164 of Fortune 500 Companies Have Brand-Damaging Warnings on their Wikipedia Profiles

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Sept. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- WikiExperts, the leading Wikipedia visibility and monitoring company, today released a comprehensive study of the profiles of Fortune 500 companies on Wikipedia. The study revealed that one third of the largest corporations on the planet have brand-damaging warnings on their Wikipedia profiles which indicate that the content of the profiles may be biased, inaccurate, poorly written or unreliable.  

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130924/PH85044)

"Most Internet users check information on companies and their executives using Wikipedia, so its impact on a brand's reputation is difficult to overstate," said Alex Konanykhin, WikiExperts CEO and Founder. "Wikipedia has nearly 400 million unique visitors each month and is consulted 3,000 times per second, making it the primary resource for consumer and business information."

The WikiExperts study demonstrated that the Wikipedia profiles of 97% of Fortune 500 companies show up within the first 10 Google search results. In fact, for 90% of Fortune 500 companies, the Wikipedia profile is within the top five positions, and for 67%--in the top three results.

Notwithstanding the substantial impact of Wikipedia visibility on the brand value and business of major corporations, even the most experienced public relations organizations often fail to navigate Wikipedia's notoriously complex rules.

The study revealed that the Wikipedia profiles of 50 Fortune 500 companies included the warning, "This article appears to be written as an advertisement," undermining the profile's credibility. This warning precedes the Wikipedia profiles of:

  • UnitedHealth Group
  • Wells Fargo
  • INTL FCStone
  • MetLife
  • ConocoPhillips
  • Lowe's
  • Johnson Controls
  • Humana
  • Ingram Micro
  • Deere
  • New York Life Insurance
  • Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
  • Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company
  • Tech Data
  • Alcoa
  • Baker Hughes
  • Qualcomm
  • Cummins
  • Medtronic
  • PPG Industries
  • Omnicom Group
  • Waste Management, Inc
  • Aramark
  • J.C. Penney
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Health Net
  • Praxair
  • Office Depot
  • Unum
  • Ameriprise Financial
  • Stryker Corporation
  • Assurant
  • Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co.
  • Avis Budget Group
  • Cognizant
  • Symantec
  • Jarden
  • Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide
  • Ryder System
  • FMC Technologies
  • General Cable
  • Expeditors International
  • Allergan
  • Auto-Owners Insurance
  • Graybar
  • Host Hotels & Resorts
  • Avaya
  • Charles Schwab Corporation
  • Pitney Bowes

94 of the Fortune 500 companies had profiles flagged for unverified information with the warning, "This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed." This warning precedes the Wikipedia profiles of:

  • Chevron Corporation
  • Cardinal Health
  • Archer Daniels Midland
  • ConocoPhillips
  • Comcast
  • Coca-Cola
  • Best Buy
  • Safeway Inc.
  • Enterprise Products
  • Abbott Laboratories
  • Sears Holdings
  • World Fuel Services
  • Ingram Micro
  • United Continental Holdings
  • Deere
  • American Express
  • News Corporation
  • TIAA-CREF
  • Murphy Oil
  • Fluor Corporation
  • The Hartford
  • Avnet
  • Capital One
  • Kimberly-Clark
  • Manpower Inc.
  • Qualcomm
  • Cummins
  • General Mills
  • Medtronic
  • CBS Corporation
  • Omnicom Group
  • Viacom
  • Aramark
  • Edison International
  • J.C. Penney
  • Dean Foods
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Chesapeake Energy
  • H.J. Heinz Company
  • Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
  • Huntsman Corporation
  • Praxair
  • Stanley Black & Decker
  • Norfolk Southern Railway
  • First Data
  • Liberty Global
  • Unum
  • L Brands
  • Sherwin-Williams
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Family Dollar
  • Sara Lee Corporation (Hillshire Brands)
  • Leucadia National
  • Discover Financial
  • GameStop
  • Applied Materials
  • Centene Corporation
  • Motorola Solutions
  • AECOM
  • TravelCenters of America
  • HD Supply
  • Charter Communications
  • Group 1 Automotive
  • CenterPoint Energy
  • Tenneco
  • Steel Dynamics
  • BorgWarner
  • Weyerhaeuser
  • Avery Dennison
  • PetSmart
  • Symantec
  • UGI Corporation
  • Mutual of Omaha
  • Advance Auto Parts
  • Seaboard Corporation
  • CH2M Hill
  • General Cable
  • Actavis
  • Fidelity National Information Services
  • Allergan
  • Energy Future Holdings
  • Con-way
  • ITT Exelis
  • St. Jude Medical
  • Calpine
  • Clorox
  • Consol Energy
  • Advanced Micro Devices
  • Big Lots
  • Gannett Company
  • Avaya
  • J. B. Hunt
  • Charles Schwab Corporation
  • YRC Worldwide

42 of the Wikipedia profiles reviewed were cited as either not neutral, or possibly written by a primary resource or someone with a close connection to the primary resource. This warning precedes the Wikipedia profiles of:

  • Cardinal Health
  • PepsiCo
  • HollyFrontier
  • Danaher Corporation
  • Chesapeake Energy
  • Whole Foods Market
  • C.H. Robinson Worldwide
  • Xcel Energy
  • Applied Materials
  • Becton Dickinson
  • Cognizant
  • CBRE Group
  • Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide
  • Anixter
  • Fidelity National Information Services
  • Qualcomm
  • EOG Resources
  • Ross Stores
  • Sherwin-Williams
  • Owens & Minor
  • Applied Materials
  • Coca-Cola Enterprises
  • Group 1 Automotive
  • Tenneco
  • Steel Dynamics
  • Interpublic Group of Companies
  • Agilent Technologies
  • Northeast Utilities
  • Anixter
  • Newell Rubbermaid
  • Auto-Owners Insurance
  • J.B. Hunt
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Danaher Corporation
  • Illinois Tool Works
  • Sempra Energy
  • Corning Inc.
  • Charter Communications
  • Mattel
  • Insight Enterprises
  • Owens Corning
  • Edward Jones Investments

Two Fortune 500 companies, MRC Global and Susser Holdings Corporation, did not have Wikipedia profiles.

"While Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales intended for Wikipedia content to be developed solely by neutral unpaid volunteers, this vision proved to be Utopian and unsustainable in the long run," commented Konanykhin. "Wikipedia is created by the public (tens of thousands of unpaid volunteers) and is supported by public donations. Businesses, organizations and notable individuals cannot be expected to abstain from participating in a public forum so crucial to their reputation and business. Since 2010, we've helped many businesses, organizations and celebrities develop or optimize their Wikipedia profiles, in all major languages."

The complete study can be found at: http://bit.ly/1gAjCjO For more information, please contact Jay Soshnick, Sr. VP of WikiExperts, at js[at]kmgi.com or by phone at (954) 367-7100.

About WikiExperts

WikiExperts.us, a division of OnlineVisibilityExperts.com, is a Wikipedia visibility and monitoring service. WikiExperts is not a part of, or affiliated with, Wikipedia. WikiExperts clients include Fortune 500 companies, top celebrities and politicians.

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