Wikirank is a new service developed by Small Batch Inc. that essentially shows you what people are reading on Wikipedia. Based on the actual usage data from Wikipedia servers, Wikirank take that data, process it, and displays it in a format that’s easy to use and share. Emerging trends are revealed and you can even embed the pretty charts that are produced in blog posts and social media sites.
How It Works
There are three ways to track what’s happening on Wikirank, all available on the front page.
1. Compare Wikipedia Topics – At the top of the front page, you’ll see a comparison of two or more topics that have been chosen by Wikirank staff. From that section, you can view more detail on the featured topics, share the chart with others, or choose your own terms to compare.
2. Trending Topics – In another section are the day’s “Biggest Movers” — Wikipedia topics with the most dramatic traffic shifts in the last twenty-four hours. Sometimes, these are relatively obscure topics that were simply featured on the Wikipedia main page. Sometimes topics suddenly become relevant, like with breaking news, a celebrity dies, or even a seasonal holiday is approaching.
3. Most Read – In the right column, you’ll find a list of the Wikipedia topics with the most visits over the last thirty days. They are updated nightly and even provide a little row of gray bars under each topic that displays the traffic numbers over time.
Okay, So Who Cares?
Why would someone care about Wikipedia usage anway? First of all it is a top 10 site, at least according to Alexa and Compete rankings. Secondly, how often have you conducted a search on Google for a popular term and seen a Wikipedia result showing above the fold? For me, it’s usually 80% or more.
In light of this, Wikirank could be a valuable asset in your keyword research in not only revealing emerging trends but additionally providing estimates as to the amount of traffic a specific keyword or phrase might currently receive. This data may help one decide what keywords to target when doing SEO or provide bloggers relevant and trendy topics to write about or even provide ideas for new site launches.
I actually wrote a few posts about my experience on this diet on my personal blog that have generated some decent traffic numbers. Using Wikirank I learn that there is a good number of people interested in this diet which motivates me to possibly take efforts to get the posts I wrote to rank better as well as seek ways to monetize them.
A Disclosure About the Data
Now I would like to point out that the charts generated by Wikirank are based on logs from Wikipedia’s HTTP Squid proxy servers. That means every single page load is recorded, whether initiated by a human with a browser or a Web spider crawling through.
Therefore, the numbers for a topic on a particular day can’t be considered absolute impressions at least by humans. Rather the data can be viewed as providing relative increases or decreases for any particular term. In light of this, the shape of the charts is more important than the specific number of views. Comparisons are even more interesting, as relative interest in multiple topics can be ranked.