time. A real link to real helpful content is much better than a broken link.

Therefore, even with a manual review from an editor, the link will remain on the page.

Just remember not to overdo it.

Remember that Wikipedia tracks your user ID and IP address. If they see too many edits, all your links can be taken down, even the really helpful ones that you put a lot of time into. If you successfully get a link, don’t go overboard and be happy that you now have a powerful link from Wikipedia to your site.

57 Comments

  • Reply
    Carlos
    February 14, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    This is truly amazing! Thank you soooo much! I am very excited to keep reading your posts.

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      February 15, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      Awesome, thanks Carlos 🙂

  • Reply
    Jacob
    March 24, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    Hey Chris, great post. Here is a tool that cuts down on the search phase of this strategy. It searches for pages that have dead links, or needs additional citations. Its topic based, so it helps dig up pages that might not be on a persons radar.

    http://wikigrabber.com

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      March 24, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      Hey Jacob, that’s a really helpful tool. I’ve added it into the post. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    Logan
    July 6, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Hi Chris,

    Awesome share. Thanks for taking the time to write it up.

    I was just wondering, do these type of links to new pages have an overall effect on the site? I see that you create a new page to compliment what was previously on the dead link, but getting a link to that page will only help that pages rankings right? Or will it have an effect on the domain and the entire site?

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      July 6, 2015 at 1:12 pm

      Hey Logan. Yes, it has an effect on the entire domain. Domain authority builds up and makes it easier to rank for other pages.

  • Reply
    Mikula
    August 7, 2015 at 4:24 am

    I posted 1 backlink it works, i have 3 more lined up buuut you don’t mention specific limits only that wikipedia tracks 🙁 how many is too much? My 4 links? 🙁

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      August 7, 2015 at 4:36 am

      Hey Mikula,

      Yeah definitely stop at 4 if you’ve been doing them all at once. Not 100% how Wikipedia tracks things and what would trigger an alert, but I normally do just 1 at a time for one of my main pages or my homepage per site.

      • Reply
        Mikula
        August 7, 2015 at 7:27 am

        ok, updates: after adding a second link, the user https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:KH-1 reverted both dead links, what a stupid move, now 2 dead links which are useless are back on wikipedia … I again resubmitted with comments for the user

        • Reply
          Chris Lee
          August 7, 2015 at 6:06 pm

          That sucks. I’ve done 2 in a row before and it did work. Hopefully they’ll stick next time. But I usually only do 1 every month or two. It’s wikipedia. If one sticks, awesome!

  • Reply
    Arpit
    October 20, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Awesome share Chris !
    I never though we can use Wikipedia for backlinks.

    Hats off !!

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      October 21, 2015 at 5:36 am

      Thanks for reading, Arpit!

  • Reply
    Bhuboy
    November 2, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Cool, I already added 1 link check it here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_Lottery I’m on no 4 references, i don’t know if what I did was right, but it there 🙂 Im planning to add just 1 link for each of my niche site category 🙂

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      November 2, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      Nice job 🙂

      • Reply
        Bhuboy
        November 3, 2015 at 10:35 am

        Should i keep track of the links if it remains active or just leave it

        • Reply
          Chris Lee
          November 3, 2015 at 4:24 pm

          Check on it after a week or two to see if it’s still up.

          • Bhuboy
            November 12, 2015 at 10:37 am

            hi chris, just a question, is this already a form of back linking

          • Chris Lee
            November 12, 2015 at 7:09 pm

            Yup, building links on Wikipedia is not new.

          • Bhuboy
            November 21, 2015 at 7:04 am

            Hi Chris, i check the link i edit it was returned back to the dead link, what to do if like this happens?

          • Chris Lee
            November 21, 2015 at 11:00 am

            Not much you can do. You can try it again, maybe on a different page.

  • Reply
    Toki
    December 10, 2015 at 8:02 am

    Hey Chris,

    Just going through all your posts and saw this one as something I will try tonight.

    You should add this one in the course 🙂

    Thanks!

    Toki

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      December 11, 2015 at 4:20 pm

      Thanks for your feedback Toki 🙂

  • Reply
    Cao Hung
    December 18, 2015 at 12:01 am

    Hi,

    Wiki link is nofollow => I think it isn’t value for ranking.

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      December 18, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      A link profile that’s only dofollow isn’t natural. Nofollow links don’t directly pass link juice, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable for ranking.

      Links from Wikipedia can send you a lot of traffic, and also set you up to earn natural dofollow links down the line. Wikipedia pages usually are ranked in the top 3 for most search terms, and those looking for sources to link to will usually check Wikipedia, and the pages they’re linking to as references.

  • Reply
    Stephen
    January 27, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    Question on the title of this post implying these are “permanent links”. I’ve noticed that many people swap out my links for their links. Nothing can stop this. It seems that none of my links in wikipedia last longer than a month or so. Does this happen to you? Any secret to avoid this?

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      January 28, 2016 at 8:57 am

      This happens once in a while but it shouldn’t be a frequent problem unless you’re in a niche full of internet marketers. If you are… then try targeting a different related wikipedia page rather than your target one. Another thing is frequency at which you do this. Too many edits from the same IP can raise flags – every edit is recorded so stay under the radar.

  • Reply
    Jerry Chang
    February 10, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Thank you Chris,

    This post is very informative and I actually gave it a try. I found a dead link on a Wikipedia page and created a page on my site with exact the same cached content I got from Archive website. It turned out that the Wikipedia Editor overwrote my link and replace it with its original dead link. I also tried the other niche and the result was the same. I guess they probably know people are doing this and try to stop them from doing that so they prefer dead links on Wikipedia now?

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      February 11, 2016 at 4:26 pm

      I hope it isn’t getting saturated with SEO’s overusing the method. Hmm but as long as the dead link is fixed with a legitimate link to a source I don’t see why they would feel the need to remove it.

  • Reply
    Jacob
    March 22, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    Hello Chris,
    I want to ask you about .edu links and creating for them profiles like this page boinc.berkeley.edu . This profile is nofollow but we can create more by searching it like this :
    site:.edu “Log in / create account”
    site:.edu “powered by Foswiki”
    site:.edu “System/UserRegistration”
    We can found some follow links.
    But tell me how it looks in google rankings by penguin or other google spam systems?

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      March 23, 2016 at 3:52 pm

      These are usually not worth the time and effort to build. These pages are in super deep directories rarely crawled by Google and pass zero link juice. Building too many of these can spam up your link profile.

  • Reply
    Justin A Bilyj
    April 11, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    Quick question, does it make sense to take a measurement of the traffic before deciding which page to attempt to ‘fix’.
    Great blog, articles each add a ton of value, thank you for that.

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      April 11, 2016 at 11:17 pm

      Hey Justin, yeah definitely. Good point! Popular wikipedia pages can drive a LOT of traffic, so if there are a bunch of pages on your topic, then it’s effective to analyze traffic/backlinks and pick the best one to fix.

      • Reply
        Justin Bilyj
        April 25, 2016 at 6:38 pm

        My authority-silo-homepage article/guide has about 85 keywords, 25 of which are plurals, so about 60 unique keywords.
        I inputted all 85 words into the wikigrabber and found 6,000 wikilinks that needed citations or were dead (2600 unique). I haven’t combed the 2600 to see what was relevant yet.

        Does the two make a difference, “citations needed” vs “dead links”?

        • Reply
          Chris Lee
          May 2, 2016 at 4:00 am

          Hey Justin. I haven’t tried touching the citations needed, so can’t say for sure on that.

          • Justin Bilyj
            May 20, 2016 at 1:26 pm

            Hey Chris,
            Gotta say this article was so good it made me look for some more resources on the subject. This is one of the top pages I found for this in addition to yours,
            https://www.shivarweb.com/3632/how-to-use-wikipedia-for-seo/

          • Chris Lee
            May 22, 2016 at 5:16 pm

            Nice! Thanks for sharing Justin.

  • Reply
    LoyAnn Sherwood
    May 2, 2016 at 7:40 am

    Wiki is certainly getting strict on links allowed. I paid a super editor on wiki to setup a link, and the day it was indexed, it was also removed, and there is nothing worse then getting a link, then starting a campaign to send more backlinks to the page, needless to say, for me it was a simple waste of effort, time and resources that I could have used elsewhere. yes, if you can get them great, then you have to monitor, and worry if your link will be canned shortly after…

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      May 2, 2016 at 2:59 pm

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Justin Bilyj
      May 6, 2016 at 10:50 am

      LoyAnn,
      Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I have seen sites with people advertising for this service, and they always warn this may not be permanent. I have seen others complain about the same thing.
      I did notice that one guy (he claimed to be an editor with wikipedia; of course he can’t divulge his identity) had packages. The very basic package was creation of the content. The more advanced packages were creation of supporting content pages.
      This to me tells me that Wikipedia is going to take a look at the site as a whole. Probably run the site through Majestic to get Trust Flow metrics. I know I would if I was Wikipedia, wouldn’t want fake sites coming in to steal a citation if they aren’t truly going to be dedicated to that subject.
      So the supporting content pages are for adding more Topical slant for the content that will be hosted there so the site passes the smell test imo.
      Do you mind if I ask you if your site had thin content or lack of TF/CF for the niche you were going for? Also did the vendor you use have various packages like I described?
      I have also seen vendors offering a non-slanted take on your brand to create your own wikipedia page. That will help coming up in the knowledge graph which would be good also imo for passing the wiki smell test..

  • Reply
    OhJodoh
    May 5, 2016 at 2:39 am

    Awesome article, Chris. I am actually looking for ways to get a permanent link from Wikipedia. Your article solves my problem

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      May 8, 2016 at 9:03 am

      Nice!

  • Reply
    jeff
    May 26, 2016 at 4:02 am

    Sorry Chris. did i see wrongly?
    Copy paste the dead page content from archive. com?Not a new related more constructive content?
    Will wikipedia allow?
    Thanks

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      May 28, 2016 at 4:40 pm

      Nope you read it correctly 🙂 The page is a dead page – doesn’t exist anymore. We’re just getting it from the archives.

      Wikipedia will allow it… the only thing is that copy and pasting any content is questionable. So while 95% of the time, it’s fine and nothing will happen, technically you are scraping content and the original content creator might not like it.

      The best option is to re-create it as you said into a more constructive piece of content.

  • Reply
    Naija news
    June 24, 2016 at 11:25 am

    I’ve really learn a lot from your post.. thanks for sharing chris

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      June 25, 2016 at 12:24 am

      Glad to hear that! Thanks for reading.

  • Reply
    Dhiraj Shah
    October 19, 2016 at 11:18 am

    I came here from facebook, never thought we can get links from Wikipedia too. I am going to try it. Thanks, For the article

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      October 21, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      Thanks for reading Dhiraj.

  • Reply
    health Tips
    November 21, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    Great tutorial and well research write up,thank you chris for the useful resource, i have gotten a lot info to learn from this post, but as a new blogger i just discovered the method is real tedious and time consuming as well.

    • Reply
      health Tips
      November 21, 2016 at 11:08 pm

      i just forgot to add this how many links is recommended for a domain on wikipedia pages???

      • Reply
        Chris Lee
        December 4, 2016 at 7:43 pm

        Just one 🙂

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      December 4, 2016 at 7:43 pm

      Thanks 🙂 It’s not so bad for what you’re getting – a link from Wikipedia that can send you traffic.

  • Reply
    shahin
    April 20, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    What a helpful post this is! Awesome and awesome

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      April 26, 2017 at 5:53 pm

      Thanks Shahin.

  • Reply
    Dex Antikua
    November 26, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Hello Chris
    This is something really deep.My niche is not all that competitive.I used to get people who would ask some cents to creat a wikipedia link for me.

    Am great I just landed on thos article.I just pray that you continue posting informative articles like this.I learn a lot from you.

    Thank you.

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      December 4, 2017 at 3:21 pm

      Thanks Dex! Will do 🙂

  • Reply
    Franklin
    September 1, 2018 at 2:55 am

    Getting a link from wikipedia is not an easy to do, but will try the steps adviced to see if i can land a link for my blog

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      September 11, 2018 at 5:49 pm

      Cool, let me know how it works out!

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