Why is Wikipedia Always on Top?

By James Ater on Jun 19, 2014 - Industry Insights


Why is Wikipedia Always on Top

Many SEOs argue that Wikipedia receives too much attention in Google’s search results.
A 2012 study revealed that Wikipedia articles rank for 99% of all googled terms. For more than in half of them Wikipedia is the number one search result.

Moonsearch’s analysis of Google’s search results reveals the Search Engine’s perception of Internet. It’s not that of a teenager looking for entertainment, a small entrepreneur, or of a money-crazed blackhat SEO-warrior. It’s closer to an old-fashioned, scientific view of the Web (free sharing of highly validated information), than to today’s content-for-profit Internet. Although being one of the most high-profit companies because of its advertising and other businesses, in its organic Search output Google apparently benefits Wikipedia. Some call it an unfair bias from Google towards Wikipedia.

Is it really a sentiment in the ideology of a huge corporation or a technical cue?

Trying to comprehend Google’s logic we come to the point from which Wikipedia looks like ideal website for search engines.

Lets look at the Google webmaster guidelines which most webmasters know almost by heart:

  • Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links
  • Offer a sitemap to your users with links that point to the important parts of your site
  • Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content
  • Avoid dynamic pages, give detailed descriptions of every image and media file

What is this? Isn’t it Wikipedia?

Lets just try to be as objective as possible: Wikipedia is often among first places where we go to when trying to find information. Wikipedia is probably the best adherent to Google’s SEO guidelines, it has lots of user-generated content, great internal linking structure, it produces easy-to-understand, quality results, and it’s content is full of accurate keyword usage. It sincerely (a really rare quality in modern Internet) tries to provide neutral, accurate, and unbiased information. It’s simple code is easily understood and correctly shown by most ancient browsers, it cares about simplicity in design, content, and structure.

Doesn’t it do what an ideal Search Engine Optimized site should do?

Finally, Wikipedia’s approach of backing up the validity of each claim by a link to the source comes from the academic world of researchers and professors, and it seems to go against the majority of the internet participants’ less pedantic behavior. Therefore, is it really that surprising that Google would favor Wikipedia in its search results?

While marketers and SEOs try, time and time again, to promote their irrelevant sites to the top of Google’s search results, it seems that Wikipedia stays constant, relevant, informative, and simple. No matter what changes Google makes to its algorithms, no Penguin or Hummingbird will change the fact that Wikipedia’s main goal is to provide information, and that is exactly what people who use search engines are looking for. So, all conspiracy theories aside, it seems that the lesson here is that if you do what Google expects you to do, you will be amongst the top search results.

About James Ater

An experienced developer, James is the one who stood behind Moonsearch.com at the dawn of the project. He knows the algorithms Moonsearch is using from the inside, and it's a pleasure for him to talk about the processes the project is based on. Inspired by technology he is glad to give you a full understanding of what the practical purpose of Moonsearch is and how it can be used to evaluate your competitors, define your brand's position on the market and identify the gaps for the development. Why to create technology if not to benefit from it? James knows how to do both and is happy to share his vision.

By James Ater on Jun 19, 2014 - Industry Insights