Wikipedia vs. Google

In our 2006 Web Globalization Report Card, the top two global Web sites overall were Google and Wikipedia. Both organizations support more than 100 languages and a fast-loading, flexible global design template.Which is why I was interested to read that Jimmy Wales, the Wikipedia founder, is planning to develop a Wiki-based search engine. Of course, this is much easier said than done. Wikipedia required a huge network of devoted volunteers to become something of value. Would a similar group of people coalesce around a search engine?

search_wikia.gif

This will be very interesting to watch. Jimmy writes that search engines are broken “for the same reason that proprietary software is always broken: lack of freedom, lack of community, lack of accountability, lack of transparency.”

I do think that search engines in general have lost a great deal of quality over the past year as businesses have figured out how to optimize their rankings at the expense of actually providing content that the user actually is looking for.

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.