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Studying Wikipedia’s Collective Mind

Link-Assistant.Com | Posted in category Keyword Research Search Engine Optimization

As SEO software providers advocating white-hat search engine optimization solely, we seek to spread valuable information on the industry's ethical and fair techniques. Those who are making their first steps in SEO might not be aware of reliable sources such as Search Engine Land or Search Engine Journal from the very start.

Wondering what the novice studying approach might be we recalled Wikipedia at once - a trustworthy source for valuable information of any kind. We decided to contribute to Wikipedia by writing a series of articles on basic SEO notions.

For a start, we have chosen Keyword Efficiency Index, aka Keyword Effectiveness Index or KEI, as a topic to see how it works out. And... it didn't work out at all!

Keyword Efficiency Index Wikipedia This page has been deleted

In this post we'd like to summarize our efforts step by step, and ask SEO community for advice regarding what was done wrong.

Summarizing the idea

So, here we go. Presumably an article on KEI should contain the definition, the inventor's name, the formula and a few sentences about how it helps to find the right keywords and make SEO efforts more efficient. Before writing we went through the policies to check if the assumed common-sense approach is fine with Wikipedia.

Wikipedia's policies and guidelines

According to the main content standards, the article should be written from a neutral point of view. That will be fine, there's nothing to be biased towards.

Wikipedia does not publish original research. Well, KEI is an accepted notion in the industry, there's nothing original about it, especially on our part.

The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability. Including reliable sources should make the article verifiable.

Wikipedia is not a soapbox or means of promotion. Ok, the article on KEI doesn't appear to be advertising or self-promotion.

We also went through the list What Wikipedia is not. We didn’t plan to use it as a website provider, scientific journal, crystal ball, or any other point on the list.

The original text

The original text submitted went as follows:

Keyword Efficiency Index

Keyword Efficiency Index, aka Keyword Effectiveness Index, (KEI) is a proposed standard formula to calculate how competitive and popular a set of keywords in search engines is. It was invented by an SEO specialist Sumantra Roy. [1]

When conducting keyword research, the goal is to find keywords that will improve website's visibility on the search engine results pages (SERPs). KEI is a formula that can be used to measure the SEO impact of individual keywords. That is, KEI can tell you if the keyword you've chosen is worth going after.

The classical formula for KEI proposed by Sumantra Roy goes as follows:

KEI = (Number of Monthly Keyword Searches)^2 / (Competing Pages)

Thus, KEI is calculated as a ratio where the numerator is the number of times a keyword appears in search queries per month, and the denominator is the number of competing sites that are using that keyword as an exact phrase.

Based on this definition, the KEI for a keyword increases if the search volume increases, and the KEI decreases as the competition increases. In short, the best keywords are those which have a high KEI, i.e., are popular in searches, but face little competition.


1. About Sumantra Roy, the inventor of KEI. Accessed 2011-01-10.

External links:

1. Sumantra Roy – Top Ranking for Competitive Keywords.
2. Search Engine Promotion Help – Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI): A Good Indicator for Useful Keywords?
3. Hub Pages – What is KEI and how to use it for SEO.

Proposed deletion

The next day the article was proposed for deletion "because of the following concern: Only sources cited seem to be autobiographical or otherwise closely linked with the inventor. No third-party reliable sources."

Right, the article could have sounded as written by Sumantra Roy or his fan club, thus it might have been considered as promotion. The notification further informed that "you may prevent the proposed deletion by removing the {{proposed deletion/dated}} notice, but please explain why in your edit summary."

We moved the autobiographical link from the notes to external links, and used one of the external links as a reference to the formula.

And it did the trick! The proposed deletion notice was replaced by a new one, though.

The article has multiple issues

The next message on the top of the article said:

"This article has multiple issues... It has few or no links to other articles. Very few or no other articles link to it... It may need to be wikified to meet Wikipedia's quality standards."

We added links to other wiki pages, namely to articles on keywords, ratio, definition, numerator, denominator and it worked. The first point about lack of links to other wiki pages was removed by one of the editors. We were making good progress, finally.

This page has been deleted

No sooner had we started looking for some backlinks, the article was deleted by another editor. The explanation which leaves us wondering to date said: "Please stop your disruptive editing. If you continue to add soapboxing, promotional or advertising material to Wikipedia, you may be blocked from editing."


The verdict is "unambiguous advertising or promotion." However, we don't give up our intention to contribute to Wikipedia's knowledge base, adding value for non-SEO-educated part of the community. We would greatly appreciate your comments on our submission experience.

There's also the Wikipedia's collective mind that makes us wondering. As you can see from everything described above, one of the editors has almost given green light to the article, while another deleted it. Is the whole system unbiased and neutral in itself?

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