A big part of Google’s success is its ability to connect users with the data they’re looking for, and that sometimes involves working with a few partners. The Wikimedia Foundationthe not-for-profit entity behind Wikipediacreated in 2021 a new offer called Wikimedia Enterprise. This is a paid service for large technology companies that have access to a lot of Wikipedia data, to help them work more efficiently with it. It’s only now starting to announce which partners have signed up to take advantage of it, and Google is among the first.
Google has already made several independent financial donations to the Wikimedia Foundation in the past, but this partnership now represents a formal business relationship. The Enterprise service makes it easier for customers like Google to reuse tons of information from Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects. The funding Google is providing here should help the Foundation expand the reach of its content and improve the Wikimedia user experience beyond its own websites.
The google knowledge panels in search are a great example of how Google is already using data from Wikimedia. The information extracted from Wikipedia are cited in these panels which appear prominently above the results. Other companies interested in the foundation’s services can now register on its website for a free trial account, which offers 10,000 requests and unlimited access for 30 days.
Besides Google, theInternet Archive also became a client of the foundation, although not paying. The archives own the portal WaybackMachine which captures snapshots of websites or pages that have been deleted.
Will we see big changes coming from this partnership? Lane Becker, senior director of revenue for the Wikipedia Foundation, expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration, but did not elaborate on Google’s plans. In the meantime, Wikipedia will continue to be free to use and dependent on donations to sustain its existence.