According to a new study by Milan-based consultancy firm Lundquist, Apple has the best Wikipedia entry among Fortune Global 500 companies. Lundquist ranked Wikipedia pages according to the quality of the data in the infobox, page features like links and citations and the quality and availability of page sections like company history and charts.

Today, 489 out of the Global 500 companies are featured on Wikipedia, though the majority of companies scored very low on Lundquist's scale. The average score was just 11 out of a possible 25 points. Apple's entry scored 22 points.

Top Wikipedia Pages

  • Apple (22 pts)
  • BT (21.5 pts)
  • Nokia (21 pts)
  • Royal Dutch Shell (21 pts)
  • Ford Motor (20.5 pts)
  • Toyota Motor (20.5 pts)
  • BAE Systems (20 pts)
  • Bank of America (20 pts)
  • BP (20 pts)
  • Dell (20 pts)

Wikipedia is one of the first entry points for Internet users who are looking for more information about a company. A lot of companies score very low on Lundquist's scale, however. Quite a few entries, for example, don't even mention what geographic area the company serves or display any data bout the company's board members or number of employees. According to the company's researchers, entries for companies in the computer and IT services industry have the highest average score, while the entries for pharmaceutical and health care companies rank the lowest.

According to Lundquist, Sumitomo Electric Industries and the French financial services group Crédit Industriel & Commercial have the worst Wikipedia pages of all the Global Fortune 500 companies.

What Can Companies Do to Improve Their Pages?

As the report's authors point out, companies are strongly discouraged from editing their own articles on Wikipedia. There are some things, however, that these companies can do to enhance their entries. Here are three recommendations from the report, which don't just apply to large companies:

  • respect the rules of Wikipedia
  • make copyright-free images available to the Wikipedia community
  • only edit factual information like quarterly results or management changes (Wikipedia actually encourages companies to do this, though it's probably best to explain the edit in detail)
  • use discussion pages to interact with editors
  • engage and help editors who are interested in the company or the company's products
  • monitor your company's Wikipedia article for updates and vandalism