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Why Is Wikipedia On Top in Search Results?

So many searches now have Wikipedia at the Top.

   
7:32 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I've noticed in many searches for business names or people over the past few months that Wikipedia is now the No. 1 or 2 result. Is Google promoting a non-profit site over others or just the huge traffic Wikipedia is getting?
8:24 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I dunno either, but I am rapidly developing a pure "hatred" of Wiki. This garbage site is on top of nearly EVERY search result that I do... And recently it's gaining steam, it's not that it's "number one" everywhere it shouldn't be, it is ALSO 3, 5, 6 etc etc. It's like wiki is spamming the whole world...

I would not mind if it were in results where it was useful, but searches (just an example, not literally) like "utorrent" will show Wiki number one, and the ACTUAL authors of the software BELOW it... LOL it's so stupid...

8:35 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Joe:

My guess? Incoming links + traffic + keywords. Plus outbound links on each page.

Hell G. loves them. I once saw a test search where a Wiki entry was highlighted ABOVE the actual search results. I found that outrageous, given how many people it would take away from other, expert driven websites.

8:43 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)



Yes, almost all keywords, wiki is in top 10 mostly 1,2,3. And I look at some of the page, and there's nothing in it, except that Wiki got my key words.
8:51 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



The Wiki is Google's trusted source for all things. Just like dMoz used to be but with an authority factor well beyond what dMoz used to have.
8:55 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Just another sign of Google's improving results. But I'm still doing some searches where Wikipedia SHOULD be appearing in the top three positions, and isn't. So there's still work to do.
8:57 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Why Is Wikipedia On Top in Search Results?

2,526,021 back links; thats it, simple as that.

Get over 2,000,000 back links, real ones from different sites, and you will rule the serps too.

(I agree this thing really is becoming the cancer of the SERP's)

9:11 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



And I look at some of the page, and there's nothing in it, except that Wiki got my key words.

Yep, same thing happened for me. Their page said, No results for ... Click below to find a similar topic.

9:21 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



What aggrevates me is that many sites NOT appearing are those with actual experts in the field. Instead you get a wiki that might be by an expert or it could be a nutbar in Cleveland with too much time on his hands, or said nutbar could be editing out what the experts believe. And son on. They are giving it way too much importance, IMO.
9:26 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Wiki is pretty much guaranteed top five results on any topic it chooses. I've been outranked by pages that are set up for future use.

Google loves the website and anything appearing on that site. It's a good indicator of how powerful a website can get - any page will rank quite well.

12:28 am on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



>> Wiki is pretty much guaranteed top five results on any topic it chooses. I've been outranked by pages that are set up for future use.

So you don't think that prescience should be a factor used to rank pages? Sure, now it is just a stub, but a few years from now ... ;)

2:39 am on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have started just searching on Wikipedia now instead of bothering with Google. Lately, using Google search I always see a Wikipedia listing on top so it just made sense to remove one step and just use the source which, even Google agrees, is Wikipedia. In a way I'm happy but in a way it's tought to break the Google habit...but by putting Wikipedia on top of everything Google does make it easier to break the habit of using them.

Did they think of that?

2:48 am on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



BaseVinyl:
I have started just searching on Wikipedia now instead of bothering with Google.

Man, but satire is an effective tool, is it not?

Wish I had thought of that.

3:27 am on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have started just searching on Wikipedia now instead of bothering with Google. Lately, using Google search I always see a Wikipedia listing on top so it just made sense to remove one step and just use the source which, even Google agrees, is Wikipedia. In a way I'm happy but in a way it's tought to break the Google habit...but by putting Wikipedia on top of everything Google does make it easier to break the habit of using them.

LOL I almost took you seriously, I read it, did a double take, said "what the ....?" then I realized ... doh!

3:32 am on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I'm glad my time here is finally appreciated! Good to see this dry martini hasn't gone to waste! :))
3:45 am on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



It's really funny how different one's perspective is, depending on whether one's cooperating with people, or competing with them. Wikipedia is surely one of the top five ways to cooperate online--on any imaginable subject.

I don't Wiki, but I have a great respect for those people who can work with others on a variety of difficult subjects, submitting their work to the review of their peers (and often, their inferiors). But that approach is not for everyone. Someone with a college degree, 20 years' experience in a field, and public recognition in his own (geographic) community may (and often should) have his own undiluted voice.

But most of those people who are calling themselves "authorities" online have no relevant education, no relevant experience, and no apparent skills other than plagiarism and self-promotion. When I'm looking for an authoritative source, I never, repeat NEVER, read a word beyond the point at which a webmaster starts calling himself a "resource" or an "authority." "Resource" is an encomium bestowed only by users; "authority" is bestowed only by previously recognized authorities. Anyone who calls himself either one, is just an ego with vocal chords.

At Wikipedia, at least the vocal chords are blowing something besides egotism (since the articles aren't signed, and the administrators are very good at keeping self-promoting links out -- as you can see by reading any Wikipedia thread here. But Wikipedia is extremely open to cooperation -- and although I don't contribute there, no less than three major cooperative communities that I DO contribute to, are exploring ways of coordinating better with the Wikipedia community: including deeper linking.

And that's part of what gets Wikipedia those millions of links. No matter how much you try to subvert the process, real-world realities still have a significant effect even online.

6:28 am on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)



The worst thing is that when using Yahoo, there is this answersDOTcom which is a duplicate of Wiki.
10:28 am on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



My theory:

If you need a dynamic environment that is able to serve as a base to verify and build topic clusters - Wikipedia is perfect for that.

Imagine that you are Google and you have to rank a widget page. Where can you find reliable (ok, well) information, terms and related terms regarding the term "widget"? Wikipedia.

I am not the biggest fan of Wikipedia - but I do agree with most of the Google results that show Wikipedia articles in top spots.

If a user types in "WIDGET" - in most cases the according Wikipedia - article is just the best possible match.

Regards

itloc

11:29 am on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



its because wiki not only has by design good content, it also get very good quality backlinks the anchor text is very freqently the keyword relating to the page, i do it all the time, have links to wikipedia when a term may be new to readers, the link text being the word searched for on wiki.
12:55 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Wiki was built with SEs in mind and what is more in tune with what Google's aims are than them? Google is ideally about searching for information (in it's most simple form) and Wiki is an encyclopedia that covers just above every topic. A match made in heaven.

Add to that, the fact that Wiki covers just about every topic too .. so it gets IBL and mentions from just about every kind of site, and most perhaps most importantly, is a link bait/magnetic for educational-type contextual links (read: .edu sites, etc.).

I just wish I had thought of it first...

1:00 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Most serious researchers wouldn't edit wikipedia, that's why after all nupedia failed. nupeia was jimbo three yachts wales failed project, before wikipedia, where distinguished academics were asked to submit there work under the GNU license.

"The bar to become a Nupedia contributor was relatively high, with the policy stating, "We wish editors to be true experts in their fields and (with few exceptions) possess Ph.D.s."

So they had to lower the bar, from which we can conclude that WP is not expert content and does not deserve a #1 ranking on everything known to man.

2:15 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Back in the days before the web, when you wanted informtion on a general subject then Britanica was the definitive resource. The world has moved on and in this day and age it is wikipedia that is the logical startting point for information on general subjects. Both britanica and wikipedia have their problems but in terms of a starting point I can't think of an easier way to start looking.

If anyone truly has an algorithm that can descriminate between fact and fiction they should sell it to the SE's and then they might not need to rely on wiki.

In an ideal world the articles in wiki would point to the best related sites outside of wiki as references and this would be a more accurate judge than a search engine could ever be.

IMHO the longer term answer would be for Google to list wikipedia and ebay results in their own space on the SERP as these are clearly special cases that need dealing with in a different way to prevent dilution of search quality.

5:33 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



its because wiki not only has by design good content

No wiki does NOT have by design "good content" wiki has NO content, it is user driven. There is no way to verify that the information on any given wiki page is even *true* or not. If nobody edits an article, it can be total fairy-tale fiction and still get passed off as "fact"...

This is why I don't like wiki, the "content" is VERY unreliable.

5:50 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



This is why I don't like wiki, the "content" is VERY unreliable.

That's a pretty "broad" statement. I find the content on the Wiki to be extremely helpful when required.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not fond of seeing a Wiki listing in the top ten of almost every search. There are other sites that are more deserving. But, in most intances, you're going to find a reference to that site in the Wiki if the editors are doing their yob. ;)

6:20 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



>There is no way to verify that the information on any given wiki page is even *true* or not. If nobody edits an article, it can be total fairy-tale fiction and still get passed off as "fact"...

This is why I don't like wiki, the "content" is VERY unreliable.

Um, and that makes wiki different from what human source exactly how?

You can easily find people with academic degrees who are idiots (in their chosen field) but maintain impeccable academic credentials. Encarta is just a bad joke of course, but it's not at all hard to find errors in Britannica. Don't even get me started on TV network news or the big Urban News. And all the other human authorities are equally constrained. If you don't know of a way to verify the information you get, then ... just figure it might as well be wrong if it isn't already, and live in a fantasy world.... and that's true of ALL the information you get from EVERYWHERE.

But for people who do have ways of verifying information, Wikipedia is often very good at giving a citation trail -- another way in which it's different from auto-authoritative sites.

[edited by: hutcheson at 6:40 pm (utc) on Feb. 24, 2007]

6:26 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



IMHO the longer term answer would be for Google to list wikipedia and ebay results in their own space on the SERP as these are clearly special cases that need dealing with in a different way to prevent dilution of search quality.

Do you mean like answers.com?

6:39 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



>IMHO the longer term answer would be for Google to list wikipedia and ebay results in their own space on the SERP as these are clearly special cases that need dealing with in a different way to prevent dilution of search quality.

Ebay and wiki don't SIMULTANEOUSLY dilute search quality. Ebay dilutes quality of informational searches. Wiki dilutes quality of impulse-buy searches.

The solution is to split informational and commercial searches -- let the MFA/affiliate/portal/classified-ads sites compete with e-bay and amazon: and the hobby sites compete with wikipedia and BBC.

But nobody has figured out how to do that yet. And the trouble is, some of the biggest content creators on earth (newspapers!) are major generators of both informational (news) and commercial (advertising) content.

7:24 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Do you mean like answers.com?

I just went to Wiki to learn about Answers. :/ Wiki's comments are actually quite funny.

I see answers.com as the kids' version of Wiki. A lot more people are using it for joking around now that they see how high the results are in SERPs. Google still likes the answers quite a lot and you can find several similar answers to similar questions one after the other in SERPs. Another dupe content issue for Google PhD's to sort out...

I would like Google Search settings to allow filtering Wiki and Answers. In Preferences, add: The Hack Spam Filter! :/

I don't mind the eBay results which appear at the top; they are quite discrete.

p/g

10:07 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



>Ebay and wiki don't SIMULTANEOUSLY dilute search quality. Ebay dilutes quality of informational searches. Wiki dilutes quality of impulse-buy searches.

That depends what you are searching for! I use Google with 30 results per page, when searching for certain phrases that are parts of specific vehicles I quite often get 10-15 ebay results from different ebay sub-domains and a couple or three wikipedia results. As all of the ebay results are likely to be expired listings they are not going to convince me to click and the wikipedia results are not what I want either because I am shopping or because I am looking for detailed info, that leaves me with no more than 30% of the serps that are even likely to be relevant. That seems pretty diluted to me.

A single link on google for 'results from ebay' & 'results from wikipedia' would be far more useful to most people.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of wikipedia and I think it probably belongs in most sets of search results. The people that complain about it generally think that they have more autoritive sites but don't understand that it is close to impossible for a SE to determine that. Given the complexity of trying to pick which site is likely to be better I would go with the wiki article as at least that is effectively peer reviewed.

10:15 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I actually spend quite a lot of time on Wiki and generally much of which is written is correct and unbiased.

I am still annoyed that it outranks me on a number of searches!

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