Google will start paying for Wikipedia content it serves up in Search, such as the knowledge-graph panels.
The move was announced last week after Wikipedia introduced Wikimedia Enterprise, a paid service for large organizations that want to pay to repurpose its content.
Tim Palmer, managing director for Search Partnerships at Google, in a post called Wikipedia a “unique and valuable resource.”
“We have long supported the Wikimedia Foundation in pursuit of our shared goals of expanding knowledge and information access for people everywhere,” he wrote. “We look forward to deepening our partnership with Wikimedia Enterprise, further investing in the long-term sustainability of the foundation and the knowledge ecosystem it continues to build.”
It will be interesting to see how paying for Wikipedia content may change pricing on advertising for brands. Wikipedia provides organic services, but from where will the money come?
Google and the Wikimedia Foundation have worked together for years. The Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit overseeing Wikipedia, continually updates content based on volunteers and donations.
The creation of Wikimedia Enterprise, an opt-in commercial product, came about, in part, from the recent Movement Strategy, a global collaborative to direct Wikipedia’s future by the year 2030 devised side-by-side with movement volunteers.
Within a year of its commercial launch, it is covering its current operating costs with a growing list of users exploring the product.
All Wikimedia projects -- including the suite of publicly available datasets, tools, and APIs -- that the Wikimedia Foundation offers will continue to be available for free use to all users.
Google and the Wikimedia Foundation in 2017 launched Project Tiger, an initiative to support editors in expanding and improving articles in underrepresented languages on Wikipedia. Then in 2019, Google donated $3 million to the Wikimedia Foundation.
At the time, Ben Gomes, SVP of Search, News and Assistant, and Jacquelline Fuller, president of Google.org, said: “Our organizations have partnered throughout the years on initiatives that further our joint goals around knowledge access, including making information available through Google Search.”