Wikipedia Page Creation & Wikipedia “Notability”

The most common question we are approached with is:  “How do I get a Wikipedia page?”

Qualifying for a new Wikipedia page starts with an assessment of  “notability.” We begin by screening whether a proposed page meets Wikipedia’s qualification criteria. For companies and individuals, this typically requires multiple in-depth stories written about the subject by journalists in independent publications with a reputation for editorial credibility. The full “notability” rule set, however, is dense, long and often counterintuitive, with dozens of special cases exceptions and exclusions. Wikipedia “notability” is not synonymous with merit. One can’t judge the qualification of a subject for Wikipedia by looking at similar Wikipedia articles, which might be deeply flawed and likely to be deleted when they are eventually reviewed by experienced editors. Once we believe that an article is likely to pass an independent notability by independent, experienced editors, we begin with an in-depth conversation with our clients about the particulars for a new article draft. Some clients provide us with punch lists and sources to get us started, while others ask us to do everything ourselves.

Our experts, including former academics and investigative journalists, then conduct intensive research to create the foundation necessary for a successful article. Our Wikipedia agency’s research staff has access to commercial periodical databases and other tools that go far beyond the limits of a simple Google search. We’re able to track down difficult to find sources (whether technical, historical or just obscure)  – and we’re not beyond heading to a research library if necessary. What’s more, our researchers have extensive training as to what sources and stories Wikipedia deems “reliable” and what sources it deems “unreliable.” These deceptively simple terms belie tens of thousands of words of often counterintuitive policy. 

This branch of Wikipedia policy has generated many hundreds of pages of commentary examining specific stories and sources. Ironically, Wikipedia’s “no original research” policy excludes so many potential sources that the need for the right kind of research is especially acute. Once the research phase of an assignment is complete, we then craft a draft of a new article. We take into account the structure and content of similar articles that Wikipedia has classified as models – less than one half of one percent of Wikipedia’s published articles.

Unfortunately, many Wikipedia articles are quite bad – what Wikipedia classifies as a “start” class or the slightly better “C” class. These poorly-rated articles cannot be used as models, even if they are similar in subject matter. Thousands of these poorly done articles are deleted every day.  Many more are vulnerable to deletion or warning boxes. As an editor with a conflict of interest (COI), one can be assured of strict scrutiny during the review process. 

Policy violations are not tolerated by experienced reviews on the official queue. Every word, sentence and source in our drafts is carefully measured to pass muster during the review process.  We’re also experts at the “Wikicode” needed for the final draft to look and behave correctly on Wikipedia. And we are fastidious about abiding by the precise conflict of interest disclosures required on Wikipedia, both in language and placement. 

Once the draft of a new article is complete, we go into a comprehensive client review and revision process with the client. We’ll dig even deeper with our research if a client tells us we may have missed something. And for clients with the inclination, we’re happy to discuss the rationale behind every decision we’ve made for the draft. We’re conservative in what we recommend in a new article proposal, opting for the maximum chance of approval.