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Help! Why was my Company or Organization's Wikipedia Article Deleted?

On a good day, Wikipedia is a confusing website to get started using. Having an article deleted from Wikipedia can be one of the most frustrating parts of the process. Since Wikipedia frequently deals with attacks by spammers or less than ethical SEO firms, companies may find getting an article on Wikipedia more difficult than they had imagined.

A good overview of the deletion process and reasons is available on Wikipedia here. Usually when businesses run into problems creating an article on Wikipedia, it falls in to one of these categories:

  1. The company or organization doesn't meet Wikipedia's inclusion criteria.

    In order for a topic to be included in Wikipedia, it needs to meet certain guidelines. In the case of companies, the general rule is to include companies which have been covered in-depth by several mainstream media outlets independent of the company itself. For example - if Time magazine were to write an article on a company (not just mention the company but talk about it in detail) or a company is profiled in Forbes, the Wall Street Journal or even an industry specific publication - all of these would be applicable coverage. These ideas are covered in more detail at Wikipedia's notability guidelines.


  2. The article wasn't written like an encyclopedia article.

    Even when a company isn't intending to use Wikipedia as a advertisement, they often find that the material they use on their company website or in a press release is rejected when put on Wikipedia. If you imagine writing on Wikipedia is similar to writing a research paper, it's easy to imagine how dry and factual the language for articles needs to be. Some helpful things to read are: Wikipedia's policy on writing with a conflict of interest, an essay on SEO and Wikipedia and Wikipedia's core policy called Neutral point of view.


  3. The article didn't provide any references.

    Again thinking from the research paper angle, just like writing in high-school or college, writing on Wikipedia requires you to provide a source or reference for any material you put into an article. Most of these references need to be independent of the company (this is because of reason #1), but a few references to the company website or press releases can be used for fairly mundane, non-controversial details that haven't been covered elsewhere. For more information, you can read about Wikipedia's policy on sourcing and more about why Wikipedia requires references.


  4. The article was written on your account's user page or from an account named after the company.

    Since Wikipedia is such a popular website, it is often attacked by spammers and even SEO firms who are trying to promote a company or product. Unfortunately this means that when a company whose intent was good makes mistakes that resemble what these spammers do, they often find their account blocked and the article they created deleted. First, it's important to realize that Wikipedia's username policy doesn't allow any account names that have the name of a company, organization or product - this also means names can't include initials, catch phrases, websites or anything else that might promote a company or organization. If you've made the mistake of creating an account in a company name, you should be able to log out and simply create a new account for yourself - if you're not able to create a new account, you might want to take a look at Wikipedia's instructions for getting help with a block. The second bit is making sure that your article gets started in the correct place - the easiest way to do this is use the Article Wizard or if you would like to create the article in a safe place so that you can work on it and ask for advice from more experienced Wikipedia editors, you may want to see about creating a draft in your "user space".


As always when dealing with a website that's not your own, if you run into problems the first time you try using it, it's best to stop what you are doing and get help. Wikipedia offers a number of ways to get help, some of which might seem very familiar: Live chat using IRC (#wikipedia-en-help on freenode), a new user help forum and even frequently asked questions.

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