Wikipedia.org is more popular than...

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This page compares Wikipedia's traffic with that of other websites as recorded by Alexa.com. This information is based on the actions of web users all over the world (unlike the hit-wise data often quoted in the American media), but the web users whose browsing produces the rankings are a self-selecting group, so Alexa does not claim that they are precisely accurate. The Alexa toolbar is only available in English and only to Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox users.

An analysis similar to the one found on this page, but using data from comScore (a competitor to Alexa), can be found at User:Stu/comScore data on Wikimedia.

Note on Alexa rankings

Some websites are probably more popular than their Alexa rankings indicate because a disproportionate amount of their traffic likely comes from web users that cannot install the Alexa toolbar (non Windows/Internet Explorer users) or are not likely to install the toolbar (non-English speaking users and people concerned about computer privacy). However, it should also be noted that Wikipedia.org may be more popular than its Alexa ranking indicates since two thirds of all Wikipedia articles are in languages other than English, and there may be a bias among Wikipedia users for browsers that do not report their traffic to Alexa, compared with the general population.

Background information:

Current position

Wikipedia's latest 1-month rank: 6 (on 16 May 2013)
Wikipedia's latest 3-month rank: 6 (on 11 Oct 2011)
Wikipedia's latest weekly rank: 5 (on 11 Oct 2011)
Wikipedia's ranking charts: last 30 days; last 3 years.
Wikipedia's best daily rank to date: 5

Wikipedia reached the top 20 on a 3-month basis in March 2006 and the top 10 in March 2007.

Jumps in usage are now much more clearly reflected by reach and pageview numbers than by ranking. For instance, in December 2005 Wikipedia's pageviews per million share gained about 500 to 1,600 (meaning it was getting 0.16% of all pageviews recorded by Alexa), which was as much as its total score at around 31 March 2005, but its 3 month ranking improved just two places during the month.

Wikipedia's ranking is variable, and in May 2006 the weekly ranking fell behind the three month ranking for the first time for a very long time, or perhaps the first time ever. Since reaching a ranking of 8 in late 2007, Wikipedia's reach has remained relatively steady, with most ranking changes dependent on other sites gaining or losing popularity.

Wikipedia's Alexa ranking milestones (3 month average)

Milestone Date 3 Month average Weekly average
500 11 October 2004 497 288
300 28 November 2004 292 182
200 7 January 2005 199 143
100 29 April 2005 100 68
50 6 September 2005 50 40
30 12 January 2006 30 20
20 2 March 2006 20 18
15 11 October 2006 15 13
10 26 March 2007 10 9
9 17 May 2007 9 9
8 23 October 2007 8 8
7 March 2009 7 7
6 September 2009 6 6

Selected ranking jumps

  • Jan 2003: A Slashdotting and other media coverage resulting from the English WP's '100,000 article' press release.
  • Aug 2003: Featured on CNN's TechWatch television program, on CNN's homepage for a day, and on their Tech homepage for another day.
  • Jan 2004: New servers come online.
  • Aug 2004: New machines come online.
  • Dec 2005/Jan 2006: Large jump facilitated by extra server capacity and helped by a surge of publicity.

Sites in the Alexa top ten

Since Wikipedia is now in the top 10 of the Alexa rankings, it is easier to look at the ones it has not yet passed on a 3 month ranking basis. You can see Alexa's list of the top 500 global websites here. It is not as up-to-date as Alexa's listings for individual sites.

Wikipedia compared with live.com, baidu.com, blogger.com, and msn.com

Sites consistently ahead of Wikipedia

  • Google (website | graph) [16 april 2012: 1] - this is the main U.S. based google.com site. Many other countries, including other English speaking countries, have their own versions which Alexa ranks separately.
  • Facebook.com (website | graph) [16 april 2012: 2] - Facebook.com has been consistently ahead of Wikipedia since April 2008.
  • YouTube.com (website | graph) [16 april 2012: 3] - YouTube.com has been consistently ahead of Wikipedia since mid-June 2006.
  • Yahoo (website | graph) [16 april 2012: 4] - this is the main U.S. based yahoo.com site. Many other countries, including other English speaking countries, have their own versions which Alexa ranks separately.

Sites Wikipedia beats some days

These are sites whose ranking has "crossed" Wikipedia's at least once in the past six months.

  • Baidu.com (website | graph) [16 april 2012: 5] - A Chinese-language search engine.

Rest of the top 10

  • Live.com (website | graph) [16 april 2012: 7] - Microsoft site. Since May 2011 Wikipedia has been almost consistently ahead of Live.com.
  • Twitter.com (website | graph) [16 april 2012: 8] - Microblogging site.
  • QQ.com (website | graph) [16 april 2012: 9] - Chinese portal site.
  • Amazon.com (website | graph) [16 april 2012: 10] - Online retailer

See also