Google steals over 550 million clicks from Wikipedia in 6 months

Mobile and desktop data show that Wikipedia’s Web traffic dropped significantly over the last six (6) months. In my last post, I discussed Wikipedia’s loss of more than 250 Million desktop organic search visits between April and June 2015. Now I’d like to go deeper and share with you data from the last six (6) months.

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales states that there is a traffic drop to Wikipedia from Google, but contends that it is a long-term issue, and not a sudden drop.

Wikipedia’s desktop organic search traffic is suffering, and the losses are much bigger than previously thought. Over the last five (5) months, Wikipedia lost more than 550M desktop organic search visits, more than a 20% decrease!

wikipedia organic search drop

Let’s take a look at Wikipedia’s mobile traffic. Wikipedia lost an enormous amount of mobile web traffic, roughly 500 million mobile visits from February to July 2015! This is the total number of mobile visits, not simply search referrals.

Wikipedia mobile traffic loss

As I mentioned in the previous post, there may be a number of reasons why Wikipedia’s traffic is shrinking.

  1. Google prefers brands over Wikipedia pages

Wikipedia Brand traffic names

Wikipedia lost a lot of their traffic to big brand names like Facebook, YouTube, and others.

2. Google is expanding their direct answers.

Business Insider recently noted that Google is now trying to “give people the best answer as quickly as possible.”

Picture from Business Insider

  1. Is a Panda update involved? Did Google target Wikipedia?

It may be that Google’s Panda update is partially responsible for the drop in Wikipedia’s mobile traffic.

4. HTTPS fluctuations? Wikipedia moved to HTTPS before 2 months ago, but the serious drop in the organic desktop traffic began actually at March,While the drop in the mobile traffic began between May to June.

About the Author -

A pioneer in the field of SEO from a young age, Roy Hinkis currently serves as the Head of SEO & Digital Marketing Evangelist for SimilarWeb. He has over 10 years of experience in online marketing, with specific expertise in affiliate marketing, social media, and of course, SEO.

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