Google experiments with new ways to search Wikipedia

The good folks at Google Custom Search, in cooperation with experienced Wikipedian Mathias Schindler, have developed a “Google Custom Search skin” for Wikipedia that can be activated by following these instructions. In addition to using Google to search for Wikipedia articles, it makes it possible to search linked Wikipedia articles, as well as the content of linked external websites, using a simple tabbed interface. See the post at the Google Blog for more information.

This is a community initiative, not an official new feature developed by the Wikimedia Foundation, so we make no guarantees of any kind for its operation. It does show how much bottom-up innovation is possible thanks to Wikimedia’s open APIs and scripting interfaces. We’re very happy that Google has built this alternative new way to search Wikipedia. Please provide feedback below, or to the Google Custom Search team here.

Erik Moeller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

Categories: Highlights, MediaWiki, Technology
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3 Comments on Google experiments with new ways to search Wikipedia

Anon E. Mouse. 5 years

Allow me to outline the overall strategy at work here:

*Phase 1 (Embrace): all participants need to establish a solid understanding of the infrastructure and the community – determine the needs and the trends of the user base. Only then can we effectively enable Google search products to be great Internet enablers.

* Phase 2 (Extend): establish relationships with the appropriate organizations and corporations with goals similar to ours. Offer well-integrated tools and services compatible with established and popular web-services that have been developed in the Internet community.

* Phase 3 (Innovate): move into a leadership role with new Internet standards as appropriate, enable standard off-the-shelf websites with search awareness.

Due to the widely acknowledged failure of Knoll it isn’t surprising to see Google re-evaluate and rework their collaborative knowledge strategy. Embrace, Extend, Innovate is a proven model for success although it is sometimes referred by a slightly modified name.

Sage Ross 5 years

I like the look and feel of this. We should take that part of the code for the inline presentation of results and replace the Google search with internal search and provide it as a standard preference option.

JLundell 5 years

So far so good, except that it’d be nice to be able to restrict the language of the results. I’m seeing a lot of pages in other languages (from the other-country wikipedias) in the linked-pages results. Distracting and (sad to say) not useful to me.

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