How to Get Backlinks From Wikipedia [2024 Update]

Google loves Wikipedia, mainly because it's maintained collaboratively. 

Since everyone can chime in on a topic and rate the quality of Wiki articles, the content is likely to be more truthful and credible than the content published on commercial sites. And Google appreciates that.

That’s why Wikipedia backlinks can do wonders for your site, even in 2024. We’ll show you how to build them step by step in this guide.

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How To Get Backlinks from Wikipedia

There are 2 main ways to get backlinks from Wikipedia:

  • By publishing high-quality content that Wikipedia contributors will want to link to — think research papers, studies, etc. 
  • By building them yourself — or, you know, paying someone to do it for you. 

Here’s the thing, though: creating Wikipedia-link-worthy content is hard. And getting someone to naturally link to it is just not that likely.

So, we’ll assume that you’re more interested in method #2. We’ll talk more about it below.

Pros & Cons Of Wikipedia Backlinks

You probably already know that you need high-authority backlinks to bump your rankings in search engines. Luckily, Wikipedia is a highly authoritative site. 

Analysis of the Wikipedia domain showing a domain authority score of 98
Overview of the Wikipedia domain. (Via Moz)

👍 That’s why getting even a single Wikipedia backlink can be more beneficial than getting dozens of backlinks from less credible sites. The ROI can be pretty incredible! 

👍 On top of that, most Wikipedia pages have high rankings and get a ton of organic traffic every month. So, if you build backlinks on Wikipedia, you may get some of that traffic to your site. Even a fraction of it can significantly increase your bottom line. 

👍 Another pro is that Wikipedia backlinks are free. You don’t have to pay for them unless you hire a link building company to build them for you. Wikipedia itself won’t charge you for them, which isn’t the case with many other high-authority sites. 

👍 Lastly, Wikipedia backlinks may even help you build new backlinks from other sites. Many people use Wikipedia to find relevant sources of information, and they often include these sources on their own sites. So if you’re lucky, you may get to kill two birds with one stone.

So, to recap, Wikipedia link building can help you:

  • increase your search engine rankings,
  • get more traffic, and
  • gain new, natural backlinks free of charge.

👎 But we should note that building Wikipedia backlinks can be challenging and time-consuming. 

It requires you to familiarize yourself with and follow strict Wikipedia guidelines, find relevant and non-obvious link building opportunities, and, often, make several rounds of changes before your edits are approved. 

That said, following this guide should help you maximize the benefits and minimize the time and effort you’ll need to put in.

How To Create Wiki Backlinks 

First things first, there are two ways to create Wiki backlinks:

  • You can replace existing dead links with your own, OR
  • You can add new links from scratch. 

For both of these methods, you want to look for the right opportunities. 

  • If you want to replace existing links with your own, look for dead links.
  • If you want to simply add links, look for missing citations. 

Here’s what that means and how to recognize them.

Dead Links 

Dead links, also known as broken links, are links that lead to pages that no longer exist or aren’t available for some reason.

Instead of opening a page with relevant content, a dead link will open a page with a 404 error message:

An example of a dead link page.
An example of a dead link page

You should avoid having dead links on your site as they hurt your SEO. But finding them on other sites? It’s a great way to build links. 

No one wants to send their readers to 404 pages, and Wikipedia is no exception.

That’s why Wiki editors won’t mind you replacing dead links with ones to your site as long as they point to relevant pages. 

In general, broken link building is considered a white hat link-building tactic — which basically means it’s completely standard and 0% sleazy.

(To keep it that way, you should definitely not link to your product pages or sales pages. Opt for linking to relevant blog posts, case studies, and similar valuable content.)

How To Find Dead Links In Wikipedia

One way to find dead links on Wikipedia is to simply open relevant Wiki articles, scroll down to the References section, and check if there are any URLs marked as “permanent dead links:”

A permanent dead link on Wikipedia.
A permanent dead link on Wikipedia

Alternatively, you can use specialized tools like SEO Minion or WikiGrabber to find dead links faster.

Missing Citations

Wiki articles may also lack citations — relevant sources that support the claims made in the articles.

This is problematic, as Wikipedia aims to provide accurate and, more importantly, verifiable information. 

This gives you an opportunity to link to your site and list it as a relevant source. All you need to do is edit the article and add the link. 

How To Find Missing Citations on Wikipedia

Determining if a Wiki page lacks citations can be difficult. It often comes down to your personal judgment:

👉 If you feel that an article needs a source to support its claims, you can go ahead and add it. The reviewers will probably agree with you as long as you add a relevant link. 

But there are better and faster ways to go about it. 

For example, you can use tools that automatically find Wiki pages with dead links or missing citations based on the keywords you enter. 

One such tool is WikiGrabber, which completes this entire process in about a minute.

Screenshot of WikiGrabber, showing which pages need citations based on our keyword "family law"

Bonus: Create New Content

Another way to get Wikipedia backlinks is to add new content to existing Wikipedia pages. By doing so, you can add context that’s relevant to your and your link, and naturally weave it in.

This method, however, is arguably the most time-consuming out of all.

It’s also not as straightforward as just adding links, and will probably require you to familiarize yourself with writing Wikipedia articles.

Some of the key guidelines to follow are:

  • Adopt and maintain a neutral POV.
  • Avoid novel theories or concepts that haven’t been verified.
  • Add citations (and not just those that are relevant to you).
  • Be mindful of copyright and plagiarism issues.

Adding Backlinks to Wikipedia (3 Steps)

Now that you know what link building opportunities to look for, let’s see how you can actually add your links to Wikipedia pages. 

1. Create a Wikipedia Account

Wikipedia pages can be edited by unregistered users, but we still suggest you create an account and log in before making changes. 

If you make edits as an unregistered user, Wikipedia will record and publicly display your IP address. It’s best to avoid this if you can. 

Highlighted IP addresses of unregistered editors recorded on a public “Revision history” page
An excerpt from the Revision history of a Wikipedia page. (Source

So, if you don’t want Wikipedia to publicly display your IP address potentially forever, simply create a free Wikipedia account. 

To do so, go to Wikipedia and click “Create account” in the right-hand corner:

A Wikipedia page with the Create account button highlighted

Registering should take up to five minutes.

2. Find Relevant Wikipedia Articles 

The next step is finding Wikipedia articles that could host your links. 

As we’ve already mentioned, you can find link building opportunities manually, but it’s way easier to use a tool for this purpose. 

You can also find relevant Wikipedia pages by googling the following query string: 

  • "target keyword" (e.g., “family law”)
Google search results for the keyword “family law” found on Wiki pages

This method is more time-consuming, as it requires you to manually go through each Wikipedia page and check it for broken links or missing citations.

WikiGrabber and similar tools do that for you in minutes. 

However, tools aren’t perfect. They may fail to catch some great link building opportunities that you could detect on your own.

👉 That’s why it’s often best to combine tools with manual analysis.

Manually, you can also find Wiki articles you can update with new content to create new link building opportunities. 

Once you find articles that seem like a good fit, you may want to run them through SEO tools like Ubersuggest to determine how much traffic they get.

When you’re sure you found a great match, it’s time to start building links.

3. Add Links to Chosen Wikipedia Pages

We finally get to the juicy part: building Wikipedia backlinks! 

To do so, you’ll need to edit your chosen Wikipedia pages. Doing so is pretty straightforward. 

All you have to do is open the page you want to edit and click the Edit button at the top: 

A Wikipedia article with the Edit button highlighted

You can simply click on the places you want to edit and choose different editing options from the top menu: 

Different formatting and editing options in Wikipedia's editor

⚠️ Some Wikipedia pages can’t be edited by ordinary users. These pages are marked by a padlock icon that indicates you’re on a (semi-)locked page:

A Wikipedia article with the padlock highlighted

Note also that Wikipedia has strict guidelines for what is and isn't allowed on the site. Familiarize yourself with those guidelines before making any edits.

We suggest reading through these two Wiki pages for more information:

But, for now, let’s see how you can add your links to a Wikipedia article you’re editing. 

To do so, select “Cite” from the top menu. 

This will open a new window that lets you choose between automatic and manual citations. We suggest choosing automatic citations. 

Automatic citations ensure that your references are correct and aligned with Wikipedia’s guidelines. You’ll only need to enter the URL to your chosen page, and Wikipedia will automatically create a citation for you. 

For example, see a citation Wikipedia created for our page on HARO link building:

Add a citation window on Wikipedia

From there, click “Insert” to add the link and the reference to the page. 

You should now see your URL under References. 

Check if it’s correct and, if so, click “Publish changes” in the right-hand corner. 

This will open a new window where you’ll be prompted to write a short summary of the changes you’ve made. This summary helps other editors review (and, hopefully, accept) your changes more quickly, so make sure to add it and make it accurate. 

You’ve Made The Edits. Now What? 

Wikipedia reviewers check all the edits made to Wiki articles. Reviews can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days and can result in your changes being accepted or rejected. 

Edits get rejected if they’re deemed inappropriate or spammy, or otherwise violate Wikipedia’s guidelines. If this happens, you’ll need to change your link and resubmit it for another review.

Although linking to blog posts is preferable to linking to commercial pages, you should still keep in mind that blogs are generally considered unreliable sources. So, links leading to blog posts may be deemed untrustworthy and get removed. 

That doesn’t always happen, and we’ve managed to get multiple links to our clients’ blogs published in the past ourselves, but it’s something to consider. 

If you can, try linking to other pages on your site instead of your blog. Case studies and research pages are a much better choice. 

A good rule of thumb is that the more trustworthy your page looks, the higher its chances of getting accepted.

What If I Don’t Have Any Relevant Resources? 

Let’s say you find a few broken links related to your niche, but you don’t have adequate resources to link to. What’s the right course of action here? 

Well, what you should definitely not do is link to irrelevant pages. Irrelevant links will get removed or even get you blocked from Wikipedia. 

In that case, you won’t be able to edit or create new articles in the future. (At least not from the same IP address.)

That’s why we suggest taking the time to create relevant resources that genuinely add value to your chosen Wiki article. It will pay off in the long run, and you’ll have a new page to promote to your readers.


Are Wikipedia Backlinks Nofollow? 

Wikipedia backlinks are nofollow, which means they may give you less SEO benefits than dofollow links. However, Wikipedia backlinks are still valuable, as Wikipedia is a highly authoritative site and can pass some of that authority on you. Also, Wikipedia gets a lot of traffic every month and may send some of it your way.

Is Wikipedia Good For Backlinks?

Yes, Wikipedia is good for backlinks. Despite the links from Wikipedia being no-follow, the site is still highly authoritative. This means that Wikipedia backlinks can very much boost your site's credibility and, by extension, increase your rankings and traffic.

Let Experts Build Your Backlinks

While you can build high authority backlinks on your own, it might be wiser to leave it up to the pros. Because who has time to go back and forth with the editors anyway? 

Our link building experts will handle the entire process for you and ensure your links get placed on the best possible sites. And if your backlinks ever go down, we’ll replace them with new ones for free.   

Sounds interesting? Schedule your free consultation today to learn more. We look forward to chatting with you!

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