Google Fixes Gay Slur In St. Louis Cardinals’ Knowledge Graph Box

stl-cardinals-logo A gay slur from the Wikipedia page about the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team made its way into Google's Knowledge Graph box for a short time this week. The slur has been making news with stories appearing in a number of press outlets. The Cardinals' Wikipedia page has been home to a great deal of abuse during the past few days (they're currently playing in the World Series against the Boston Red Sox) and now can only be edited by Wikipedia administrators. What I find most interesting is that the slur was live on Wikipedia for a very short amount of time, yet Google's crawler captured [...]

Facebook Is Wikipedia’s Most Popular Article Of 2012: Hot Topic Or Confused Searchers?

Wikipedia-logo-v2-pl What was the most viewed article on Wikipedia this year? The one about Facebook. Is Facebook really that popular of a Wikipedia topic? Perhaps, but more likely, confused searchers are getting to the Wikipedia page rather than Facebook itself. Yesterday on, a service of Wikipedia Germany, lists of  the Top 100 most viewed articles for 2012 were released. The data mining was done by Johan Gunnarsson, a computer science student in Sweden. Rankings for 35 different Wikipedias (by language) are available. You can find all of the lists here. Here's a look at the Top 10 most v [...]

Wikipedia Releases Search Data To Public But Pulls It After Privacy Concerns

wikipedia-search-data Wikipedia announced they have decided to give away their search data to the public for free. Yea, they would just give away search data to anyone would wanted to download it. Shortly after they announced this, they decided to "temporarily taken down this data to make additional improvements to the anonymization protocol related to the search queries." My first reaction when I saw that Wikipedia was releasing this information was, privacy issue! Imagine how people use Wikipedia. They may search for family information, medical conditions, religious beliefs, political beliefs and so on. If you [...]

Wikipedia Appears On Google’s Page One 46 Percent Of The Time, Compared to 31 Percent On Bing [STUDY]

google-wikipedia-featured A new study suggests that Wikipedia gets better visibility on Google than it does on Bing. While that may not surprise much of the SEO industry, it contradicts what some Google employees have previously said, as well as another recent study on Wikipedia's search visibilty. Last week, Conductor released updated data about Wikipedia's search visibility, this time including Bing for comparison to its previous study that focused solely on Wikipedia's Google visibility. In the previous study, Wikipedia appeared on page one of Google 46 percent of the time, and on page two for 25 percent of [...]

Move Over, Wikipedia: Amazon May Be The King Of Google Rankings

amazon-wikipedia-men-featured While the SEO industry has spent years decrying how well Wikipedia seems to dominate Google's rankings, it may be that is the real king of visibility. For most of the past 18 months or so, Amazon has shown up on the first page of Google search results more often than Wikipedia and currently lands on page one about 40 percent of the time, compared to just over 30 percent for Wikipedia. That's according to new research from SpyFu, which was published this week in response to our coverage of a Conductor study on Wikipedia's Google visibility. As you can see in the chart below, Am [...]

Wikipedia Appears On Google’s Page One Only 46% Of Time, Study Shows

google-wikipedia-featured Wikipedia doesn't pwn Google nearly as much as the SEO industry thinks it does. In fact, according to a new Conductor study, Wikipedia showed up on the first page of Google's search results only 46 percent of the time in a study using 2,000 unique keywords. Conductor used one thousand informational keywords (like "lyrics" and "bridal shower ideas") and another thousand transactional keywords (like "headphones" and "where to find wall stencils") in its study; as you'd expect, Wikipedia has much more visibility on informational searches than transactional -- 60 percent for the former and [...]

Why The Wikipedia/Google Search Results Study Is Flawed

wikipedia-logo Many SEOs have been chatting this week about a recent study by Intelligent Positioning (first reported by Search Engine Watch) that showed Wikipedia ranks on Google UK for 99 percent of searches. Yikes, right? Wikipedia -- more specifically, Google's apparent love of Wikipedia -- has long been a sore spot in the SEO industry, so seeing a statistic like that is a big pile of salt in the wounds at this point. But it's really not a statistic to get worked up about because, in my opinion, the study itself was flawed. Study Methodology As Intelligent Position explains, the company used a [...]

Michael Jackson’s Death: An Inside Look At How Google, Yahoo, & Bing Handled An Extraordinary Day In Search

An extraordinary day of breaking news on Thursday led to record-breaking traffic spikes as people searched online for information about the deaths of Farrah Fawcett and, especially, Michael Jackson. And just like their counterparts in traditional media, the news divisions of Google, Yahoo, and Bing responded with sometimes extraordinary measures to ensure they were giving searchers the most accurate and current news available. Below, a look not only at the extreme traffic spikes that took place, but also an insider's look at what happened as each search engine -- and Wikipedia -- grappled w [...]

Wikia Search To Close Up Shop reports that Wikia Search is giving up and closing up shop. Search Wikia launched an alpha release in January 2008, where Chris Sherman gave it a poor review. Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikia, told "It was going to take at least an another year to two before it's usable by the public, and we can't afford that right now." Due to the economy and the need to get to "profitability" right now, Wikia Search needs to shut down. Two full-time employees will be out of a job due to the decision. Wales said that Wikia Search only had 10,000 unique users a month over the past six mo [...]

Microsoft Kills Encyclopedia Encarta

Ars Technica reports that Microsoft has decided to discontinue their encyclopedia software, Encarta. Both the MSN Encarta reference Web sites as well as its Encarta software will be shut down. Microsoft said: On October 31, 2009, MSN® Encarta® Web sites worldwide will be discontinued, with the exception of Encarta Japan, which will be discontinued on December 31, 2009. Additionally, Microsoft will cease to sell Microsoft Student and Encarta Premium software products worldwide by June 2009. We understand that Encarta users may have questions regarding this announcement so we have prepare [...]

Jon Stewart Explains Twitter & Stephen Colbert On Wikipedia

Like many people, I got a chuckle out of Jon Stewart's recent send-up of Twitter on the Daily Show. If you haven't seen it, the clip is below. I also thought it went nicely with the clip from Stephen Colbert on Wikipedia from back in 2006. So enjoy the double feature. Now if we can just get either of them to talk about Google. Jon Stewart on Twitter: And here's Stephen Colbert on Wikipedia and "wikialilty." [...]

Yahoo Shows Wikipedia Some SearchMonkey Love

Yahoo has just announced that the Wikipedia SearchMonkey App is now turned on by default for all Yahoo search users. Wikipedia becomes the sixth app that all Yahoo searchers will see, joining LinkedIn, Yelp, Yahoo Local, Citysearch, and Zagat. SearchMonkey adds enhanced content to the search results page. The Wikipedia app includes a snippet of text from the Wikipedia article summary, deep links to the first four sections of the article, and a photo if the article has one. Here's a screenshot that Yahoo provided showing the Wikipedia app in action: With the new app, Yahoo now joins G [...]

DeepDyve Explores The Invisible Web

As web search engines have improved over the years, there's been less attention paid to an "inconvenient truth" about the indexes of our favorite information finding tools—namely, that search engines still miss the lion's share of information available on the web. This so-called "deep web" remains largely impenetrable to search engines for a variety of reasons, and for many types of queries that's just fine. But if you're a serious searcher, looking for the best information possible, you can't afford to overlook this vast "hidden" store of information. And that's a challenge, because sear [...]

“Nobody’s Safe In Cyberspace”: Stalking And Wikipedia

The article, "Nobody's Safe in Cyberspace," by Wikipedia editor and photographer David Shankbone, details a personal ordeal he experienced with an online stalker. It's a horrible story that involves intimidation and threats of violence. But as Shankbone writes, there's little recourse available to the one who is stalked and harassed online. And there are challenges in prosecuting people in the gray area of "internet speech." It's a problem that needs a thoughtful and measured response, not only from Wikipedia, but from online publishers and the legal community as well. [...]

Google & Other Search Engines Dominate Traffic Drivers To Wikipedia

When writing about Powerset this week, I covered how its hopes to gain Wikipedia users was complicated by the fact that Wikipedia itself gets so many people from search, rather than direct navigation. New stats (PDF) from Nielsen Online reaffirm this -- four of the five top referring sites to Wikipedia are search engines, with Google by far the leader. Here's the rundown on top referring sites that generate home users from the US, for April 2008: Site Percent Google 61% Yahoo Search 19% Wikipedia 11% MSN Search 5% [...]

Powerset Launches “Understanding Engine” For Wikipedia Content

After nearly two years in the making -- and plenty of hype -- Powerset has finally rolled out a "natural language" search engine. It's not a Google killer. It's barely a business model right now. But at least it's something the world can finally play with, and under the hood, there's lots of potential. By the time you read this, the Powerset site should have changed into a tool that allows you search against material within Wikipedia. Why bother using Powerset rather than using Wikipedia's own search tool or even Google set to look only within Wikipedia pages? The Powerset pitch is t [...]

Using Wikipedia To Reveal Web Traffic Data

Before investing time and effort in search rankings, and even before setting client expectations, it makes sense to gather whatever intelligence you can about the keywords you'd like to rank for. SEOs and webmasters have few reliable sources of information about the relationship between rankings and traffic. But Wikipedia's traffic stats can help, offering some surprisingly detailed data. Have you been searching for Jesus? On Google, Wikipedia ranks first for that search. How much is that first place ranking worth? According to Wikipedia's public traffic stats, about 14k page views on a [...]

Scanning Barriers On The Search Results Page

A few columns ago I talked about user behavior on the results page and compared it to a shopping mall. In recent eye tracking studies, we’ve seen that several factors can create barriers or "walls" in this mall that can keep traffic from ever finding your listing. Traffic flows First of all, a quick recap of traffic flow in the search "mall." Visitors enter in the upper left, scan down four or five listings, and consider them as a group. Then, depending on the information scent found in the listing group, they either click on a listing, continue scanning elsewhere on the page, or rel [...]

Professor Bans Google & Wikipedia In Class Room

Lecturer bans students from using Google and Wikipedia from The Argus reports that Professor Tara Brabazon from the University of Brighton has banned the use of Google and Wikipedia in her classroom. She said using Google and Wikipedia doesn't encourage students to use their "own brains" enough. She added: I want students to sit down and read. It's not the same when you read it online. I want them to experience the pages and the print as much as the digitisation and the pixels. Both are fine but I want them to have both, not one or the other, not a cheap solution. In fact, she is giving a [...]

Who’s Ranking For Knol? Hello, Wikipedia!

Ah, sweet irony. Yesterday I spent some time raising concerns about knowledge aggregation sites like Wikipedia and the forthcoming Google Knol potentially ranking tops for every search conducted. Today, what's in the top results for Knol? Yep -- a new Wikipedia page on the topic! The page was created yesterday and took less than 24 hours to show up. Looking at the top results for Knol is also fascinating in how until last week, the Google project wasn't announced, so the results had no reflection of it. Today, they dominate the page: Let's run down the list. KNOL is also the ticker sy [...]

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