Google’s Love Affair with Wikipedia Far More Serious Than Bing’s [Study]

We recently published a study on the frequency Wikipedia appears in the search engine results pages (SERPs) that was covered by both Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Land.  We broke a 2,000 keyword set into informational vs. transactional keywords, and our distribution of length of keywords was based on Hitwise’s keyword query length breakdown as suggested by Matt McGee of Search Engine Land (see our original post describing the study for more information on the methodology we used, including keyword examples).

In our original post, we analyzed the frequency Wikipedia appears in Google’s search results.  In his coverage of the study, McGee asked about how Google’s treatment of Wikipedia compares to Bing, so today we are publishing the Bing data alongside Google.  Data was gathered in Conductor Searchlight in February 2012.

Google Favors Wikipedia Far More than Bing

A comparative analysis of Wikipedia’s appearance on page one of the search results shows Google favors Wikipedia far more than Bing, appearing on page one 46 percent of the time for combined keywords (informational and transactional) compared to 31 percent for Bing. Comparison of instances Wikipedia did not appear in the search results at all shows it occurred 64 percent of the time for Bing compared to 29 percent of the time for Google.

When on Page One, Wikipedia in Position 1-3 More Frequently on Bing Than Google

Although Wikipedia appeared on page one far more frequently on Google than on Bing, when it was on page one it was in  hyper-traffic ranking positions 1-3 far more often on Bing than on Google.  83 percent of the time Wikipedia was on page one on Bing it was in position 1-3, compared to 65 percent of the time on Google.

Wikipedia Page 1 Bing and Google

Excluding One Word Queries, Wikipedia Appears on Page One About 10 Percent More Often On Google vs. Bing

Looking at page one appearances by number of words in the query, both Google and Bing have Wikipedia appearing for a majority of one word queries: Google with 79 percent of queries and Bing with 54 percent—and drop off significantly from there.  Overall, excluding one-word queries, Wikipedia appears in the SERPs approximately 10 percent more for Google than for Bing.

Bing Wikipedia Page 1 by Query Length

What do you think about this new research compared to our previous post on Wikipedia in Google SERPs? Let us know in the comments.

This research was covered by Search Engine Land on May 7th, 2012.

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