Wikipedia and Wikidata Help Search Engines Understand Your Organization: Using Semantic Web Identity to Improve Recognition and Drive Traffic

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


ALA Editions, the American Library Association


Semantic Web Identity (SWI) is the condition in which search engines formally recognize entities and their relationships. Entities can be people, places, organizations, landmarks, or other “things” but in this chapter, entities will be defined as academic organizations: libraries, but also other academic units such as colleges, departments, centers, and institutes. An entity can be said to have achieved SWI if a formal display known as a Knowledge Graph Card (KC) appears for it in search engine results pages (SERP). The KC offers information about the entity directly in the search engine window, including such elements as address, phone number, hours of operation, description, link to the website, user reviews, etc. More importantly, the KC is an indicator that the search engine has achieved a machine-based comprehension of the existence and nature of the entity. With this understanding, the search engine can be more precise in its referrals and can hand off information about the entity to other semantic technologies. Far from being an end in itself, the display of an accurate and robust KC should simply be considered a positive indicator of SWI. Unfortunately, most academic organizations have not achieved SWI at this time. A search engine displays a KC when it has gathered enough verifiable facts about an entity. Search engines gather some facts organically while indexing website documents. But verifiable facts are more likely to be harvested from proprietary knowledge bases such as Google My Business, and from knowledge bases on the Linked Open Data (LOD) cloud, such as Wikipedia and Wikidata. Academic organizations have the best chance of controlling their SWI by proactively creating and curating records in these knowledge bases. This chapter will: (1) explain the significance of SWI; (2) describe a new library service developed at Montana State University that helps campus organizations implement SWI; and (3) demonstrate how SWI was successfully achieved in three case studies.



Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Other social sciences::Library and information science, Wikipedia, Wikidata, Semantic Web


Arlitsch, K., & Shanks, J. (2018). Wikipedia and Wikidata Help Search Engines Understand Your Organization: Using Semantic Web Identity to Improve Recognition and Drive Traffic. In M. Proffitt (Ed.), Leveraging Wikipedia: Connecting Communities of Knowledge. Chicago, IL: ALA Editions.
Copyright (c) 2002-2022, LYRASIS. All rights reserved.