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Monday, February 19, 2007

Have Wikipedia Mastered SEO?

Posted by @ 7:19 pm

Wikipedia’s rise to fame has actually been quite impressive. comScore’s data from January 2007 puts them at number 9 for the most unique visitors, with 43 million people going to the site in January. Needless to say, one of the major traffic sources for Wikipedia is Google, but how much does the search giant send their way?

Hitwise have put together some data which shows a big increase in Google traffic, along with a graph comparing Wikipedia’s other sources of traffic.

Source: Hitwise

The report covers some interesting facts which outline:

  1. 70% of Wikipedia’s upstream visitors come from search engines, with 50% from Google alone.
  2. Google’s share of upstream traffic has increased by 19% over the past year.
  3. The percentage of Google’s downstream traffic going to Wikipedia increased by 166% year over year.
  4. Last week Wikipedia was the 3rd website in Google’s downstream

As you may have guessed, this data shows Google was a major driving force behind the rise of Wikipedia. So how does it rank on the first page for so many search terms?

My guess would be that Wikipedia pages are generally very SEO friendly. The old saying ‘content is king’ is painfully obvious here, as Wikipedia pages contain a wealth of information, with the search keyword featuring prominently throughout the page. These pages would also receive a huge amount of incoming links (definitions, more information links) which would also help to increase their Google ranking.

Could they have mastered the art of organic SEO? Let us know what you think!

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Matthew Elshaw Matt is a marketing professional at, an international search marketing firm. Matt's passion for online marketing began at university and has proved invaluable in steering product development and marketing initiatives at the company. Matt is a regular contributor to the ineedhits search marketing blog.

View Matthew Elshaw's profile

Discussion (1 - comment)

I agree that Wiki has all there ducks lined up in a row. I have always said content is king as well, and that when you give information to the Google visitors the spiders take note of that.

Clean SEO is the way to go and you can achieve outstanding results just by helping people with pertinent information.

SEO Expert Michael Wilson

By Anonymous - February 23, 2007

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