New Research Reveals Symbiotic Relationship Between Wikipedia and Search Engines

Wikipedia is one of the most popular resources of information in the world because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up allowing people to access high quality information free of charge whenever they feel like it. However, the manner in which people end up on Wikipedia is something that should really be taken note of. Most of the time people reach Wikipedia after entering a search query into a search engine and discovering that Wikipedia is one of the highest ranking sites on the search engine results page.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that the Wikimedia foundation partnered with search engine DuckDuckGo to research the relationship between search engines and Wikipedia, and this research actually yielded some pretty pertinent results if you think about it. Wikipedia receives a massive 15 billion page views on a monthly basis from virtually every single geographic location on the planet and what’s more is that these page views come from a billion and a half unique devices as well. That means an average of ten page views per unique device, more or less exemplifying just how thoroughly ingrained Wikipedia has become in the manner in which we have currently chosen to end up living our lives.

However, this number though undoubtedly high fails to capture the scope of Wikipedia’s influence with all things having been considered and taken into account. This has a lot to do with the kinds of changes that we have seen in search engine results pages over the course of the past few years or so. Whereas previously when you entered any kind of a search query you would essentially have gotten a list of hyperlinks that you could click on.

Nowadays, though, things are quite different. The modern search engine results page will have these boxes of information that are also called knowledge panels which will contain detailed information from a webpage that is more than likely going to be Wikipedia and somewhat less often a different site that is arguably in the same league as Wikipedia.

What this essentially means is that Wikipedia is getting a lot more hits than the numbers can indicate since people often just glean the information they need from the Wikipedia sourced knowledge box that they would see on their search engine results page.

75% of the hits that Wikipedia gets come from search engines, and 90% of these search engine result based hits come from Google which makes sense since Google is the single most widespread search engine in the world in terms of overall usage and the like. That might seem to indicate that Wikipedia is somehow reliant on search engines and the like, but when you look at things from the perspective where Wikipedia is so prominently featured in search engine results pages, a far more symbiotic relationship starts to become apparent.

Search engines need Wikipedia to enrich their results pages, and Wikipedia needs search engines to drive traffic to its pages and to disseminate the information that it has to offer. Both parties help each other out quite a bit.

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