There has been some confusion in the internet marketing world for the past few years about Wikipedia and why it is ranked so high in Google. Really it’s fairly simple and some people don’t realize the power of how their site is set up.
I’ll see it all the time where one of its pages will have the first few spots of a highly trafficked search term and it will only have a few backlinks to that page. At the same time, a whole entire site dedicated to the term might be a few places down from it with thousands of backlinks. I have seen other webmasters become furious and totally confused. Sure Wikipedia is recognized as a credible source in Google’s eyes and most of their pages have a high PageRank, but there really is more to it than that. You have to look at why that particular page has the high PageRank to begin with.
One of the main reasons Wikipedia has so many pages ranked high in the SERPS is because it uses lots of internal linking. Just look at one page in Wikipedia and you will see anchor text links to at least 25 different internal pages. It sends massive link reputation from lots of different pages (which also have high PageRank) with the highly searched keyword in anchor text.
So you can get an understanding of how this works, I’ll show you a example. I just picked a random highly searched term, “engraving” and sure enough Wikipedia’s page about engraving showed up first in Google.
So then I used Yahoo’s Site Explorer to check how many offsite backlinks were sent to that page by typing in “link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engraving -site:wikipedia.org“. It turns out that it has about 814 sites linking to it and the website right below it had 13,500 links. See the photo below:
So I checked how many total links that where pointing to the Wikipedia Engraving page and it showed 4,260 links. All I did was remove “ -site:wikipedia.org“ and researched as seen in the picture below.
When you subtract the links from other sites, that leaves us with about 3,446 internal links pointing to this page with the keyword “engraving” from other pages that also have very high PageRank.
I hope that helps show you the power of internal linking and creating lots of great content for your site. Please leave some comments or questions below.
This is a guest post provided by Eric Woolf of Pixels and Dots Search Engine Optimization team.