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

amazon-logo-iconWhile 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, Amazon’s page one visibility on Google has been steadily increasing over the past five years, and sometime around the fall of 2010, Amazon shot past Wikipedia. Aside from two drops, Amazon has stayed higher.


SpyFu used its “SEO Recon database,” which the company says has 699 million Google search results pages (SERPs); for the purpose of this research, SpyFu looked at Google SERPs going back five years.

There’s a caveat, of course: SpyFu says its “keyword selections are more likely to be keywords that people advertise on; they are much more likely to transactional.” The blog post also says that these are likely to be high-volume, high-competition keywords.

SpyFu went beyond page one and looked at what sites have the most visibility in the top 50 results on Google. Wikipedia and Amazon are neck-and-neck there.


Despite the biases in its keyword set, SpyFu’s research mostly confirms the Conductor research on Wikipedia’s visibility level in Google’s search results. It also confirms a separate study from Slingshot SEO.

There’s a lot of other interesting data in the SpyFu research, including some research showing a huge spike in YouTube’s Top 50 Google visibility — a spike that appears to begin not long after Google launched its Panda update.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Features: Analysis | Google: SEO | Google: Web Search | Search Engines: Wikipedia | Stats: General | Top News


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Johannes Siemers

    Just took a quick look into the Sistrix Toolbox. They have rankings for 561.341 Keywords. Wikipedia shows up 702.127 times. That seems relatively close. But the rankings of Wikipedia where 44.5 % of the times found on page 1 – Amazon only 28 %. This shows up in their visibility index. Wikipedia is with 7.768 points number one on Amazon comes with 2.174 points in as number two.

  • Mike Roberts

    Great article Matt.  I posted a fixed version of that chart to your G+ account.  Also, for anyone that’s interested, I posted a follow up to this study called: 
    “5 years of Social Media in Google Rankings; Tumblr Set to Overtake Twitter” 

  • Mike Roberts

    Hey Johannes — yeah, the raw numbers are good addition.  For reference, in February, we see Amazon on 4,946,441 searches and Wikipedia on 4,677,130. 

    So, pretty close. 

  • Atif

    because amazon gives them a lot of money in adwords ;-)

  • Maxime RAUER

    Thanks for this article Matt. I imagine eBay deals correspond to the spike we are seeing in February 2011.

  • Eye Paq

    or maybe because it make sense for everybody to rank… 

  • James Finlayson

    Interesting data. I’ve just looked in Searchmetrics and it shows Wikipedia beating Amazon 5/1. Any have any ideas how the two match up? Searchmetrics only looks over 100 million keywords – so it may just be a case of the latter being less accurate.

  • Stephen Foreman

    Interesting how Yahoo results have been slipping down in Google!

  • Anton Stetner

    Amazon will most likely win becauae of its ads and affilates.

  • http://FireYourBossProject.ORG/blog Sandor Benko

    Thanks for the great article and pointing out the trend. Raw numbers can be interpreted in a bunch of ways, but Amazon is definitely on the rise.

  • Seolinkbuilder Guru


  • Mazhar Shah

     Hi Matt!

                  I agreed with you up to some extent not completely you know why..? I am sure that Wikipedia could get more better position in Google. But i am not sure that Amazon can beat Wikipedia Caz this is a e commerce platform and the Wikipedia have all in one…:)

  • Diet PH

    Mazhar, wikipedia result only shows up when it’s not a keyword that can bring them a lot of money. For example if you search for an actor name, definitely it cant be really monetized by them so Google would put up Wikipedia in first page. However if we are talking about money machine keywords, it’s entirely different case. “weight loss pills” is not a e-commerce keyword but Google knows it brings a lot of money so they still put up Google store results at the top of the SERPs. Amazon, in most cases, can ride the wave because they might share commission with Google.

    In the end, it’s all about the money.

  • Fosti Nosti


    car lease take over 

  • SEM Media

    It was a great informative tips, as i am an amazon affiliate. Thanks

  • chris_bolte

    I have it on good authority that SpyFu is biased; having been paid off by Amazon to write something like this.  SpyFu is a small company.  Amazon is big.  Can anyone put 2 and 2 together, here??!  Matt- you really ought to look into your facts before publsihing something like this.  everyone knows wikipedia has better results but where’s there budget to pay companies like spyfu to list them higher?   

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