What is Popular on Wikipedia and Why?
First Monday

What is Popular on Wikipedia and Why? by Anselm Spoerri



Abstract
This paper analyzes which pages and topics are the most popular on Wikipedia and why. For the period of September 2006 to January 2007, the 100 most visited Wikipedia pages in a month are identified and categorized in terms of the major topics of interest. The observed topics are compared with search behavior on the Web. Search queries, which are identical to the titles of the most popular Wikipedia pages, are submitted to major search engines and the positions of popular Wikipedia pages in the top 10 search results are determined. The presented data helps to explain how search engines, and Google in particular, fuel the growth and shape what is popular on Wikipedia.

Contents

Introduction
Method
Results
Discussion
Conclusions

 


 

Introduction

Wikipedia has become a major destination on the Web for encyclopedic information, used by a diverse set of users, such as students looking for relevant information for their school projects and term papers (Prescott, 2006; 2007b). The size and scope of Wikipedia has grown greatly since its inception and the English version now has more than 1.6 million articles (Wikipedia, 2007). According to comScore’s Web traffic rankings for January 2007, Wikipedia has also become the ninth most visited site in the United States with 43 million unique visitors (comScore, 2007a). The question arises which pages are the most visited on Wikipedia. You would expect that pages related to geography, history or science to be amongst the most highly visited pages, since they represent the prototypical topics to be found in an encyclopedia.

This paper aims to understand which pages and topics are the most popular on Wikipedia and why. It has its origin in a study that used searchCrystal [1] to visualize the overlap between the 100 most visited pages in Wikipedia for the months of September 2006 to January 2007 (Spoerri, 2007). To the author’s surprise, a much smaller percentage of the popular Wikipedia pages were related to typical encyclopedic topics than expected. As this paper will show, pages related to entertainment and sexuality represent more than 50 percent of the most visited Wikipedia pages. In particular, many of the most popular pages are related to media celebrities and TV shows, which also constitute some of the most popular queries that were submitted to the search engines in 2006 (Google Zeitgeist, 2006; Yahoo, 2006; Hitwise, 2007).

What is popular on Wikipedia raises the larger question of what precisely drives Wikipedia’s traffic and growing popularity. As will be discussed in more detail, it has been reported that 70 percent of Wikipedia’s traffic comes from search engines (Prescott, 2007b). This implies that links to Wikipedia pages are included in the search results or result page and people select these links. This paper will investigate where precisely a popular Wikipedia page is placed in the search results if you formulate a query that is identical to the title of the Wikipedia page. This will help to understand how specifically search engines drive traffic to Wikipedia.

 

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Method

First, the tool WikiCharts is used to identify the 100 most visited Wikipedia pages in the months of September 2006 to January 2007. Second, the overlap between the five monthly “Top 100” lists is computed to establish how many pages are contained in all five lists, in four of the five lists and so on. Third, the unique pages, which are contained in the lists being compared, are categorized to identify the major topics of interest. Fourth, it is discussed how the observed topics are related to search behavior on the Web. Fifth, queries, which are identical to the titles of the popular Wikipedia pages, are submitted to the major search engines and the positions of Wikipedia pages in the top 10 search results are determined. The goal of this paper is to identify the popular topics in Wikipedia, show how these topics are related to popular search queries and demonstrate that search engines tend to place popular Wikipedia pages in the top three result positions. The presented data will help explain how search engines, and Google in particular, fuel Wikipedia’s growth and shape what is popular on Wikipedia.

WikiCharts

It is interesting that Wikipedia does not offer a “most viewed” or “most popular” feature on its site that can be easily found. Such a feature plays an important role on many highly visited sites, such as YouTube [2], Digg [3] or Del.icio.us [4]. Fortunately, Weber (2006) has developed the tool WikiCharts that enables you to identify the most visited pages or articles for a specific month in Wikipedia.

WikiCharts is a javascript program that relays the name of the viewed Wikipedia page to a Wikipedia toolserver. The script is only executed with a probability of less than one to avoid overloading the toolserver. The data is collected in a log file without recording the IP address of the computer requesting the page. The logged requests are added into a MySQL database on regular intervals. This database can be accessed via a PHP script, where you can specific the month and the number of most visited pages to display. Since WikiCharts only started to collect data in the middle of August 2006, this paper uses and analyzes the monthly lists of the 100 most visited articles [5] in the English version of Wikipedia for the months September 2006 to January 2007.

Categorizing pages

The first goal of this paper is to identify the major topics of interest on Wikipedia based on the most visited pages. The proposed categorization does not aim to map the pages into perfect categories by using an existing classification framework. The assignment of primary and secondary categories is more similar to applying tags to the pages. The primary and secondary (shown in brackets) categories that have been identified are:

  1. Entertainment (books, comics, films, games, music, performers, TV series, video games);
  2. Politics + History (battles, elections, events, explorers, political figures, social movements, wars);
  3. Geography (countries, places);
  4. Sexuality (porn actors);
  5. Science (astronomy, climate, earth sciences, medical conditions, scientists, species, warfare);
  6. Computers (collaboration technology, digital media, operating systems, programming languages, searching, social networking);
  7. Arts (art, artists, literature, language, playwrights);
  8. Religion;
  9. Holidays;
  10. Current Events (deaths);
  11. Drugs.

It was decided to categorize pages related to Politics or History by applying the combined “Politics + History” category name, since pages related to living politicians, such as George W. Bush or Barack Obama, and dead political figures, such as Adolf Hilter or Che Guevara, were highly visited on Wikipedia. Further, the category name “Computers” was chosen to group popular pages about topics such as Wikis, Windows Vista, BitTorrent, iPod or MySpace, since a computer is needed to access or use the mentioned examples. The Appendix lists all unique Wikipedia pages together with the assigned primary and secondary categories.

 

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Results

First, data is presented about the number of unique Wikipedia pages that are contained in the five “Top 100” lists being compared. Second, the major topics of interest are identified and for each primary category, how many monthly lists contain related pages. Third, data is also presented about the number of Wikipedia pages that have been assigned to the subcategories for the primary “Entertainment” category. Fourth, data about the most popular search queries is compared with the popular Wikipedia pages. Fifth, the search result positions of popular Wikipedia pages are computed for Google, Yahoo and MSN, respectively.

Unique pages

Altogether 230 unique Wikipedia pages are contained in the five “Top 100” lists for the months September 2006 to January 2007. Table 1 summarizes how many pages are included in all five lists, four out of five and so on. 39 of the “Top 100” pages are contained in all five lists. Overall, 126 pages are only contained in a single list, which implies that on average 25 of the “Top 100” pages in a month are only highly visited in a single month.

 

Table 1: Number of “Top 100” Wikipedia pages as a function of the number of lists that contain them
Total 5 4 3 2 1
230 39 15 19 31 126

 

The ten most visited Wikipedia pages in all five months are: 1) “Main page”, 2) “Wikipedia”, 3) “Wiki”, 4) “United States”, 5) “WII”, 6) “World War II”, 7) “Sex”, 8) “Naruto”, 9) “List of sex positions”, 10) “PlayStation 3”. As mentioned, the Appendix shows a complete list of the unique pages.

Identifying topics

Primary categories are assigned to the 230 unique Wikipedia pages to identify the major topics of interest. Table 2 shows the primary categories and, for each category, it lists the number of pages that are contained in a specific number of monthly “Top 100” lists.

 

Table 2: Primary categories and the number of monthly “Top 100” Wikipedia lists that contain them
Categories Total
(230)
Percentage
of total
5
(39)
4
(15)
3
(19)
2
(31)
1
(126)
Entertainment 100 43% 8 7 11 17 57
Politics + History 34 15% 5   2 6 21
Geography 28 12% 8 3 2 2 13
Sexuality 23 10% 11 2   3 7
Science 13 6%     2   11
Computers 12 5% 6 2     4
Arts 5 2%   1   1 3
Religion 5 2%       2 3
Holidays 5 2%     1   4
Current events 3 1% 1   1   1
Drugs 2 1%         2

 

Altogether, 43 percent of the most visited Wikipedia pages are related to “Entertainment”, which includes pages about music, films, comics, performers, TV series, video games and books. Fifteen percent of the pages are related to “Politics + History”, which includes political figures, such as George W. Bush or Adolf Hilter, and historical events, such as World War II. Twelve percent of the Wikipedia pages are about “Geography”, which refers to pages about specific countries, such as the United States, and places, such as New York City.

Ten percent of the most visited Wikipedia pages are related to “Sexuality”, which includes pages about sexual anatomy and practices as well as actors in porn movies. Almost 30 percent of the pages that are highly visited in all five months are related to “Sexuality”, which appears to hold a “timeless” interest for a large group of users.

Six percent of the pages are about “Science” related topics, such as planets, global warming or Albert Einstein. Five percent of the most visited pages have been classified as being related to “Computers”, which refers to pages about topics such as Wikis, Windows Vista, BitTorrent, iPod or MySpace, Facebook or Google. As mentioned, the word “computers” was chosen as a general descriptor, since computers need to be used to access or use these listed examples. It is also possible to interpret many of these pages as being related to “navigational” queries. Prescott (2007a) analyzed the most popular queries in 2006, as measured by the Internet market research firm Hitwise, and observed that “MySpace” and “Google” were in the top navigational searches for 2006.

Popular entertainment topics

 

Table 3: “Entertainment” subcategories and the number of monthly “Top 100” Wikipedia lists that contain them
Entertainment Total
(100)
Percentage
of total
5
(8)
4
(7)
3
(11)
2
(17)
1
(57)
Music 25 25% 2 0 2 3 18
Films 16 16% 0 1 2 3 10
Comics 16 16% 2 0 2 4 8
Performers 15 15% 0 1 1 2 11
TV series 13 13% 2 1 4 1 5
Video games 12 12% 2 4 0 3 3
Books 3 3% 0 0 0 1 2

 

The “Entertainment” category can be analyzed in terms of its secondary categories (with specific examples shown in brackets), which are “Music” (musicians and bands), “Films” (actors and movies), and “Comics”, “Performers” (media personalities, beauty queens), “TV series”, “Video games” and “Books”. Table 3 shows the “Entertainment” subcategories and, for each subcategory, it lists the number of pages that are contained in a specific number of monthly “Top 100” lists.

Twenty–five percent of the “Entertainment” pages are related to “Music”, where the pages about “Tupac Shakur” and “The Beatles” are included in all the five monthly lists. The “Films” and “Comics” subcategories each represent 16 percent of the “Entertainment” pages, where the “Comics” pages about “Naruto” (a manga with a television anime series) and “List of Naruto episodes” are the most visited pages in all five months. Fifteen percent of the “Entertainment” pages are related to the “Performers” subcategory, which includes media personalities, such as Donald Trump, or beauty queens, such as Tara Conner. “TV series” is another double–digit “Entertainment” subcategory with 13 percent, where “The Simpsons” and “Avatar: The Last Airbender” are popular in all five months studied. 12 percent are related to “Video games”, where the pages related to “Wii” and “Playstation 3” are highly visited in all five “Top 100” lists. Finally, the smallest subcategory is related to “Books”, which mainly relates to the Harry Potter series of books.

Popular search queries

The major search engines publish monthly or yearly lists of the “Top Search Queries” for specific categories (Google Zeitgeist, 2006; Yahoo, 2006; Hitwise, 2007). These lists tend to be edited and sanitized, since they do not include, for example, search queries related to sexuality, which are known to represent one of the major search categories (Spink, et al., 2001; Spink. et al., 2004; Sullivan, 2006). However, these lists can provide a window into the most popular search queries.

Google Zeitgeist (2006) publishes monthly lists of the top five search queries for specific topics, where these lists are highly edited (Sullivan, 2006). Some of these topical lists are examined here and the words shown in bold correspond to Wikipedia pages that are highly visited. For September 2006, Google published the “Disaster Strikes” list: 1) Steve Irwin, 2) Richard Hammond, 3) Anna Nicole Smith, 4) Peter Brock and 5) Terrell Owens. For October 2006, Google Zeitgeist published the list “Fun and Games”: 1) NFL, 2) Line Rider, 3) PlayStation 3, 4) Borat and 5) Wii; and the “Friendly Competition” list: 1) Sudoku, 2) Playstation, 3) xbox, 4) Poker and 5) Nintendo Wii. For November 2006, the “Tabloid fodder” list has in its number one position Paris Hilton; Daniel Craig is in the number two position in the “Jet Set” list. For December 2006, Google Zeitgeist published the “Where in the World Is ... ?” list: 1) China, 2) Iran, 3) India, 4) Ethiopia and 5) Burundi; and the “Departed” list: 1) James Kim, 2) James Brown, 3) Pinochet, 4) Mount–hood and 5) Gerald Ford. In January 2007, the list about “Politics” consists of: 1) Hillary Clinton, 2) George Bush, 3) Barack Obama, 4) Arnold Schwarzenegger and 5) State of the Union.

Yahoo (2006) publishes the “Top 10” searches in several categories in a specific year. These lists contain search topics that will not appear in the “Top 100” monthly lists, since this paper only considers the period from September 2006 to January 2007 in terms of the most visited pages in Wikipedia. As for the Google lists, the words in bold correspond to popular Wikipedia pages. The “Yahoo! Top 10 Overall Searches in 2006” are: 1) Britney Spears, 2) WWE (World Wrestling Entertaiment), 3) Shakira, 4) Jessica Simpson, 5) Paris Hilton, 6) American Idol, 7) Beyonce Knowles, 8) Chris Brown, 9) Pamela Anderson, 10) Lindsay Lohan. The “Yahoo! Top 10 News Story Searches in 2006” are: 1) Steve Irwin death, 2) Anna Nicole’s son dies, 3) Iraq, 4) Israel and Lebanon, 5) U.S. elections, 6) Fidel Castro stroke, 7) North Korea nuke, 8) JonBenet confession, 9) Saddam Hussein trial, 10) Danish cartoon. The “Yahoo! Top 10 Celebrity Searches in 2006” are: 1) Britney Spears, 2) Shakira, 3) Jessica Simpson, 4) Paris Hilton, 5) Beyonce Knowles, 6) Chris Brown, 7) Pamela Anderson, 8) Lindsay Lohan, 9) Jessica Alba, 10) Mariah Carey. The “Yahoo! Top 10 Politician Searches in 2006” are: 1) George W. Bush, 2) Arnold Schwarzenegger, 3) Bill Clinton, 4) Hillary Clinton, 5) Dick Cheney, 6) Mark Foley, 7) John Kerry, 8) Barack Obama, 9) Nancy Pelosi, 10) Tom Delay. The “Yahoo! Top 10 Movie Searches in 2006” are: 1) Spider–Man 3, 2) X–Men 3, 3) Pirates of the Caribbean 2, 4) Star Wars, 5) Superman Returns, 6) Transformers, 7) Saw III, 8) The Da Vinci Code, 9) Talladega Nights, 10) Borat. The “Yahoo! International Top Searches in 2006” are: 1) Australia, 2) Canada, 3) France, 4) Germany, 5) Italy, 6) Spain and 7) United Kingdom.

There is a considerable overlap between the most visited Wikipedia pages identified in this paper and the most popular search queries for Yahoo and Google. This is the case despite the fact that the search query lists are edited and sanitized as well as represent slightly different time periods. For the queries about specific countries, all of the countries that are frequently searched also represent highly visited Wikipedia pages. Hence, the search query data informally shows that there is a relationship between Web search behavior and the popularity of Wikipedia pages.

Search result position of popular Wikipedia pages

The results presented so far raise the larger question of what precisely drives Wikipedia’s traffic and growing popularity. A logical and tempting answer is that Wikipedia has become such an “authoritative” resource that people turn to it first when searching for factual or encyclopedic information. This begs the question why more than 50 percent of popular Wikipedia pages are related to entertainment and sexuality. The search query data presented above suggests that search behavior could influence which Wikipedia pages are highly visited.

Using data collected by Hitwise for the week ending 10 February 2007, Prescott (2007b) has shown that 70 percent of Wikipedia’s traffic comes from the major search engines. Specifically, Google is the source of 50 percent of Wikipedia’s traffic. This implies that major search engines are increasingly including links to specific Wikipedia pages in their top 10 results.

We next examine the search result positions of the 230 most popular Wikipedia pages if queries identical to the titles of these pages are submitted to the major search engines, where Google is used by more than 47.5 percent of Web users, followed by Yahoo with 28.1 percent and MSN with 10.6 percent (comScore, 2007b). The queries were formulated so that special characters, such as colons or brackets as well as words such as “list of”, were excluded from queries, since these are not likely to be part of search requests. The queries were submitted on 18 February 2007 and the positions of the Wikipedia pages that “originated” the queries were determined in the top 10 search results for each engine and query, respectively.

 

Percentage of highly visited Wikipedia pages that are located in specific search result positions for Google, Yahoo and MSN, respectively

Table 4: Percentage of highly visited Wikipedia pages that are located in specific search result positions for Google, Yahoo and MSN, respectively.

 

Table 4 shows the percentage of highly visited Wikipedia pages that are located in specific ranges of result positions for Google, Yahoo and MSN, respectively. Eighty–seven percent of the popular Wikipedia pages are in the top three result positions for Google, whereas this is only the case for 72 percent of the pages if the Yahoo or MSN search engines are used. For Google, 96 percent of the popular Wikipedia pages are in the top seven positions; for Yahoo and MSN, it is 93 and 91 percent, respectively. Table 4 demonstrates that search engines are fueling twhat is popular on Wikipedia.

An eye–tracking study conducted by Eyetools (2005) has shown that users pay most attention to the triangle at the top of the search results page, which includes the top three results. This area, referred to as the “Golden Triangle”, was examined by 100 percent of the participants in their study. The fact that Google, the dominant search engine, places popular Wikipedia results toward the very top of its result lists, which users pay most attention to and tend to click on, can help explain the popular and persistent content categories of the most visited Wikipedia pages. Besides paying users to click on a link, search result placement is the most powerful way for a search engine to promote specific Web pages.

 

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Discussion

WikiCharts returns a ranked list of the most visited Wikipedia pages that also includes an estimate a page’s percentage of the total number of Wikipedia page views on a day (Weber, 2006). The most visited page, the “Main_Page”, represents on average 13.5 percent of the total number of daily page views. The other 99 pages in the five monthly “Top 100” lists analyzed in this paper represent on average eight percent of the daily Wikipedia page views.

As noted, the lists of the most popular queries, which are made public by Google and Yahoo, are edited and sanitized (Sullivan, 2006). It can be argued that the Wikipedia “Top 100” lists provide a more unfiltered and real–time view into what people are searching for on the Web, since the search engines directly influence what is popular on Wikipedia.

The fact that Wikipedia pages are highly placed in the search results for queries related to encyclopedia topics is to be expected. However, it is more surprising that Wikipedia pages related to sexuality, for example, should be predominately placed in the top three positions. Eighty–seven percent of the popular Wikipedia pages related to sexuality are in the top three result positions for Google.

Similar to real estate, where it is all about “location, location, location”, search result placement can have profound effects on the success and profitability of specific Web sites. Web site owners invest a great deal of resources to increase the probability that their sites are located in the top five (or at least top 10) search result positions for queries related to the products, services, and information promoted on their sites. In order to ensure that their sites are seen and visited, site creators have the option to bid and purchase ads to be displayed alongside the search results in the right hand columns of result pages. A consequence of placing Wikipedia pages in the top search results is that other sites are pushed further down in the result lists, reducing the probability that these sites are seen.

The competition to be placed in the search positions that people pay most attention to is fierce. In a certain sense, Web sites are engaged in a game of “musical chairs” — featuring three highly desirable chairs and seven chairs of decreasing attractiveness. Millions of sites are attempting to be placed in one of these ten search result “chairs”. The fact that a Wikipedia page tends to occupy one of the three most desirable search result positions boosts competition between sites and increases the need for sites to purchase or bid more for ads to ensure that they are being seen.

The inclusion of Wikipedia pages in top search results can be interpreted as a “win–win” for major search engines. On the one hand, search engines recommend a Wikipedia page that comes from a trusted source. Wikipedia has achieved a reputation that makes it a “safe bet” to place Wikipedia articles toward the top of search results. On the other hand, the inclusion of Wikipedia pages toward the top of search results increases competition for a limited resource and can increase the need for some sites to purchase ads.

 

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Conclusions

The goal of this paper has been to understand which pages and topics are the most popular on Wikipedia and why. First, the tool WikiCharts was used to identify the 100 most visited Wikipedia pages in the months of September 2006 to January 2007. Second, the overlap between the five monthly “Top 100” lists was computed to establish how many pages are contained in all five lists, in four of the five lists and so on. Third, the popular Wikipedia pages were categorized to identify major topics of interest. More than 50 percent of the most visited Wikipedia pages are related to entertainment and sexuality, where the latter constitutes 30 percent of the pages that are highly visited in all five months. Fourth, it was shown that the popularity of Wikipedia pages is related to search behavior on the Web. Fifth, queries, which are identical to the titles of the popular Wikipedia pages, were submitted to major search engines and the position of the Wikipedia pages in the top 10 search results was determined. It was shown that 87 percent of the popular Wikipedia pages are in the top three result positions for Google, whereas this only the case for 72 percent of the pages if the Yahoo or MSN search engines are used. The presented data has helped to explain how search engines, and Google in particular, fuel Wikipedia’s growth and shape what is popular on Wikipedia — Google giveth, Google taketh. End of article

 

About the author

Anselm Spoerri is an Assistant Professor in School of Communication, Information and Library Studies (SCILS) at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. He was a researcher at AT&T Bell Labs after completing his Ph.D. research at MIT, where he developed InfoCrystal, which is a precursor of searchCrystal.

 

Acknowledgments

The author would like to thank Alexander Stanton for developing a mechanism for importing the WikiCharts data output as well as Marija Dalbello for advice on how to categorize the Wikipedia pages.

 

Notes

1. You can access searchCrystal at http://wikipedia.searchcrystal.com and explore the overlap between monthly Wikipedia “Top N” lists (N = 10, 20, 30, 50 or 100 most visited pages) or use searchCrystal to search Wikipedia.

2. “YouTube: Popular Videos,” at http://youtube.com/browse?s=mp&t=m&c=0&l=.

3. “Digg: Popular News Stories,” at http://digg.com/news/popular/30days.

4. “Del.icio.us: Popular Bookmarks,” at http://del.icio.us/popular/.

5. In this paper, only articles are considered, which represent the great majority of content and the “heart” of Wikipedia, and special pages are excluded. These articles are referred to as “pages” in this paper since their content is presented in a single Web page.

 

References

comScore, 2007a. “New Year’s Resolutions Reflected in January U.S. Web Traffic,” at http://www.comscore.com/press/release.asp?press=1214, accessed 16 February 2007.

comScore, 2007b. “January U.S. Search Engine Rankings,” at http://www.comscore.com/press/release.asp?press=1219, accessed 25 February 2007.

Eyetools, Inc., 2005. “Eyetools, Enquiro, and Did–it uncover Search’s Golden Triangle,” at http://www.eyetools.com/inpage/research_google_eyetracking_heatmap.htm, accessed 20 February 2007.

Google Zeitgeist, 2006. “Google Zeitgeist Archive 2006,” at http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/zeitgeist/archive2006.html, accessed 15 February 2007.

Hitwise, 2007. “MySpace The Top US Search Term in 2006 Among All Websites,” at http://www.hitwise.com/press-center/hitwiseHS2004/2006-top-search-terms.php, accessed 15 February 2007.

LeeAnn Prescott, 2006. “Wikipedia and Academic Research,” at http://weblogs.hitwise.com/leeann-prescott/2006/10/wikipedia_and_academic_researc.html, accessed 15 February 2007.

LeeAnn Prescott, 2007a. “2006 Top Search Terms — A Closer Look,” at http://weblogs.hitwise.com/leeann-prescott/2007/01/2006_top_search_terms_a_closer.html, accessed 15 February 2007.

LeeAnn Prescott, 2007b. “Google Traffic To Wikipedia up 166% Year over Year,” at http://weblogs.hitwise.com/leeann-prescott/2007/02/wikipedia_traffic_sources.html, accessed 20 February 2007.

Anselm Spoerri, 2007. “Visualizing the Overlap between the 100 most visited Wikipedia pages in September 2006 to February 2007,” First Monday, volume 12, number 4 (April), at http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue12_4/spoerri/. http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v12i4.1764

Amanda Spink, Huseyin Ozmutlu, and Daniel Lorence, 2004. “Web searching for sexual information: An exploratory study,” Information Processing and Management, volume 40, number 1, pp. 113–124. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0306-4573(02)00082-1

Amanda Spink, Dietmar Wolfram, Benard Jansen, and Tefko Saracevic, 2001. “Searching the Web: The public and their queries,” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, volume 52, number 3, pp. 226–234. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/1097-4571(2000)9999:9999<::AID-ASI1591>3.0.CO;2-R

Danny Sullivan, 2006. “The Lies of Top Search Terms of The Year,” at http://searchengineland.com/061220-085207.php, accessed 15 February 2007.

Leon Weber, 2006. “WikiCharts,” at http://tools.wikimedia.de/~leon/stats/wikicharts/index.php?lang=en&wiki=enwiki&ns=articles&limit=100&month=02%2F2007&mode=view, accessed 15 February 2007.

Wikipedia, 2007. “Wikipedia Statistics,” at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Statistics, accessed 2 March 2007; the number of English articles was 1,666,191.

Yahoo, 2006. “Yahoo! Top Searches, 2006: Top Ten Lists,” at http://buzz.yahoo.com/topsearches2006/lists, accessed 15 February 2007.

 

Appendix
  Title Primary category Secondary category Rank Sept 2006 Oct 2006 Nov 2006 Dec 2006 Jan 2007
1 Main page computers collaboration technology 5 1 1 1 1 1
2 Wikipedia computers collaboration technology 5 3 2 4 2 3
3 Wiki computers collaboration technology 5 5 3 3 3 2
4 United States geography countries 5 8 5 8 7 6
5 Wii entertainment video games 5 10 13 2 4 8
6 World War II politics + history wars 5 18 8 10 6 11
7 Sex sexuality   5 15 14 15 5 5
8 Naruto entertainment video games 5 9 12 16 11 7
9 List of sex positions sexuality   5 7 10 14 15 10
10 Playstation 3 entertainment video games 5 18 9 5 23 12
11 Sexual intercourse sexuality   5 7 10 14 15 10
12 Pornography sexuality   5 14 24 17 13 18
13 YouTube computers digital media 5 40 7 20 18 15
14 Adolph Hitler politics + history political figures 5 36 29 21 17 17
15 List of big–bust models and performers sexuality   5 11 11 24 16 67
16 Sept. 11 2001 attacks politics + history events 5 4 16 31 32 50
17 Deaths in 2006 current events deaths 5 20 22 29 10 68
18 Masturbation sexuality   5 30 38 36 22 24
19 World War I politics + history wars 5 31 43 19 35 37
20 Oral sex sexuality   5 22 45 35 38 28
21 Japan geography countries 5 32 18 47 36 39
22 Canada geography countries 5 28 33 33 39 40
23 United Kingdom geography countries 5 54 37 42 24 31
24 Penis sexuality   5 21 42 48 50 35
25 Windows Vista computers operating systems 5 71 36 22 57 16
26 New York City geography places 5 26 44 57 56 26
27 George W. Bush politics + history political figures 5 72 48 38 29 33
28 List of Naruto episodes entertainment comics 5 77 34 44 47 21
29 Vagina sexuality   5 33 54 40 61 65
30 India geography countries 5 70 35 25 91 36
31 Germany geography countries 5 34 47 51 33 98
32 Tupac Shakur entertainment musicians 5 25 58 85 67 64
33 The Beatles entertainment bands 5 84 30 81 64 41
34 Breast sexuality   5 48 84 69 48 62
35 The Simpsons entertainment TV series 5 67 64 34 100 52
36 Jenna Jameson sexuality porn actors 5 62 80 83 27 71
37 Australia geography countries 5 46 67 59 95 59
38 Avatar: The Last Airbender entertainment TV series 5 41 61 68 73 94
39 BitTorrent computers digital media 5 82 57 70 98 30
40 Heroes (TV series) entertainment TV series 4 0 28 37 25 46
41 List of Pokémon by National Pokédex number entertainment video games 4 0 46 28 51 25
42 List of gay porn stars sexuality porn actors 4 52 40 55 0 56
43 Pokémon entertainment video games 4 68 41 62 0 42
44 Anal sex sexuality   4 49 0 80 44 45
45 MySpace computers social networking 4 43 51 0 37 89
46 Xbox 360 entertainment video games 4 0 72 18 83 49
47 World Wrestling Entertainment entertainment   4 90 79 0 21 38
48 France geography countries 4 65 53 97 26 0
49 Mexico geography countries 4 58 26 0 78 84
50 World of Warcraft entertainment video games 4 0 62 100 30 75
51 Internet Movie Database entertainment films 4 69 0 73 58 69
52 China geography countries 4 45 0 84 84 91
53 iPod computers digital media 4 66 100 82 0 70
54 William Shakespeare arts playwrights 4 98 77 74 0 76
55 Lost (TV series) entertainment TV series 3 17 6 23 0 0
56 James Bond entertainment film characters 3 0 0 7 28 47
57 Christmas holiday   3 0 0 65 8 14
58 Borat entertainment film characters 3 0 27 6 59 0
59 Akatsuki (Naruto) entertainment comics 3 38 0 0 40 34
60 South Park entertainment TV series 3 0 23 27 0 83
61 Britney Spears entertainment musicians 3 0 0 32 41 74
62 List of South Park episodes entertainment TV series 3 0 25 45 0 82
63 2006 current events   3 44 65 0 0 61
64 X–Men entertainment comics 3 0 31 64 0 77
65 World Wrestling Entertainment roster entertainment media personalities 3 0 63 71 0 48
66 Albert Einstein science scientists 3 0 55 79 52 0
67 The Game (rapper) entertainment musicians 3 0 69 26 0 93
68 America’s Next Top Model entertainment TV series 3 0 68 0 85 43
69 Vietnam War politics + history wars 3 0 60 63 77 0
70 Global warming science climate 3 0 73 0 70 63
71 Brazil geography countries 3 35 75 0 97 0
72 John F. Kennedy politics + history political figures 3 0 87 39 86 0
73 European Union geography   3 59 88 0 0 73
74 List of female porn stars sexuality porn actors 2 19 20 0 0 0
75 Saddam Hussein politics + history political figures 2 0 0 56 0 4
76 Martin Luther King Jr. politics + history political figures 2 0 0 0 54 20
77 Casino Royale (2006 film) entertainment films 2 0 0 9 68 0
78 Marvel: Ultimate Alliance entertainment comics 2 0 39 41 0 0
79 Columbine High School massacre politics + history events 2 23 71 0 0 0
80 Mortal Kombat: Armageddon entertainment video games 2 83 19 0 0 0
81 The Holocaust politics + history events 2 0 0 93 12 0
82 Nudity sexuality   2 0 0 52 0 54
83 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film) entertainment films 2 0 0 50 60 0
84 Marie Antoinette politics + history political figures 2 0 15 96 0 0
85 American Civil War politics + history wars 2 0 0 0 20 95
86 Weird Al Yankovic entertainment media personalities 2 0 56 0 63 0
87 Eminem entertainment musicians 2 0 0 78 45 0
88 Civil War (comics) entertainment comics 2 50 74 0 0 0
89 Jay–Z entertainment musicians 2 0 0 95 31 0
90 Paris Hilton entertainment media personalities 2 53 0 0 0 79
91 Harry Potter entertainment books 2 0 0 92 46 0
92 Pokémon Diamond and Pearl entertainment video games 2 55 86 0 0 0
93 Michael Jackson entertainment musicians 2 0 70 75 0 0
94 Spider–Man entertainment comics 2 0 99 0 0 51
95 Orgasm sexuality   2 0 85 0 0 66
96 Israel geography countries 2 61 94 0 0 0
97 Need for Speed: Carbon entertainment video games 2 0 98 60 0 0
98 Jesus religion   2 0 0 88 71 0
99 Scrubs (TV series) entertainment TV series 2 0 0 0 74 85
100 Daniel Craig entertainment actors 2 0 0 89 75 0
101 Naruto Uzumaki entertainment comics 2 75 0 0 0 92
102 Scientology religion   2 0 0 72 96 0
103 England geography countries 2 0 90 0 82 0
104 Leonardo da Vinci arts artists 2 99 0 0 0 96
105 Steve Irwin entertainment media personalities 1 2 0 0 0 0
106 Halloween holiday   1 0 4 0 0 0
107 Stingray science species 1 6 0 0 0 0
108 Edvard Munch arts artists 1 0 0 0 9 0
109 Gerald Ford politics + history political figures 1 0 0 0 0 9
110 Lonelygirl15 entertainment actors 1 12 0 0 0 0
111 Sacha Baron Cohen entertainment actors 1 0 0 12 0 0
112 Thanksgiving holiday   1 0 0 13 0 0
113 Attack on Pearl Harbor politics + history events 1 0 0 0 19 0
114 Deaths in 2007 current events deaths 1 0 0 0 0 19
115 North Korea geography countries 1 0 21 0 0 0
116 Barack Obama politics + history political figures 1 0 0 0 0 22
117 24 (TV series) entertainment TV series 1 0 0 0 0 23
118 World Trade Center geography places 1 24 0 0 0 0
119 Mariah Carey entertainment musicians 1 27 0 0 0 0
120 Bleach (manga) entertainment comics 1 0 0 0 0 27
121 Buggery Act 1533 sexuality   1 29 0 0 0 0
122 Sealand geography places 1 0 0 0 0 29
123 The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess entertainment video games 1 0 0 30 0 0
124 Amish religion   1 0 32 0 0 0
125 Execution of Saddam Hussein politics + history political figures 1 0 0 0 0 32
126 Down syndrome science medical conditions 1 0 0 0 34 0
127 Dawson College shooting politics + history events 1 37 0 0 0 0
128 Anna Nicole Smith entertainment media personalities 1 39 0 0 0 0
129 Hurricane Katrina politics + history events 1 42 0 0 0 0
130 Santa Claus holiday   1 0 0 0 42 0
131 Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan entertainment films 1 0 0 43 0 0
132 Hanukkah holiday   1 0 0 0 43 0
133 James Brown entertainment musicians 1 0 0 0 0 44
134 Spider–Man 3 entertainment films 1 0 0 46 0 0
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136 Nuclear weapon science warfare 1 0 49 0 0 0
137 Alexander Litvinenko politics + history political figures 1 0 0 49 0 0
138 Lil Wayne entertainment musicians 1 0 0 0 49 0
139 Clitoris sexuality   1 0 50 0 0 0
140 Podcasting computers digital media 1 51 0 0 0 0
141 Christopher Columbus politics + history explorers 1 0 52 0 0 0
142 Kazakhstan geography countries 1 0 0 53 0 0
143 Superman entertainment comics 1 0 0 0 53 0
144 List of ninjutsu in Naruto (S–Z) entertainment comics 1 0 0 0 0 53
145 Snoop Dogg entertainment musicians 1 0 0 54 0 0
146 Mount Rushmore geography places 1 0 0 0 55 0
147 Tara Conner entertainment beauty queens 1 0 0 0 0 55
148 Elvis Presley entertainment musicians 1 56 0 0 0 0
149 Richard Hammond entertainment media personalities 1 57 0 0 0 0
150 Katie Rees entertainment beauty queens 1 0 0 0 0 57
151 Michael Richards entertainment actors 1 0 0 58 0 0
152 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows entertainment books 1 0 0 0 0 58
153 Cannabis (drug) drugs   1 0 59 0 0 0
154 Zatch Bell! characters entertainment comics 1 60 0 0 0 0
155 List of female porn stars by decade sexuality porn actors 1 0 0 0 0 60
156 Gears of War entertainment video games 1 0 0 61 0 0
157 Beyoncé Knowles entertainment musicians 1 0 0 0 62 0
158 Star Wars entertainment films 1 63 0 0 0 0
159 Led Zeppelin entertainment bands 1 64 0 0 0 0
160 History of the board game Monopoly entertainment games 1 0 0 0 65 0
161 Che Guevara politics + history political figures 1 0 66 0 0 0
162 Polonium science   1 0 0 66 0 0
163 Augusto Pinochet politics + history political figures 1 0 0 0 66 0
164 History of erotic depictions sexuality   1 0 0 67 0 0
165 Macedonia (terminology) entertainment political 1 0 0 0 69 0
166 Eragon entertainment books 1 0 0 0 72 0
167 Donald Trump entertainment media personalities 1 0 0 0 0 72
168 Tool (band) entertainment bands 1 73 0 0 0 0
169 Black Dahlia entertainment media personalities 1 74 0 0 0 0
170 Playboy sexuality   1 76 0 0 0 0
171 Saw III entertainment films 1 0 76 0 0 0
172 Earth science Earth sciences 1 0 0 76 0 0
173 List of Marvel Comics characters entertainment comics 1 0 0 0 76 0
174 WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 entertainment video games 1 0 0 77 0 0
175 Periodic table science chemistry 1 78 0 0 0 0
176 C (programming language) computers programming languages 1 0 78 0 0 0
177 Islam religion   1 0 0 0 0 78
178 Cocaine drugs   1 79 0 0 0 0
179 Iran geography countries 1 0 0 0 79 0
180 Snakes on a Plane entertainment films 1 80 0 0 0 0
181 Extrasolar planet science astronomy 1 0 0 0 80 0
182 High School Musical entertainment films 1 0 0 0 0 80
183 Operation Ten–Go politics + history wars 1 81 0 0 0 0
184 My Chemical Romance entertainment musicians 1 0 81 0 0 0
185 Akon entertainment musicians 1 0 0 0 81 0
186 Mahatma Gandhi politics + history political figures 1 0 0 0 0 81
187 Kim Jong–il politics + history political figures 1 0 82 0 0 0
188 Buddhism religion   1 0 83 0 0 0
189 Pluto science musicastronomyians 1 85 0 0 0 0
190 9/11 conspiracy theories politics + history events 1 86 0 0 0 0
191 Robert Gates politics + history political figures 1 0 0 86 0 0
192 Spain geography countries 1 0 0 0 0 86
193 List of ninjutsu in Naruto (A–G) entertainment comics 1 87 0 0 0 0
194 United States House of Representatives politics + history   1 0 0 87 0 0
195 One Piece entertainment comics 1 0 0 0 87 0
196 50 Cent entertainment musicians 1 0 0 0 0 87
197 Mark Calaway media personalities 1 88 0 0 0 0
198 Scotland geography countries 1 0 0 0 88 0
199 Smallville (TV series) entertainment TV series 1 0 0 0 0 88
200 Loose Change (video) entertainment films 1 89 0 0 0 0
201 Google computers searching 1 0 89 0 0 0
202 Pink Floyd entertainment bands 1 0 0 0 89 0
203 Bill Clinton politics + history political figures 1 0 90 0 0 0
204 Cold War politics + history   1 0 0 0 90 0
205 List of Digimon entertainment games 1 0 0 0 0 90
206 Facebook computers social networking 1 91 0 0 0 0
207 Flavor of Love entertainment TV series 1 0 91 0 0 0
208 Salvador Dalí arts artists 1 0 0 91 0 0
209 136199 Eris science astronomy 1 92 0 0 0 0
210 Lost (season 3) entertainment TV series 1 0 92 0 0 0
211 Freemasonry politics + history social movements 1 0 0 0 92 0
212 Ireland geography countries 1 93 0 0 0 0
213 Johnny Cash entertainment musicians 1 0 93 0 0 0
214 Greece geography countries 1 0 0 0 93 0
215 Cat science species 1 94 0 0 0 0
216 London geography places 1 0 0 94 0 0
217 Black hole science astronomy 1 0 0 0 94 0
218 Bob Dylan entertainment musicians 1 95 0 0 0 0
219 English language arts language 1 0 95 0 0 0
220 Metallica entertainment bands 1 96 0 0 0 0
221 List of Avatar: The Last Airbender episodes entertainment TV series 1 0 96 0 0 0
222 Dirty Sanchez sexuality   1 97 0 0 0 0
223 Nirvana (band) entertainment bands 1 0 97 0 0 0
224 Red Hot Chili Peppers entertainment bands 1 0 0 0 0 97
225 Italy geography countries 1 0 0 98 0 0
226 United States general elections 2006 politics + history elections 1 0 0 99 0 0
227 Battle of Thermopylae politics + history battles 1 0 0 0 99 0
228 Hentai entertainment comics 1 0 0 0 0 99
229 Celebrity sex tape sexuality   1 100 0 0 0 0
230 Celebrity Big Brother 2007 (UK) entertainment TV series 1 0 0 0 0 100

 

 


 

Editorial history

Paper received 8 March 2007; accepted 21 March 2007.


Copyright ©2007, First Monday.

Copyright ©2007, Anselm Spoerri.

What is Popular on Wikipedia and Why? by Anselm Spoerri
First Monday, volume 12, number 4 (April 2007),
URL: http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue12_4/spoerri2/index.html





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