Google is the first company to pay the Wikimedia Foundation, the charity that oversees the online encyclopedia, for ramped-up Wikipedia services on its search engine through its Enterprise service.
Launched last year, Wikimedia Enterprise allows customers (like Google) who reuse massive chunks of information from Wikimedia’s services to access its content more efficiently through the use of APIs that are better suited to recycling information on a larger scale. This is an improvement from the traditional method of relying on free data dumps and publicly available APIs to scrape information from Wikipedia’s web pages.
The service also enables customers to retrieve content updates, preventing outdated or inaccurate information from appearing on the web outside of Wikipedia.
One of the many ways that Google uses Wikimedia’s services is to populate information inside “knowledge panels”, which appear on the side of search results pages when you look up things within the database. Google also cites Wikipedia in YouTube information panels as part of its effort to fight misinformation on the platform.
Tim Palmer, the managing director of Google’s search partnerships, commented that Google looks forward to “deepening” its partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation through its Enterprise service, adding: “We have long supported the Wikimedia Foundation in pursuit of our shared goals of expanding knowledge and information access for people everywhere.”
The Internet Archive, a non-profit that runs a site called the Wayback Machine that saves snapshots of websites and is used to fix Wikipedia links, will also be offered the commercial services for free.
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