The main reason you find Wikipedia on top of so many Google searches is its very high domain authority, which helps rank your pages on top of various searches. But there’s more behind this story!
If you came here, why did you have the same question as me: how and why does Wikipedia appear in the first, or top 3, of so many Google searches?
As has been said, Wikipedia dominates Google mainly because of its incredibly high domain authority , but there are still other factors that are part of the success of the world’s best known online encyclopedia.
Let’s try to understand what makes this portal a great competitor for several keywords , and whether there is justice in the high ranking of so many pages in this domain. Check out!
In its quest to deliver the best possible result for its users, Google evaluates several factors before deciding the order of the optimal answers for the searched keyword.
The domain authority , or domain authority, emerges as one of the heaviest to show the search engine that a site will deliver a satisfactory result. And the search results show that .
Notice how ranking tends to be better as domain authority grows.
That’s a big factor in justifying Wikipedia’s dominance in search pages, after all, we’re talking about a domain that has 92 on a scale from 1 to 100, and which reaches impressive 97 , in its English version.
At this point you may be wondering how I came to such a precise number. Well, luckily we have very simple (and free) ways to check the Domain Authority . The simplest and most reliable is using the MOZ Bar .
This tool accurately presents data such as domain authority, page authority (I will return later), No-Follow and Follow links, external and external links, among other features.
And she told me this and other data that I will use to support some points of this post.
But how did they get to such a high number?
What increases the authority of a domain?
Here are some factors to consider when calculating the authority of a domain:
Imagine you’re writing a blog article for a blog, and you need to talk about player Lionel Messi. When you search your name on Google, you find a Wikipedia article as the first result (surprise?), And use some information you found there in your text.
After entering the information you need, you link to the source, Wikipedia.
Google understands links as a certificate of trust on a page, so this is the main factor taken into account in calculating Domain Authority.
If he realizes that his blog and several others are linking to a Wikipedia page, he will assume that the information there is useful, improving his chance of displaying that result in his searches.
The Portuguese version of Wikipedia has approximately 1 million articles on the most diverse topics. That number is already up to 6 million in the English version.
With so much information available, it is inevitable that the number of external links pointing to the domain of the virtual encyclopedia will be monstrous.
And that is not a disappointing number: approximately 5 billion external links.
In addition to the sheer amount, getting links from sites that also have a high domain authority is an indicator that quality sites trust Wikipedia information.
In summary: Two links to the same page have different weight according to their source .
That’s the main reason Google understands that domain pages wikipedia.org are a good source of information for its users. But it is not the only one.
In addition to receiving billions of external links, Wikipedia does an excellent job of internal linking. All terms covered during articles that have their own article have a link.
This goes for names, companies, historical events, dates, institutions, places. The list is big.
With such efficient internal linking, it becomes easier for Google to map the site structure, and understand the relationship between pages. It is also easier for those who are reading the articles and want to look for information on topics cited while reading.
Having a good website structure contributes to increasing domain authority, and helps Wikipedia stay on top.
Links outside of Wikipedia
I have already explained a bit how external links have different weights. Links from more relevant sites, and with a higher domain authority, weigh more, just as the opposite.
What about the links Wikipedia itself puts in its own references?
Turns out that having links on your site pointing to sites that have a very low domain authority is a negative factor.
Why do you want to refer to a site that receives few visitors, has no visitors, is not updated, and has no external links?
But Wikipedia is a collaborative encyclopedia. Anyone can add information to existing articles, or create new articles for topics that don’t have their own page yet.
This would make it impossible to control where the references used come from. Wikipedia may be linking to thousands, if not millions of websites, that could throw your domain authority on the ground.
Still they have impressive numbers in this regard. Like?
You can tell search engines that you don’t want that link to count to calculate your authority!
No Follow is a linkable HTML attribute that basically tells Google and the other search engines that you intend that link to tell your page and domain authority.
The link is still clickable: you can still click and get to the page you pointed to. However the value of this page will not influence your evaluation.
By placing this attribute on links that point outside its domain, Wikipedia can protect itself , even though it has several references that point to poor quality sites.
Well, I think it’s already clear how Wikipedia achieved such a high Domain Authority. But does it make it appear on every search page?
What type of search does Wikipedia rank for?
Yes, not all Google searches are the same. They follow patterns, and by understanding these patterns you can come up with three main types of searches.
This search happens when a person already knows where they want to go , and is just wanting the link to get there.
It happens a lot when you want to get to Facebook, for example, and type “facebook” in your browser. You are directed to an answer page that will give you the link to login to the social network as a first result.
The intention here is to carry out some business transaction. Whether it’s finding a store, buying a product online, or hiring a service.
As the name suggests, it is the search that aims to get more information about a particular topic.
As you might imagine, the vast majority of research that results from a Wikipedia article is part of this latter type of research, the Informational.
It makes sense if we think about the contents found in the encyclopedia. Usually linked to technical explanations and historical information, articles always seek to dissect the subject in question, structuring the theme into chapters.
Present in most informational searches, and ranking in the top 3 for most of the keywords in this search category , is the question:
Are Wikipedia results necessarily the best?
Google’s level of ‘trust’ in Wikipedia makes it difficult to find informational searches where the encyclopedia is not present on the first page.
If a site has its high domain authority, it is more likely to rank well in search terms, but does not guarantee that it will occupy the top ranks, or stick to them .
That’s why Google ranks pages, not sites.
At the end of the day, if content is best for your persona’s needs, it will rank first. This is why stealing a first position from Wikipedia is hard work, but possible.
Rock Content went through this when it started fighting over the keyword ‘marketing’ a few years ago.
Against such a strong domain, one must understand the user’s intent to search, and put their hands to the ground to produce content that goes beyond Wikipedia.
We have the most detailed process in this full post , if you want to get to the top of Serp!
The point here is: all content has room for improvement .
If you produce more complete content, or one that better meets the need of the person searching for the keyword, it is a matter of time before you start getting more visits, having more time on the page, and getting more external links than the encyclopedia content.
Google, and the other search engines, will soon realize that your content is performing better , and it will rise in rank.
As we have seen throughout this article, there are several reasons why we find Wikipedia at the top of so many search pages. While producing 1 million articles for your blog is out of reach, we have several lessons that we can apply to our business.
Lessons to learn from Wikipedia
What does Wikipedia do, directly or indirectly, as an example for any blog or site that wants to dominate Google?
- Invest in content production;
- Make sure each content brings what your persona needs;
- Work on a good site structure;
- Link Building is king;
- Keep your articles updated.
Would you like to find out why Wikipedia has the top positions in Google? So be sure to check out our complete SEO material !