Rankings update

New worldwide rankings show Wikipedia strength outside US

Recent data from companies tracking global Internet use continues to rank Wikipedia highly, and its appeal outside the United States is driving those rankings even higher as those companies do a better job of accounting for the worldwide audience. However, some of this information suggests that Wikipedia's penetration in parts of Asia has been much weaker.

One of several companies that regularly reports on surveys of Internet use, comScore Networks, debuted a new global survey last week that ranked Wikipedia sites as having the seventh-largest number of visitors worldwide. Previous reports from comScore, as well as its competitors, have typically focused only on visitors from the United States. The new report credited Wikipedia sites with 131,949,000 unique visitors in March, indicating that 19% of the global audience visited at some point.

This ranking for Wikipedia is noticeably higher than most previous estimates for a variety of reasons. One is that Wikipedia's popularity is frequently greater outside the U.S., as is also indicated by the recent addition of country-by-country data from Alexa Internet. Another reason is that comScore's report, unlike Alexa, consolidates a number of sites into groups based on their parent company. Thus Microsoft, Yahoo!, and Google, each of which has multiple sites ranked ahead of Wikipedia according to Alexa, only appear once on comScore's list. Meanwhile, Wikipedia presumably also benefits from the addition of traffic going to sister projects. Finally, comScore does not show any independent Chinese sites, several of which rank ahead of Wikipedia on Alexa, although it does report that China has the world's second-largest Internet population.

Country by country data

In April, Alexa added breakdowns by country to its existing traffic rankings. Although Wikipedia currently stands at #13 in the U.S. rankings, it comes in several spots higher in a number of countries, especially in Europe. Its highest ranking in any country is #5 in Germany, followed by #7 in New Zealand. Pakistan, despite reports of Wikipedia being blocked briefly last month (see archived story), has Wikipedia at #9.

On the other hand, Wikipedia does not appear in the top 100 at all in either mainland China or Taiwan (although it is #94 in Hong Kong), along with South Korea. Accessing Wikipedia in China remains difficult, of course, due to the blocking of the site. Some other Asian countries also have fairly low rankings, including Thailand (#76) and Vietnam (#84). In Saudi Arabia, another country where rumors have occasionally come up about Wikipedia being blocked, Wikipedia barely sneaks onto the list at #100.

According to Alexa, Wikipedia reached a traffic rank of #14 worldwide on 1 May, one of its highest figures to date. This is using the daily traffic rank, which can fluctuate considerably, and Wikipedia has even ranked higher on two occasions. However, according to comments on Wikipedia:Awareness statistics, these earlier peaks may actually have been the result of brief dips in the rankings of the major Chinese sites, such as Baidu. Baidu has recently launched its own wiki-like encyclopedia, Baidu Baike (Baike is based on the Chinese term for encyclopedia), although submissions are reportedly moderated and not designated as free content.

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Visitor figures

The new report credited Wikipedia sites with 131,949,000 unique visitors in March, indicating that 19% of the global audience visited at some point.

Isn't 131m more like 1.9% of the global audience? Or does this mean 19% of a previously-sourced total unique visitor count of around 650m? —Whouk (talk) 08:35, 9 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Global audience, in the terms of the report, meant the number of people online, which they had as 694 million or so. Not the entire global population. --Michael Snow 15:56, 11 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]


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