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Dec 20, 2013 9:18PM PST

In Google, Wikipedia is everywhere. Pretty much anything you type into Google seems to result in a Wikipedia entry being returned as a top-10 result. Wikipedia's status in the search engines as an "authority site" is undisputed. Those lucky, well-connected, skillful or famous enough to be cited enjoyed the benefits of Wikipedia's unique "golden link effect."Then a new policy instituted in January changed all that. As a countermeasure to thwart spammers competing in an SEO contest, all external links within Wikipedia were "nofollowed." This effectively cut off the outward flow of "link juice" (PageRank) to websites referenced in Wikipedia.Still an important componentDespite this setback, Wikipedia remains an important component to your SEO strategy. Firstly, having a Wikipedia entry for your company that shows up in the search results lends credibility to your organization. Secondly, if high rankings for a competitive keyword prove elusive, you can get Wikipedia into the top 10 with relative ease. Of course it would only be of benefit to do so if the entry referenced you or linked to you, or if you wanted to displace competitors or pages that were unflattering or critical of you.Some SEOs may feel inclined to contribute edits on behalf of their clients. However, that's a practice frowned upon by the Wikipedia editor community, as is editing or contributing entries that are about your own organization. One of Wikipedia's core policies is that articles must be written from a neutral point of view.SEO consultant Jonathan Hochman has edited Wikipedia since 2005 and counts more than a thousand edits under his belt. Rather than doing the job for clients, he participates in http://<a for recreation and making friends. While he believes that Wikipedia's policy of restricting contributions to disinterested parties is not particularly pragmatic, he advocates the overall objective: To make valuable, notable contributions from as neutral a point of view as is possible, incorporate reliable sources, and never permit spam.

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