It is amazing how effectively DMOZ can be abused. Wait, no, I meant Wikipedia. There was also a blog post by Duckduckgo a few month back where they stated that they used links from Wikipedia as a ranking factor for their SE.
What is truly astonishing, if not ironic, given the current state of AI, algos and big data, it still seems that input from a human curated site like Wikipedia has big influence on rankings.
Wikipedia is a crock of S. Run by a bunch of clowns. Started as a "pure" idea and has turned into nothing more than a sham. Hopefully at some point people can see this for what it is. Free use? Non commercial? Not sure what talking boxes are but last time I checked those weren't free. Last time I check Google seems to make a nice search "product" using WIkipedia. As does Bing. I'm all for it being more corrupt because they are what we used to call a S back in the day. Then they beg for money? You bet they influence and how can that not lead to corruption? I mean, imagine being a #1 or #2 search result in Google on a vast majority of inquiries. Stay pure after enjoying that? We're all human.
As to the sweeping, generalised statements over Wikipedia, that's totally out of place, imho. There are excellent references there which aren't readily available elsewhere, and if it wasn't for people gaming the system, it'd be just like any other hand-curated site. How can anyone know any hand-curated site is not already being gamed. How do any of us know bloggers and so-called influences are not gaming for their own personal benefit! We often don't, and many are taken in by the subtle nature of the promotion. It's the nature of people to game the system for their own benefit in whichever way they deep appropriate. It's everywhere.
This idea that Wikipedia is pure. Right, just like Google was (is) pure. Again how can you have that much influence and power over so many searches for the world's population and remain pure and noble. Nothing like free content. We can all appreciate that and some of use know what it's like when people use our content for free and it comes at our own expense. Wikipedia is one big scrape. People contributed on the basis of it not being commercial. Well, again let's digest the talking boxes and those aren't free, yet are largely powered by Wikipedia. I don't see Wikipedia complaining much. They just want more donations from people so that Google, Bing, etc can scrape the contents for their own properties. Kind of sickening really. If anything I hope for more of its corruption. No entity should have so much influence on the world.
Anything can be gamed, that wikipedia is one of those venues is a bit of a twist. The original idea behind the site was nifty keen, but reality has set in and if I say more will get me clubbed. :)
That said, g's reliance on wikipedia for answer boxes, etc. is immense, and because of that, it appears the g CAN be gamed! I suspect in future that those who take advantage will not be so STUPID to brag about it!
Something that is so prevalent and dominant, that Google and Microsoft make the be-all, end-all? And that is the go-to source for the world's information? Google is 90 something percent of search and when they spew wikipedia like fact? And Wikipedia has been proven time and time again to be open to manipulation? Sorry. These are firsts for humans. Misinformation on a global, mammoth scale. Of course Wikipedia is a target. Who wouldn't pluck away at it? Like Google, way too much power and influence on so many aspects of what so many people do or think. It's scary. I go back to my main point. Wikipedia is a farce. Somebody there is buying islands because it's not run by volunteers. Is it? Think about how head-over-heels webmasters around here are with a #1 or #2 spot for a couple keywords. Now imagine being #1 or #2 for practically every search done by human kind! Beam me up Scotty. There is no intelligent life down here. I notice though these gaming and false information stories about Wikipedia certainly don't have legs or traction. What would the tipping point be for misinformation, falsehoods or fraudulent behavior? Wikipedia monitors it's own S? How many errors or stories about errors/gaming until people start to question one entity providing the world's information?
Google is not perfect, so long as they show SERPs and you investigate oddities in results that won't change.
I highly recommend you pay attention to your pages that receive fewer impressions from search than the index page, even consider noindexing them until you improve them, it's like raising the anchor right now, no sneaky shennanigans required.
AI is great but if you're watching it change things the answer to how you can respond is in the details.