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. Only now is it 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 user experience of Wikimedia 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 quoted in these panels which are displayed prominently above the results. Other companies benefiting from the foundation’s services can now register on its website to obtain 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 support the portal return machine that capture 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 allows for free use and depends on donations to sustain its existence.