Google tends to push Wikipedia results to the top and to use them in snippets despite Wikipedia being unreliable, untrustworthy, biased, and unpredictable. This is not naivete but a ruthless anti-competitive strategy. Wikipedia is owned by Wikimedia, a typical San Francisco nonprofit foundation, to which Google and its top officers donated millions of dollars. But most of its income is apparently derived from small donations by visitors, mostly referred by Google. The business relations between Google and Wikimedia go both ways. A remarkable evidence of Wikipedia’s dependence on Google surfaced when Wikipedia considered developing a search engine, potentially competing with Google in the future. Wikimedia VP of Engineering Damon Sicore was fired, and the executive director Lila Tretikov was forced to resign after they had made a small step in that direction! Before resignation, she was forced to repudiate the attempt to compete with Google. From her last post on the Wikimedia blog, Clarity on the future of Wikimedia search:
“What are we not doing? We’re not building a global crawler search engine . . . Despite headlines, we are not trying to compete with other platforms, including Google.”
Wikimedia directors joined this denial, but multiple witnesses and documents confirm this fact. From the comments on the post is the following:
* Yes, there were plans of making an internet search engine. I don’t understand why we’re still trying to avoid giving a direct answer about it.
* I don’t think anybody but the certain champion of the project has considered competing with Google with any degree of seriousness.
* The scrapping was finalized in summer, after said champion and WMF parted ways.”
I guess that the referenced champion was Damon Sicore. In a post on his website, Damon tells his version of the events, and reveals that Lila Tretikov had an executive coach who participated in meetings and other executive activities! But this matter is out of the scope of this article.
This development, coupled with the New America scandal, suggests that Google (Alphabet) views its nonprofit projects as part of its organization, and they know and accept that.
The enormously lucrative business of Google Web Search is predicated on the situation that there are no strong, reliable, and trustworthy sources of information on the web. For example, Britannica or Encyclopedia Americana, augmented by a search engine and other web-specific features, might have become Google competition. Many people would use it as the home page and starting point to the internet.
Google has been supporting and promoting corrupt and crippled Wikipedia to weaken respected encyclopedias and to suppress potential competition from reliable information sources. And this strategy has succeeded.
Such integration of Wikipedia into the Google business might have a legal effect on Google – loss of the Section 230 protection for showing Wikipedia snippets in its search. In the same time, Google search results are not speech protected under the First Amendment
A side note: It is funny how Google employees protest an openly censored Google Search in China but support covertly censored Google Search in the United States!