Why do Wikipedia articles rank so high in Google?
Is it because Wikipedia provides the most accurate data? Or maybe because a huge number of links refer to the article? Or is it some other logical explanation?
The answer seems to be “None of the above.” Read this article about the “SearchFest 09” conference and about 3/4 of the way down the page you’ll see this:
Dan Boberg quoted Google CEO Eric Schmidt as saying, “Wikipedia is mankind’s greatest gift to mankind.” I can’t find that quote online, so make no guarantee of authenticity; I am quoting Dan Boberg, not Eric Schmidt.
But if true, that is certainly revelatory as to WHY a lame Wikipedia article, written by people with an axe to grind or an apple to polish, rank so highly.
Because Eric likes Wikipedia.
I personally am not a fan of Wikipedia for the same reasons the writer of the article gives. I think it is way overrated. I find it helpful at times when I can’t get the data from elsewhere, but this slavish acceptance of Wikipedia as the ultimate “authority” on all human knowledge seems to me very foolish.
If you really want to know about something then find several sources, don’t just lazily click on the Wikipedia link. It is important to know the source of your information but on Wikipedia you don’t know who wrote the article and you don’t know if they have “an axe to grind or an apple to polish.” So think twice before blindly accepting Wikipedia articles as gospel truth.