It’s Official: Wikipedia Is A Google News Source

Google’s “experiment” in using Wikipedia as a news source on Google News is over, at least in the U.S. and Canada. The experiment was obviously a success, because Google has confirmed for us that the idea has been expanded. Says Google spokesperson Gabriel Stricker:

“As with many features on Google News, these links were initially launched as an experiment. Now they’ve been rolled out to all English language editions of Google News.”

As I mentioned just a couple weeks ago in writing about the Wikipedia link test, it’s hard to argue that Wikipedia pages don’t offer valuable background and context on many current events. At the same time, though, it can be hard to understand how and when Google chooses to include a Wikipedia link on Google News, and sometimes easy to question when they do.

Consider, for example, these two stories on Google News this morning:


The top cluster doesn’t include a Wikipedia link, despite the presence of a tremendously detailed Wikipedia entry about the Voting Rights Act. The lower cluster includes a link to a Philip Marloff Wikipedia entry that comes with a warning: “The neutrality of this article is disputed.” (The Voting Rights Act entry only calls for additional references.)

Google, of course, won’t say how and when it determines that a Wikipedia link is appropriate for inclusion on Google News. “An algorithm determines when Wikipedia topic pages are relevant to Google News clusters,” Stricker says.

Related Topics: Channel: Content | Google: 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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  • chiropractic

    What I still find most interesting about this is the wiki article link gets indexed and remains part of the story cluster while the remaining publishers are updating new urls w/fresh content. As far as I know I don’t think major media can yet apply the same approach (the expanding story) and continue to have their news indexed.

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