Posted April 25, 2007 6:42 pm by with 3 comments

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The Washington Post reports today on a Pew Internet study that states that Wikipedia receives around 70% of its traffic from search engines (citing Hitwise), and one in three adults consults Wikipedia—39% of men and 34% of women. The full study also notes that 50% of those consulting Wikipedia are college graduates. One hopes they take the information they find with the appropriate grain of salt.

The Washington Post also notes the role of SEO in Wikipedia’s search engine traffic:

Another interesting tidbit that won’t come as a surprise to those who are familiar with search engine optimization: Wikipedia gets 70 percent of its traffic from search engines such as Google. As an Internet user, you’ve probably noticed that Wikipedia entries usually come up high in the search results. That’s because Wikipedia is full of links to other Web sites and the number of links on a Web site is one factor that Google’s search engine uses to rank the popularity of a site. Not surprising that Wikipedia always tops the list of the most visited sites on the Web.

Um, what? Did I miss something? Unless the Washington Post has some insider knowledge that they’re trying to share, it’s links to a website, not on a website that greatly influence search engine rankings and, therefore, traffic.

At least she didn’t say SEO was the unscrupulous spammers trying to inject their links into pages.

In other Wikipedia news, Cnet has a story today about Wikipedia’s expected CD version. Apparently, Wikipedia released the CD nearly three weeks ago. There are also plans for Polish and French CD versions, as well as three CD versions in German.

A Wikipedia spokesperson told Cnet:

Not everyone is a comfortable, well-fed First World citizen with broadband, so a book or CD or DVD is an important idea.

Yeah, some poor souls are still living on only two Twinkies a day and dialup—or worse, no Internet at all. A CD sure will bring a lot of the Third World the important knowledge on subjects like Nintendo, Nirvana (the band) and nanomedicine, all included and vital to developing nations. (I picked the Ns at random; what can you find?)

All right, all right, </rant>. Cnet also says that the CD is primarily intended for schools without Internet access. That’s nice.

The CD is called Wikipedia Version 0.5. It’s a test release and costs $13.99. is selling the CDs, but no DVDs as far as I can see.

This is not to be confused with the ‘unofficial’ CD version released a year ago.