Wikipedia shows long tail & search power

Mon 31 August 2009 14:11, Bas van den Beld

Wikipedia shows long tail & search power

UK newspaper the Telegraph released an interesting list showing which pages on Wikipedia are most visited on the english version of Wikipedia. A list of this year so far (2009) was gathered with information coming from Wikistics.

The list shows some remarkable pages being visited a lot. But it also shows trends and it shows that the long tail works on Wikipedia: older articles last longer and get more traffic.

The reason for the more traffic on older articles is evident. Not just the fact that the articles can more easily be found and are older and thus more often revisited play a role. It's also the content on the page. Older articles are more often reviewed, changed and have less misinformation or vandalism.

Taking a look at the 2009 list some remarkable pages appear in the top. It is clear that Michael Jackson gained a lot of traffic since his death, but The Beatles still seem more popular than anything. They collected over 111.000 hits.

A remarkable one is located on the fourth spot. No less than 78.000 users visited the favicon.ico from Wikipedia. Note: this is not a page about the phenomenon favicon, but the actual Wikipedia favicon.

Movies, games and current events also are popular on Wikipedia. The encyclopedia gets a lot of traffic on subjects like Slumdog Millionaire, Transformers and Scrubs.

As with other lists, like those on Google Trends, the newest webservices also account for a lot. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Wikipedia itself are in the top 20.

Finally Wikipedia is actually really used as an encyclopedia since we can see a lot of historical orientated pages being visited with "World War II" on number 12 as the highest ranked historical page followed by Hitler on the 17th spot.

The list is interesting for many reasons. As mentioned before it does show us trends and it does give us an opportunity to step into the possibilities of Wikipedia. Also it shows the power of search. Every single page in the top 15 of this list ranks in the top 3 in Google when searching for the specific term. Sadly the list doesn't tell us what percentage of traffic is coming from Google...

The complete top 50:

  1. Wiki (131,383 page hits per day)
  2. The Beatles (111,896)
  3. Michael Jackson (79,734)
  4. Favicon.ico (78,077)
  5. YouTube (72,318)
  6. Wikipedia (52,542)
  7. Barack Obama (49,401)
  8. Deaths in 2009 (48,758)
  9. United States (46,545)
  10. Facebook (42,679)
  11. Current events portal] (40,962)
  12. World War II (29,736)
  13. Twitter (28,511)
  14. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (28,395)
  15. Slumdog Millionaire (26,755)
  16. Lil Wayne (26,210)
  17. Adolf Hitler (25,481)
  18. India (25,380)
  19. Transformers 2 (24,842)
  20. Scrubs (TV series) (24,758)
  21. Sex (24,754)
  22. Rhianna (24,670)
  23. United Kingdom (24,300)
  24. Abrham Lincoln (23,743)
  25. Heroes (TV series) (23,569)
  26. Watchmen (film) (23,544)
  27. Lady GaGa (23,376)
  28. Star Trek (film) (22,990)
  29. 2009 Swine Flu outbreak (22,968)
  30. Featured content portal (22,829)
  31. Megan Fox (22,573)
  32. Naruto (22,573)
  33. Australia (22,544)
  34. Canada (22,437)
  35. World War I (22,307)
  36. Vagina (22,295)
  37. List of House episodes (21,950)
  38. Japan (21,797)
  39. Martin Luther King Jr (21,786)
  40. Miley Cyrus (21,724)
  41. Robert Pattinson (21,515)
  42. Deadpool (comics) (21,264)
  43. Twilight (2008 film) (21,158)
  44. Windows 7 (21,018)
  45. House (TV series) (20,882)
  46. Terminator Salvation (20,743)
  47. Kristen Stewart (20,538)
  48. Internet Movie Database (20,422)
  49. 2012 (20,347)
  50. X-Men Origins: Wolverine

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Comments (3)


  • Interesting post. I have just ran Wikipedia through the moz 'top pages' tool to see which pages have the most links to them...

    Ignoring the home page, the wiki page with the most domains linking to it is 'aardvark' !!!

    Ma 31 aug 2009, 20:09

  • @SEO Doctor LOL really?? Thats a surprise!

    Ma 31 aug 2009, 20:30

    • Jonathan

    Usefull information about Wikipedia

    Do 3 sep 2009, 08:51


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