Competing with giants – Wikipedia's got guts

If you ever worry about your competition getting ahead, you’re not alone. But how’s this for an example of how to believe in your own knowledge and capabilities? Wikipedia, the folks who’ve created the most extensive repository of human knowledge ever online, are setting their sights on beating Google and Yahoo at the search engine business.

I mean, this is chutzpah of the first order. But they’ve already got the presence online–and the investors, including other giants such as Amazon. But this is the exciting premise. The idea is that this new search engine will use human brain power combined with open-source technology to find the truly most-relevant results to an inquiry, not results that are influenced by how popular something is to other people (not counting how many incoming links a page has, as is now done with Google’s algorithms).

This could be revolutionary stuff–removing the popularity-contest aspect from the formula for determining the value and/or validity of information. Could dramatically change the search engine optimization business as well–a welcome change from the mysterious, hide-your-secrets game now played by many SEO companies.

Though this is still a way off. it’s an interesting strategy for Wikipedia to announce it far ahead of even knowing how they’re going to do it. Undoubtedly Google is going to sit up and pay attention. And I’m going to guess that well-written blogs full of value-add content will assume an even more critical role in determining search engine rank. However they set it up, they will always have to watch the human element–where people have power, money can buy influence. But I’d say this is a great day for deciding to start your company/corporate blog. Give me a call with questions.

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