By Erik Qualman
Per a recent tweet from Wikipedia’s founder Jimmy Wales (see image below) Google will be donating $2 Million dollars to the Wikimedia Foundation.
For those avid users of Wikipedia we have recently seen an increase in banner announcements on Wikipedia asking for donations; the popular international resource had started to bump up against monetary struggles. This donation is a welcome one for Wikipedia as well as Wikipedia uses. Imagine life without Wikipedia? What would we do? What would that mean?
The donation is also an interesting one on many levels. For years Wikipedia pages in Google’s search engine results often captured the #1 listing. However several years ago when Wikipedia indicated they were going to increase their search capabilities/efforts the Wikipedia results in Google curiously became less prominent and Google then instituted a “no follow” policy on links within Wikipedia. What this means is that links from a Wikipedia article to an outside source no longer carried “weight” or “link juice” with Google’s algorithm (ex: If there was a link for running shoes to adidas.com the Google algorithm wouldn’t reward this link it its ranking algorithm). Now this “no follow” policy was probably more related to link spamming issues and probably helped Wikipedia, but it is an interesting footnote in their short history.
Does this also signal the end to Google’s Knol? If you remember, Knol was Google’s effort to replace Wikipedia. You probably don’t remember as it didn’t catch-on with the public.
We may find out more answers today. The good news is this is a huge wind in Wikipedia’s sales and kudos to Google for helping to promote in open Web via their generous donation. However, what piece of the Web does Google not have its hand in?
There is further insight from Ben Parr at Mashable here.