June 27, 2017

Is Google Holding A Gun To Wikipedia's Head?

Wikipedia’s rise as a Internet star has been nothing less than meteoric. It has grown to become an 800lb gorilla of the web and now stands as the largest recipient of refferals from Google.

Over the weekend Damien mentioned:

    Another survey from Hitwise shows that online encyclopaedia Wikipedia is the third-most popular destination that Google sends its users to.

Just last week I read this on Bill Tancer’s Hitswise blog

    The growth rate for Wikipedia.org over the last two years was over 680%.

    As of last week, Wikipedia.org was the #1 external domain visited from the Google main search page (after images.google.com).

So apparently Wikipedia’s traffic from Google is still growing. Now on first read this might seem like a fantastic position to be in, but my take is that any business that is overly reliant on a single supplier (who cannot be easily replaced) is in a very, very precarious position.

With the flick of a switch over at the Googleplex Wikipedia’s traffic could be impacted with an absolute killer-blow. Given Google’s absolute dominance in the search space, such referrals cannot easily be replaced from another source, and Wikipedia may well be a sitting duck.

Compounding this is the belief that Google is applying additional weight to Wikipedia’s domain over and above what would normally be expected.

This all beggars the question ‘why?’.

What does Google plan for Wikipedia?


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Richard Hearne
About Richard Hearne 21 Articles
Richard Hearne is the founder of Red Cardinal, a dedicated search marketing consultancy. A frequent contributor to Google's Webmaster Group, Richard regularly advises clients on Internet marketing strategy and Search Engine optimisation campaigns. Richard's thoughts and research can be found on his search marketing blog.