Can Wikipedia Run Without Advertising?

I’m sure many SEOs would respond “I certainly hope not!”.

The case-for-and-against Wikipedia advertising:

Though Wikimedia has less than ten full-time employees, it has real expenses. Bandwidth in 2007 is expected to cost up to $100,000 a month, and the group now runs more than 350 servers. Will the necessary money continue to flow in from donations when so many ‘Net users have grown used to getting content for “free”?

Wikipedia tends to annoy some webmasters as Google places a lot of emphasis on it. Wikipedia dominates many search results, and Google sends more and more traffic there every year.

I suggest that Google likes it this way. Wikipedia isn’t an advertisement. Most SEO’d sites are probably commercial in nature, and therefore compete with Adwords listings. Wikipedia does not. If searchers find less and less commercial listings in the main SERPs as a matter of course, by encountering Wikipedia and other reference sites, then they will be more conditioned to click Adwords for their commercial search queries.

That is the path of least resistance.

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