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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Just How Popular is Wikipedia?

Posted by @ 5:45 pm

If you’ve been online in the last month, chances are you’ve visited Wikipedia. Depending where you look, it’s either in the top 10 or top 20 websites in the world. But just how popular is Wikipedia compared to other encyclopedia sites?

The answer is extremely popular, if the numbers from Hitwise are anything to go by. According to Heather Hopkins, a senior online analyst from the company, Wikipedia gets a whopping 97% of visits amongst the top 5 encyclopedia websites.

Here is a breakdown of visits to the top 5 encyclopedia sites:

As you can see, well established encyclopedias like Encarta and Britannica have failed to offer any serious online competition to Wikipedia, taking under 2% market share each. This issue has been recently addressed by Encyclopedia Britannica who announced plans to allow users to submit edits for review in their online encyclopedia.

While this is a good move by Britannica, I can’t see it trumping Wikipedia anytime soon, especially considering their domination of Google search results. It would take a lot of converted Wikipedia users and a ton of incoming links for Britannica to come anywhere close to the SEO power of Wikipedia.

Speaking of Wikipedia and SEO, I recently came across an interesting marketing strategy that could help your business leverage some of Wikipedia’s linking power:

1. Find Wikipedia articles that are already flagged as looking too much like an advertisement and still related to your website content.
2. Write an unbiased, authoritative page on your website or blog that is a great resource to the Wikipedia article.
3. Re-write or edit the Wikipedia article to improve it.
4. Add a link to your new website page or blog posting under the References section or External Links section.

You have now added a highly valued link to your website that will stay and you have helped improve Wikipedia. This is a great win-win strategy.

If you’ve given this a go or have any thoughts on the Wikipedia vs. Britannica battle, let us know in our poll or comments below!


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 (2 - comments)

I always use Wikipedia often and never try to use other site. Wikipedia has been helping me to find an accurate information than any other site. Btw, you have nice blogger skin :)

By Yanuar - February 5, 2009

[...] Just How Popular is Wikipedia? [...]

By Measuring SERP Click Through Data and The Wikipedia Effect - FISHING WORLD - FISHING WORLD - November 22, 2011

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