Oct 18, 2007 118 reads by Navneet Kaushal

Web users rely on community-contributed-content sites such as Wikipedia and Yahoo Answers. These sites enable you to communicate directly with an engaged audience. But contribute to the conversation with care. Too much spin and you're credibility will be shot-and your brand damaged. You'll come away from this session knowing how these influential sites work and how to participate constructively.

Moderator: Danny Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief, Search Engine Land

Speakers: Lise Broer "Durova", Administrator, Wikipedia

Jonathan Hochman, Founder/President, Hochman Consultants

Matt McGee, SEO Manager, Marchex

Stephan Spencer, Founder & President, Netconcepts

Don Steele, Director of Digital & Enterprise Marketing, Comedy Central


Danny Sullivan introduces Matt McGee, the SEO Manager of Marchex who is the first speaker of this session and starts talking on Yahoo!Answers. Matt says that Yahoo! Answers is good for those who want to use it for their expertise and knowledge for businesses. Not exactly for those who want to use it for widgets etc.


What is Yahoo Answers? A simple place where people post questions on topics from any wherein the world. Insanely busy, there is a continuous stream of questions and answers. As with other social media sites, you have to create a profile account for yourself which has a URL link to your website. Anyway, Yahoo! Answers is for boosting traffic and not for link building. In terms of reference, it only falls behind Wikipedia.

A simple Q&A site that is incredibly busy. There is a constant stream of questions and answers. The great thing about Yahoo! Answers is that unlike other social media sites, it is okay to promote your brand here. However, it better be credible enough. Another benefit is that as long as your give answers, it is okay to add links. This specifically applies o those who are prominent members of the community. Matt received a big jump of referral traffic from Yahoo! Answers albeit a low bounce rate. Yahoo! Answers also generates a hue amount of Search traffic. Not as big as wikipedia but it is potent enough.

How to use Yahoo! Answers:-

  • The interface is easy to use, and there are a lot of categories so it's inundating to browse. They have RSS feeds for every category on the site and every subcategory.
  • Sort wisely. View by date or view by number of answers. Matt says that it's better to sort by date and then he finds questions that are about to expire so that he can provide a more meaningful answer so that he can get points. If you sort by number of answers, if you sort for most answers, those are answers that get a lot of traffic and it helps to get eyeball exposure rather than point exposure.
  • Sign your name when leaving a question or answer – why? Spammers don't leave their names, so you don't want to be construed as a spammer.
  • Don't spam!

The second speaker is Jonathan Hochman, the founder & president of Hochman Consultants is here to talk about Wikipedia. Mind you, Wikipedia ranks 1st on Google for the query, 'social media.' The guy recently became a Wikipedia administrator, so listen up.


Wikipedia receives a massive amount of traffic share over Digg and del.icio.us. To be able to market in Wikipedia, you have to be a contributor of unique and truly worthy content. If you only go to wikipedia with the sole purpose of selling or marketing then you will not be welcomed.

What marketers should do in Wikipedia:

  • Answer questions
  • Interact with editors
  • Donate images/media with an appropriate license
  • Report problems
  • Request changes via talk pages
  • Build goodwill
  • Most importantly don't spam. You'll hit the MediaWiki spam blacklist and you don't want to get there
  • Participation betters reputation.

Popular Newbie errors

  • Don't pick a promotional username – those are called role accounts that are not allowed.
  • Don't start stories for yourself.
  • Don't violate copyrights.
  • Don't write about something you're close to.
  • Don't edit stuff that you have conflicts of interests in.
  • Remember that information in Wikipedia spreads virally, such as images.

3 links

  • Wikipedia Business FAQ
  • Wikipedia Conflict of Interest
  • Wikipedia Search Engine Optimization

After the Wikipedia administrator, its the turn of Stephan Spencer, Founder & President, Netconcepts who is here to talk about Wiki from an SEO standpoint.


Its important to be a good and honest participant. Such as building edits that are not reverted back (clear up spam, fix typos, adding to the value to the site that is clearly noncommercial). Create a profile that that tells other users who your are and how you are an outstanding member of Wikipedia. Do this to receive credibility. A Barnstar award, that approves your contributions.

Connect with the main editor to talk to come to an agreement with him about changes. In case you include links, it serves better as these work as references substantiate claims that add value.

How To Create New Entries?

  • Log in with a virtuous profile.
  • Be cautious as you can get deleted. AFD (articles for deletion) or the speedy delete. You don't vote in AFD, you have a discussion.
  • Use lots of references: clear the notability hurdle. Get press mentions.


  • Do not include press releases to create notability.
  • Talk about this with other people via the talk page if it's connected to your brand or your company.

As many tools are continually getting developed, incase you are misusing any of the services, you will be caught.


– Don't put press releases to establish notability.

– Discuss this with people through the talk page if it's related to your company.

How do you make sure your investment isn't reverted? Social networks rely on friends. Make sure that they are on top of these

changes – work with the people in the community.

Wikipedia has its own politics: Jimmy Wales doesn't like being "co-"founder of Wikipedia so his friends try to make the edits. He also

wants to bury his history in the porno industry. But the rest of us know – or we do now.

As new tools get developed, you may be found out if you're manipulating the content.

Next in line is Don Steele, Director of Digital & Enterprise Marketing, Comedy Central who discusses how to use Wikipedia the right way.


Fond of sharing his success with Comedy Central, here he is once again talking about it. He cited that in Wikipedia they used an entry called “more crap” that was used to market both Comedy Central and South Park, while also giving reference to P.F. Chang’s and Bono. Of late, Comedy Central has linked to their site on behalf of Wikipedia's individual biography pages. When Snoop Dogg roasted Flavor Flav some time back, a URL to the Comedy Central website went up on Snoop’s Wikipedia page. This drove a significant amount of traffic to the site.

Don, who is also an employee of Viacom spoke of the lawsuit between Viacom and Google (he works with Viacom). Apparently, he can't voice his opinion, so he won't become a part of it.

Its the last speaker of the session, Lise Broer "Durova", Administrator, Wikipedia who is here to discuss about Humans 1.0.


Her presentation was about answer sharing and how to make sure what we use doesn’t destroy our brand reputation or even our career. Lisa monitors cases and requests for withdrawal, and makes sure we are all doing it right. These Wikipedia administrators spend a lot of time and effort in ensuring that the site remains a high quality reference source. If you misbehave and do something that is in violation of their rules, they will put you in their Wikipedia Spam Blacklist. Be cautious while making edits and as Lisa says, “have class about it.”


Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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