New research reveals symbiotic relationship between Wikipedia and search engines


Wikipedia is one of the most popular information resources in the world due to the fact that it is the kind of thing that could potentially give people access to high quality information for free when they want. However, the way people find themselves on Wikipedia is something that should really be taken into account. Most of the time, people access Wikipedia after entering a search query into a search engine and finding that Wikipedia is one of the top ranking sites on the search engine results page.

All that being said and now set aside, it is important to note that the The Wikimedia Foundation has joined forces with the DuckDuckGo search engine to research the relationship between search engines and Wikipedia, and that research actually gave some pretty relevant results if you think about it. Wikipedia receives 15 billion page views each month from virtually any geographic location on the planet. Plus, those pageviews also come from 1.5 billion unique devices. That means an average of ten pageviews per single device, illustrating more or less just how deeply rooted Wikipedia has become in the way we currently choose to live our lives.

However, this number, while unmistakably high, fails to capture the extent of Wikipedia’s influence, all things considered and accounted for. It has a lot to do with the types of changes we’ve seen in search engine results pages over the past few years. Whereas before when you entered a search query you would basically get a list of hyperlinks that you could click.

Nowadays, however, things are quite different. The modern search engine results page will contain these information boxes, also called knowledge panels, which will contain detailed information from a web page that will more than likely be Wikipedia and a little less often a different site that is without doubt in the same league as Wikipedia.

Essentially, this means that Wikipedia gets a lot more hits than the numbers can tell, as people often just glean the information they need from Wikipedia’s knowledge box that they would see on the results page of Wikipedia. their search engine.

75% of Wikipedia’s results come from search engines, and 90% of those results based on search engine results come from Google, which makes sense since Google is the most popular search engine in the world in terms of global use, etc. It might seem like Wikipedia is sort of dependent on search engines and the like, but when you look at things from the point of view where Wikipedia is so prominently featured in search engine results pages, a much more symbiotic relationship begins to emerge. become apparent.

Search engines need Wikipedia to enrich their results pages, and Wikipedia needs search engines to drive traffic to its pages and deliver the information it has to offer. The two parties help each other a bit.

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Rosemary S. Bishop