Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Google Insights: Wikileaks and Wikipedia



So Julian Assange's rage-against-the-machine website Wikileaks actually, for one brief shining moment, overtook Wikipedia regarding Google searches. Funny that people Google Wikipedia at all - but it's probably because they don't use a dot-com address. Wikipedia surely must be the most-visited website not to use a .com domain name - or at least the most-visited American site not to.

Anyway, it turns out that Wikileaks is most-sought in Mozambique, Albania, Kenya, Lebanon and Ethiopia - a relatively random list of countries, three of which are in Africa (Uganda and Tanzania are also in the top-ten, leaving an unbroken strip of countriesrunning down the Indian Ocean coast of Africa). The fourth- and seventh-most-searched expression regarding Wikileaks is 'wikileaks en español' (with or without the 'en'), indicating that there are plenty of hispanophones hoping Wikileaks will translate those hundreds of thousands of pages into Spanish for them. Er, who live in Western Africa... Well, in all fairness Cuba is number seven on the list (and that just feels so completely appropriate), though it's the only Spanish-speaking country in the top-ten.

Among countries Googling Wikipedia, though, amazingly eight of the top-ten are Spanish-speaking (Cuba, Mexico, Honduras, Spain, Paraguay, Panama, Colombia, Nicaragua - the only exceptions are Italy and Finland). I have no idea why that is, though I could mention that while all foreign-language Wikipedias are hosted at wikipedia.org, they don't all call themselves 'Wikipedia'. Some call themselves, for example, ውክፔዲያ, Ƿikipǣdia, Vikipediya, વિકિપીડિયા, 維基百科, Viquipèdia, ᐅᐃᑭᐱᑎᐊ, വിക്കിപീഡിയ, Viqùipédie or Wikkipedija.

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