This Wikipedia phenomenon is getting way out of hand. I know it’s been said before many times. Graywolf had an interesting post some time ago that stuck in my mind about Google and their love affair with Wikipedia that I decided to expand upon. I set my
scrapers interns to work. Here is the process I went through (the data was pulled on August 12th):
From Wordtracker I pulled the top 1000 long term keywords (last 90 days) and the top 1000 short term keywords (last 48 hours) with offensive terms removed. I downloaded the buzz list from the SEOmoz popular searches tool. I then de-duped and cleaned the list and it came to a final count of 1,792 keywords. I needed to compare this to some other sites with a high level of “domain authority” so I also had my
scrapers neighbors kids run rankings for About.com, Amazon, Craigslist, eBay, and MySpace. First Conclusion: Wikipedia has secret agents inside Google. Not only are they having a love affair with Google but MSN as well. They’re just married to Yahoo as they get the least amount of action from them. See the final results for yourself:
Holy Shit Captain Kirk! Wikipedia is the most or nearly the most relevant for almost half of all my searches! I bet Google can even search for Spock and find him faster than you! Give me a break Google. And Yahoo. And MSN. Wikipedia is full of crap all over the place. Where is Encyclopedia Britannica? Wouldn’t they also be a little bit relevant for something? Let’s look at some terms Wikipedia ranks for in the top 3:
* [search engine optimization] – Currently #1 on every engine and the most relevant source on SEO that exists. Sorry SearchEngineWatch. I guess you and even Danny Sullivan are much less relevant than Wikipedia on SEO.
* [SEO] – See above.
* [text messages] – okay, I suppose in case I don’t know what a text message is.
* [boys] – That’s creepy.
* [girls] – “A girl is a female child, as opposed to a boy, a male child.” Thanks. That deserves a #2 spot.
* [firefox] – (MSN) obviously the Wikipedia entry is more relevant than the actual Firefox page.
* [cheerleaders] – You really think I want to know what a cheerleader is?
* [lap dance] – See above
* [internet] – what is this thing?
* [art] – I’d like to buy some art. Or look at some art. Nope, I get to find out that “Art is a (product of) human activity, made with the intention of stimulating the human senses”
* [booty] – what?
Obviously this could go on and on. I think it’s time for all the search engines to take a hard look at the value of Wikipedia and what a trusted domain really is.
** If you would like to download all the data (terms, ranks, etc) from this experiment, you may grab the rar file here.