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What the Wikipedia Study Really Means for SEO

Posted by : Jitendra Singh, April 18th, 2012

Intelligent Positioning performed a study that quite caused a stir among the people at SEOs. The revelation of the study was that Wikipedia featured in the very start of the page of a Google search 99.2% of the time and almost half of the time, it featured as the inception link. What precisely this translates to an SEO? Is it more or is it less?

One must consider first, the methodology of Intelligent Positioning by perusing their post on their blog. A random noun generator was used to generate 1002 words, and the team used only the English language for their study. Google’s UK site was used for searching, which was accessed through Google Chrome, with an incognito browser window in order to avoid personalization or fancy customization.

Superficially, the results spoke for themselves. For almost 99.2% of the word search, a Wikipedia article for the same appeared on the very first page.And for more than half the results, the Wikipedia article was featured as the first entry. Actually, it was completely rare for a result not have  featured as the main link, that the researchers had such an easy time to compile a list that did not have the inception link. The list had words such as mail, trainers, news, sweets, national, wardrobe, phone, and flight. Highly competitive were these words, which were wholly or part of the name of a large corporation, such as the word ‘National’, Intelligent Positioning notes.SEO India

The only shock, experienced by most SEOs is the apparent domination of Wikipedia in the search. Google apparently has the so called love affair with Wikipedia. Search Engine Wave founder, Danny Goodwin even went out to highlight that Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder, stated that ‘Wikipedia was the best thing to ever happen to internet’ and had given so much in donation to the company.

To be frank, we won’t – at least not in the way we used to think. Looking over the study methodology again, we can observe something important. People today do not search with one word nouns alone. But the search comprised only of that.

A popular advertising data analytics company composed a research study based on the user search habits on 5 search companies including Google. Though the study lasted only 3 days, Jan 9th to Jan 12th, it had close to one hundred million search queries. Among other information it had collected, it was observed that the average query information used four words.

Single word queries, like the research organized by Intelligent Positioning aren’t being used much by people at all. Actually, single word queries just made up quarter of the entire search queries back in November. But then they made up the largest pile of searches made. But then 2 word searches dominated still at 70%.

The reasoning from this is that the previous study conducted by Intelligent Positioning does not simulate modern search methodology of people. That does not translate the fact that still the ever dominant position of Wikipedia in single word search is mind boggling.

The secret of the success is that primary importance is given for a single search term in Wikipedia. Also looking at the Wikipedia page, we can observe that there are tons of links on the page which are relevant for that particular term. This linking feature, which is internal, enables Google’s crawler to effectively search the site faster and thus helps prioritizing it.

In the end, Wikipedia has been around for a very long time, with an ever growing content and articles which are constantly updated. These two nail points give the page an excellent authenticity and a stronghold. Citations and links are constantly received– and not only from amateur bloggers, but also from many rich high profile sites.

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9 Responses to “What the Wikipedia Study Really Means for SEO”

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