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Google searchEdit

Wikipedia frequently appears as one of the top Google search results[1][2][3]. In fact, in 2006 Wikipedia was apparently the top recipient of Google Search's outgoing traffic.[4] Google is also the top incoming external referer (sic) to Wikimedia sites.[5] Partially because of Wikipedia's high PageRank score, it has become targeted by SEO / advertisements. In July/August 2015, Wikipedia saw a massive decline in page views, leading some to speculate that it had been penalized by Google.[6] Business Insider attributed this drop to Google changing its algorithm to prefer official websites over Wikipedia.[7] This has been contested by Wikimedia analytics, who noted that there was actually an increase in viewers from Google.[8] Stone Temple Consulting compared rankings for Wikipedia and Google's own websites, and found that while Wikipedia's ranking has slightly decreased, it is still higher than Google's own properties.[9]

Google Knowledge GraphEdit

Knowledge Graph

In 2012, Google introduced a new feature to its search engine called Knowledge Graph. This summarizes information from around the Web about the search term in a box, similar to an infobox. According to various news sources, this feature has caused a decline in Wikipedia's page views.[10][11][12][13][14]

Relationship with the Wikimedia organizationsEdit

The Wikimedia Foundation has, controversially, referred to Google as its "partner", and maintains this language on their corporate website.[15]


In 2010, Google donated USD$2 million to the Wikimedia Foundation.[16][17] Initial development of Wikidata was funded with a donation of 1.3 million Euros, one quarter of which came from Google.[18] Also: wmf:Press releases/Brin Wojcicki Foundation Announces $500,000 Grant to Wikimedia. Google's Matching Gifts program was listed as a "major benefactor" ($50,000+ donation) every year from 2010-11 through 2016-17, except 2012-13 when it was listed as a "patron" ($15,000-49,999).[19] In 2019, Google donated another $1.1 million to the Foundation, and $2 million to the Wikimedia Endowment.[20]

Various chapters have accepted Google Grants. Google also frequently sponsors Wikimania events.[21][22][23][24][25]


As of June 30, 2006, the Wikimedia Foundation's investments comprised 187 shares of Google common stock, valued at $78,415. During the year which ended June 30, 2007, the WMF received a donation of additional 681 shares of Google common stock. The WMF sold all of its shares of donated Google common stock during the year ended June 30, 2007.[26] The following year, WMF investments comprised 72 shares of Google common stock (valued at $37,902), which had been donated that year. During year after that, these shares were sold, "consistent with its policy to sell stock received through donations as soon as possible".[27]


In 2008, Google launched a Wikipedia competitor called "Knol", which failed to become popular and was deleted in 2012. Here are some example knols: about H1N1, Democratic globalization.


As noted above, Google funded development of Wikidata. They also announced that they were closing Freebase (which is used by Knowledge Vault and Knowledge Graph), and merging its content into Wikidata.

Free/Open sourceEdit

Wikimedia Foundation participates in the Google outreach programs mw:Google Summer of Code and mw:Google Code-In.

Google Summer of CodeEdit

Google Code-InEdit

Wikimedia's use of Google productsEdit


Some Wikimedia organizations maintain YouTube channels. The Wikimedia Foundation also uses Google Hangouts from its YouTube channel for Wikimedia monthly activities meetings.

Google DocsEdit

Some teams in the Wikimedia Foundation use Google Docs, which contributes to the Wikimedia Foundation transparency gap. Docs is also used by the Wikimedia chapters of Finland, France, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, and Austria.

Google AppsEdit

The Wikimedia Foundation uses Google Apps and Google Groups internally.

Google TranslateEdit

The Content translation tool, used on many Wikipedias, supports the use of Google translate, which is closed-source.[28] (See FAQ.)

Google OCREdit

Contributors to Wikisource projects in certain languages not supported by Tesseract OCR use Google's OCR system.

Wikimedia developmentEdit

Nearly half of Wikimedia pageviews on Desktop and over 40% of mobile pageviews come from users using Google's Chrome browser.[29] As such, there are Phabricator projects for issues relating to Google's Chrome browser and Chrome for Android. The WMF also develops the Wikipedia app for Google's Android OS. (See Android team, FAQ, Phabricator project.)

The Knowledge Engine was a 2015 proposed project which would have included an internet search engine which would have competed with Google.


  8. c:File:Google_referral_report.pdf
  19. wmf:Benefactors/2016-2017 and earlier
  26. Wikimedia Foundation financial statements, June 30 2007
  27. Wikimedia Foundation financial statements, June 30 2009
  28. .