Impressive. Scanning the latest top web sites rankings from comScore for January 2007 , Wikipedia sites are highlighted for just entering the top ten most visited. OK, technically — they’re in the top ten for having the most unique visitors. In December 2006, Wikipedia sites were ranked 13th of all US web properties, with 39 million unique visitors. In January, comScore says Wikipedia rose to ninth ranked, with 43 million visitors. The top ten, to provide perspective, rounded to the nearest million:
- Yahoo Sites, 129 million
- Time Warner Network, 117 million
- Microsoft Sites, 115 million
- Google Sites, 113 million
- eBay, 81 million
- Fox Interactive Media, 75 million
- Amazon Sites, 51 million
- Ask Network, 49 million
- Wikipedia Sites, 43 million
- New York Times Digital, 40 million
comScore doesn’t break out what makes up "Wikipedia" sites, but the majority of US traffic is probably to www.wikipedia.org, the domain you generally see ranking well for searches in Google (which itself operates the fourth most popular group of sites). Other Wikipedia sites include language-specific versions such as the Spanish-language es.wikipedia.org version.
Where’s Wikipedia getting all this traffic? I already hinted that Google is likely a huge resource, but comScore doesn’t say.
Wikipedia and Academic Research from LeeAnn Prescott over at Hitwise last October has a nice chart looking at Wikipedia’s growth of US traffic over time. The majority of that traffic — 69 percent — came from search engines. I’ll do a shout-out now. LeeAnn, how about you or one of the other Hitwise analysts giving us an updated look at Wikipedia traffic sources via the Hitwise blog?
With search engines sending Wikipedia so much traffic, you’d think they’d consider doing even more to add direct answers or encyclopedia entries right in their results. They’ve done much more of this over the years. But clearly people want even more reference material, and Wikipedia seems to be getting the bulk of that traffic. That’s no so bad — Wikipedia has plenty of great resources. But as many feel Wikipedia turns up in practically every search result on Google, it suggests that perhaps tighter and more official integration into results might be helpful to searchers.
By the way, Wikipedia – Where do People Go After Visiting Wikipedia? from Hitwise, also from last October, looks at traffic to Wikipedia from the UK. Google is the top driver there — 54 percent, and most people leave Wikipedia in the UK to go to sites in the computers & internet category.
FYI, globally Wikipedia sites were ranked by comScore sixth overall, for December 2006.