Unraveling Wikipedia's Public Stats

Last Updated Mar 14, 2008 2:01 AM EDT

Wikipedia Stats image by shizhao [cc, 2.0]Few websites offer their search stats to the public. It's a real gem when you find one that does -- but it's a jaw-dropper when Wikipedia, the eighth most-visited site on the web, does. What can these stats offer you? A wealth of opportunity. For example, you can find that "soap" is viewed an average of 5,000 times in a given day, whilst shampoo picks up a respectable average of about 700. You may be surprised that Obama gets viewed 15,000 times a day, while Clinton picks up a token 900.

This data is almost as if Google dropped its full data down on a silver platter for you to dig into. Why? Wikipedia has the unique privilege of being very much like a search engine (in that most people visit the site and search for something they'd like to learn more about). It also has the added privilege of high -- often #1 rankings -- on Google. When you take a #1 term's view-count for a given day you can easily assume that the term gets searched around that many times on Google for that same day.

Wikipedia Stats image by shizhao [cc, 2.0]