How to Get Wikipedia Backlinks: A Practical Guide

get wikipedia backlinks

According to SEMrush, Wikipedia is the sixth most visited website globally, receiving over 6 billion monthly visits.

Its traffic is higher than that of Instagram, TikTok, Reddit, and Amazon. It’s more than twice that of TikTok.

It’s such a valuable resource for getting backlinks; you’d be silly not to take advantage of it. In fact, 50% of the time, search engines will return a Wikipedia page as one of their top results.

So, how do you get a backlink from Wikipedia? We’ve prepared a practical guide you can use. But first, let’s discuss why you should be getting Wikipedia backlinks in the first place.

Why Should You Be Building Backlinks With Wikipedia in the First Place?

Wikipedia shows up in most SERPs. Search engines heavily trust it, and it’s generally seen as a reliable source of information. It’s also one of the oldest websites on the internet, so it holds a lot of authority.

A Wikipedia backlink is a serious endorsement that could springboard your website to the top of Google’s rankings.

Google considers backlinks as an indication of quality and trustworthiness, even if the backlink is from a highly regarded source such as Wikipedia.

First, Wikipedia is very picky about which websites it links to. They have moderators and editors that scrutinise every backlink they get. So, if you get a backlink from them, it’s sure to be of high quality.

A Wikipedia link will also generate more traffic to your site. How?

Well, people are always looking to Wikipedia for answers. If you get a backlink from it, when people search for the term you’re associated with, they’ll be directed to your site.

A Wikipedia backlink will also generate backlinks from other sites. Once you have a Wikipedia backlink, other sites are more likely to link to it as well. That’s because the people using Wikipedia for their research will often cite some of the backlinks they find as their references.

That being said, let’s dive into the step-by-step guide for getting Wikipedia backlinks.

Wikipedia Link Building 101: The Basis of It All

attract links from wiki

Before you even try to get a Wikipedia backlink, you must understand a few basic things.

First, getting a Wikipedia link isn’t the same as getting one through guest blogging or other traditional methods.

It’s not about writing an email saying,

“Hey there, I think my article is better than the one on Wikipedia; please consider my link.”

Instead, you have three link opportunities you can capitalise on:

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  • Dead Link Opportunity
  • Broken Link Opportunity
  • Unique Link Opportunity

And that, my friend, is what we plan to focus on for this guide. Let’s get into it:

Dead Link Opportunity

A dead link opportunity is a term used to describe a link that leads to a non-existent page. It’s essentially a malfunctioning link that leads to nowhere.

At some point, the link led to a page with content, but the page is no longer available.

Let’s say you find a Wikipedia page with a dead link; that’s your chance to swoop in and replace it with your link.

Deadlinks are marked with a red font, so it’s quite easy to spot them.

But how do you find them in the first place?

Directly Search for Them on Wikipedia: The simplest and most intuitive way to find deadlinks is to search for them on Wikipedia directly. Wikipedia has an article that lists all the deadlinks on their website, which makes it quite easy to find them.

You can access this article using this link: Category: All articles with dead external links.

Using a Simple Search String like:

site:wikipedia.org [your niche keyword] + “dead link”

You can use this search string to find dead links in your niche.

For example, if you want to find dead links about SEO, you can use this search string:

site:wikipedia.org seo + “dead link”

By running this search string, you’ll get a list of all the dead links related to SEO.

From there, you can go through the results, click on each of the links, and see if you can provide a link to a better source that could take its place.

Using a Tool to Track Deadlinks

Another method you can use is to leverage a tool that can track a Wipidedia page that needs citation or has a dead link.

One of the most popular tools for this is WikiGrabber.

The tool will crawl Wikipedia pages and return a list of pages with dead links.  

Click the links and use Ctrl F to search for “citation needed” or “dead link” to find them.

Once you find a dead link, you can plug it into a backlink analysis tool like Ahrefs to see how much link juice it has.

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Next, plug it into the internet wayback machine to extract the original post. You can skyscraper the content (rewrite it ten times better) and publish it on your site or blog.

Once done, go back to the Wikipedia page and edit it, replacing the old, dead link with your new one.

The Broken Link Opportunity

If a link is broken for Wikipedia, it probably means that it’s also broken for all the sites that have linked to it.

That means you can easily swoop in and try to take some of the link juice for yourself by creating an updated version of the content and replacing the dead link.

In other words, from one broken link, you can find anywhere from a couple of backlinks to thousands of them.

Are you worried about the content? Don’t be.

We’ll cover that in detail later.

The Unique Link Opportunity

Anyone with a pulse can create a Wikipedia account and submit a link for consideration.

In theory, you could go in and edit any Wikipedia page to add your own link, but that’s not what we suggest you do.

The reason is that all Wikipedia links have to be approved by moderators before they can go live.

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So, should one Wikipedia page suddenly get a bunch of backlinks from an unknown source, the moderators will likely take a closer look and possibly reject all of them.

Your best bet is to find pages with broken links or inadequate citations.

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You can then provide additional sources or resources to support the existing content and add your own link. 

The moderators will review the link, probably check out the corresponding webpage, and if everything looks good, they will likely approve your link.

Instead, you want to be a good Wikipedia citizen and add value to the pages you come across. Update the content, provide additional sources and resources, and then add your own link.

That way, you’re not just gaming the system to get backlinks but also helping improve the quality of the content available on Wikipedia.

You’ll find that moderators are more likely to approve your link if it adds value to the page.

The Sweet Spot: Pull All the Three Together

Now that you know what Wikipedia is, why you should get backlinks, and how to do so, let’s combine all three opportunities.

If you combine dead links, broken links, and unique link opportunities, you’ll be in the sweet spot of laying down a solid foundation for building high-quality backlinks.

Here’s what you should do:

  • Use dead links to build Wikipedia links
  • Use broken links to build links with high-authority websites
  • Use your own unique links in a Wikipedia page relevant to your content

The idea is to start small. Build your website’s link profile little by little, starting with one or two backlinks per page.

Once you’ve optimised your website for a few pages, you can increase the number of links each page contains and continue to mix it up with backlinks from other high-quality sources.

How to Produce the Content in the Link

editing content on wikipedia

Once you’ve laid the foundation for your backlinks, the next thing would be to produce the content in each link.

Using Wikigrabber, let’s say you’re a wedding videographer. You can search for wedding-related articles and create content around those topics.

Let’s run the term “wedding’ into WikiGrabber.

Wikigrabber has returned 20 results, 10 of which miss citations and 10 of which have dead links.

We’re more interested in the deadlinks, so let’s focus on those.

Note that I randomly picked this niche. I have no experience in wedding videography. The idea was to show you can use Wikigrabber to craft content and build links regardless of your field.

Let’s start with the first dead link, “Shoe: Wikipedia.”

Click on the link, and you’ll be taken to the Wikipedia page.

Now, let’s Ctrl + F and search for “dead”link”—note the space between dead and link.

This returns two results.

The first result link is on reference number 52, which references a Fox40 page that no longer exists. Here’s the page’s link: https://fox40.com/news/headlines/ktxl-empty-shoes-an-emotional-reminder-of-those-who-died-on-911-20110911,0,202292.story

The second is a reference to an article on Liveabout, which has been updated and is no longer relevant.

That leaves us with only the first dead link to work with.

Now, let’s start creating content around this topic.

First, we’ll copy the link and go to Wayback Machine to see what content was on the page before.

Paste the link into the Wayback Machine and click “browse history.”

It will show you screenshots of the page from various versions of time.

Click to view the page’s appearance at different times before it was taken down.

Review the article and see if it’s related to your blog or website.

If it’s relevant to your website, there are two things you can do:

  • Check your site for the content you’ve already created and see if there’s anything that could fill the hole
  • Create new content around the topic and then link back to it from the Wikipedia page

You can even rewrite the content piece completely.

For example, if the Fox40 page was about wedding videography, you could create a comprehensive guide on everything related to wedding videography.

This way, when readers look for the dead link on Wikipedia, they’ll find your new content.

If it’s irrelevant to your website, you can go to the next link and repeat the process until you find something relevant.

Remember, it’s all about hard work and patience. You’re not going to get it right the first time.

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Keep searching for reliable sources and writing content until you find one that works for your website.

Here comes the fun part:

That one link on the Wikipedia page could bring you dozens of others.

You can take the link and run it to an SEO tool like Ahrefs, SERPed, or Majestic to see all the websites linking to it.

Using our Fox24 example, you’ll see that 50+ websites link to the Fox24 page.

You can then go through those websites and see if you can get a link from them. 

After you’ve created the page or updated an existing page on your website, it’s time to get these sites to replace the link they have to Fox24 with a link to your page.

You can export the list of websites from Ahrefs and look up their contact details. A tool like Hunter.io can be of great help here.

Once you have the contact info, it’s time to reach out and let them know about your new content piece.

Send them an outreach email and let them know about the broken link and the new content you created.

Include a link to the page and ask them kindly if they could replace the link with yours.

Here’s an email template you can use:

Hi [the Webmaster’s name],

I’m a big fan of your site.

I noticed that you have a link to Fox24 on your page, but it’s no longer working.

Here’s the link:

I researched and discovered that Fox24 has gone offline, so I created a new page on my website.

It covers the same topic but is up-to-date and contains lots of new information. Wikipedia even links to it here:

Could you replace the broken link with a link to my page? It would greatly help both your readers and my website’s SEO.

I’d appreciate any help you can provide.

All the best,

Your name

How to Add Your Own Unique Link to Wikipedia

get back links from wikipedia

On your search for dead link-building opportunities, you may come across a few Wikipedia pages that have been flagged for being messy. These pages could use some slight improvement, but nobody has gotten around to actually doing it. That’s where you come in.

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They’re an excellent opportunity for you to add your own unique external links. Wikipedia has strict guidelines for adding external links, but if you’re keen on helping the community, there’s no reason your link won’t be accepted.

Here’s one such Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_barrier

Here, Wikipedia moderators are crying out loud for someone to come and help them improve the page. You must ensure your content is on point, provide reliable references, and add your link in one or two appropriate places.

It’s important to note that Wikipedia moderators can be quite picky, so read all the rules before making any changes. Getting it right may take a few tries, but the efforts can pay off in a big way.

The idea is to turn that page into an encyclopedia page that provides reliable, trustable content.

Creating a Wikipedia Account

wikipedia backlinks

Before editing any page, you’ll need to create a Wikipedia account. Setting one up is relatively easy and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

Anyone can create a Wikipedia account. Plus, it’s free and easy to set up. All you need is an email address and a username of your choosing.

Here’s how you create a Wikipedia account:

  1. Visit the Wikipedia website and click “Create account” on the top right corner of the page
  2. Enter your username, password, and email address
  3. Check the box to confirm that you’ve read and agree to the Wikipedia terms of use
  4. Click “Create account”, and you’re ready to go.

You’ll be prompted to answer a few optional questions on the next page.

  • Why did you create an account today?
  • Have you ever edited Wikipedia?
  • Wikipedia is available in nearly 300 languages. Are there other languages you read and write in?

After you’ve created an account, you can go ahead and start editing pages. However, it’s best to familiarize yourself with Wikipedia policies before you dive in. Read up on the basics of page editing and the article submission criteria.

Once you know how to edit Wikipedia pages responsibly, it’s time to start building your backlinks.

The key to success is to focus on genuinely being part of the Wikipedia community by providing helpful and reliable content. Don’t get into this solely to build links. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to make a difference.

Editing an Article on Wikipedia to Insert Your Backlink

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with Wikipedia’s policies, it’s time to start building your backlinks.

Creating or editing an existing page is the best way to do this.

Editing a Wikipedia page is super easy. All you have to do is log into your account and edit the page by clicking the “edit” button at the top.

When editing, you must make sure to follow Wikipedia policies. That includes adding reliable sources, avoiding self-promotion, and other guidelines.

Remember, you have to be logged in to make any changes. Once logged in, you can insert your backlink into the article text or as part of a reference list at the bottom of the page.

Once you’re done, you can edit the summary and click the “save page” button to finalize your changes.

In the Edit summary, you must briefly explain what you’ve changed and why.

For example, you can write, “Added link to an external resource and fixed a dead link.” That way, other editors will know what changes you made.

After that, wait for the Wikipedia moderators to approve your changes. Your backlink will be accepted and published if they find that you’ve followed their policies to the letter.

Things to Consider Before Adding Your Backlink

Before you submit your backlink for approval, consider a few things.

First, with every Wikipedia edit, remember a human editor must review your changes and ensure they comply with the guidelines.

They’ll definitely check your article, read your reference list, and make sure everything looks legitimate.

You’re not just throwing a link into the article. To stay safe, ensure your backlink is relevant to the topic and adds value to the page.

Your article must also be well-researched, referenced, and accurate.

Above all, it should be high-quality, free of fluff and careless grammar mistakes.

Second, some Wikipedia editors might be less than thrilled with your backlink. They could either reject or edit it without giving you a heads-up.

 If that’s a risk you’re willing to take, then go for it.

There’s no guarantee your backlink will always remain in the article, but if you put in the effort to make it relevant, helpful, and well-referenced, you stand a better chance of having it accepted and published.

Finally, some Wikipedia editors might decide to remove your backlink after approval. To avoid this, make sure you keep track of the article and check in on it every once in a while.

The Final Wrap Up

That’s pretty much it.

That’s exactly how you build backlinks from Wikipedia. It’s a great way to get high-quality links that point to your website and boost its authority in the eyes of search engines.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.

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