Search Google without wikipedia - a Firefox search plugin

Recently there has been quite a stir within the SEO community with people seeing a huge dominance of wikipedia in the Google search results (Graywolf has been one of the more vocal critics recently with a whole load of posts - although he’s been writing about it for some time).

But don’t just take Greywolf’s word for it - there’s plenty of articles about this, most notably recently the google cache wrote about how 96.6% of wikipedia articles rank in the top 10 of google.

It has been noticed outside the world of SEO as well - PR Blogger has just written an analysis of Fortune 100 companies’ wikipedia pages.

Remove Wikipedia from Google for Good

Here at Distilled, it’s something that came up in conversation a few times, so we decided to do something about it - we have created a Firefox search plugin that enables you to search Google without getting wikipedia results. We call it ’Google without wikipedia’ and if you’re running Firefox, you should be able to install it by clicking here.

(If that doesn’t work, you can download the files you need and add them manually to your search plugins folder: google-wikipedia.src and google-wikipedia.png.)

Once installed - simply search from your firefox search box:

firefox search witout wikipedia

And you’ll get Google - only without any wikipedia results!

Will Critchlow

Will Critchlow

Will founded Distilled with Duncan in 2005. Since then, he has consulted with some of the world’s largest organisations and most famous websites, spoken at most major industry events and regularly appeared in local and national press. Will is part...   read more

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43 Comments

  1. Yes! At last a way to rid the (search) world of Wikipedia. Now if you could do the same to Ebay...

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  2. We could do an ebay one (and a wikipedia+ebay one and...). Let us know what you want!

    I also have a google.co.uk minus wikipedia one nearly ready.

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  3. Finally. When will the day come when we wont have to use this plugin

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  4. Oh Yes Please - one with no wikipedia AND no ebay would be lovely, thank you :)

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  5. Now that is an awesome idea! Any way to rid the search results of those annoying about dot com results too? :)

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  6. I'd be happy to get rid of ebay results as well - although they do at least tend to be VAGUELY useful for most searches. I'm happy to remove wikipedia, for ebay I'd rather just see a 'dampening' of their rankings to stop them ranking so highly for random things!

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  7. I'll look at both of those. I'm not sure if we can do 'dampening' of rankings, but I'll have a look.

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  8. This is awesome. Yeah it would be great for ebay aswell. I don´t know how much work it is and how much time you have to crete it, but what about an extension where you would have an option to enable and/or disable the filter for certain websites. Have checkboxes for let´s say google.com, google.co.uk, . . . . ebay.com, ebay.co.uk etc. etc. etc.

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  9. Ha. That sounds hard Igor. I'll have a think. Nice suggestion!

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  10. Nick

    This seems kind of outrageous to me. Wikipedia is a valuable online resource. I don't know how many times a day I use it learn about something I need to know. It's also more accurate than Encyclopedia Britannica. It's also an example of things to come because real brains are providing you with content as opposed to Google's super secretive logarithm that cannot mimic the filtering capabilities of a real human being. I've enjoyed this site and what it provides, but this seems a little "snarky" to me. Would you rather have Google search results to be dominated by paid advertisements. Google is pretty much the biggest marketing firm in the world anyways...Twice as evil as Microsoft and even more secretive.

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    • lee

      Unfortunately, the real real brains tend to steer clear of wikipedia and their page-editing nazis, and that's half the problem. Yeah, it can be a handy pop-in point for cross referencing but you've got to be some kind of nut (or in denial) to put your trust in it entirely. As a wise man once said "wikipedia is making kids stupid".

      My main issue with wikipedia is pages with no more than a dozen words outranking entire websites written by experts in the same field with decades of experience, and i have to jump two pages (or more depending on how many webmasters have lazily pulled the wiki' page into their templates!) to find more relaible sources. I have no problem with wikipedia pages ranking as number one if they DESERVE to be number one based on content. Unfortunately, far too often this is not the case.

  11. Nick

    ...the internet is for everyone not just the SEO community!

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  12. Hi Nick, thanks for taking the time to comment - however I think you may have slightly missed the point of our plugin. I agree that wikipedia can be an incredibly useful tool and I even use it myself to research various information (although I will always try and look at more than just the one resource).

    The problem that I have, and which the SEO community is riling against is the sheer dominance of wikipedia in the search results. if you read some of Grey Wolf's posts he highlights how wikipedia appears for searches where it's clear the user isn't looking for an informational resource.

    If I want to see wikipedia results I know where to find them, if I'm looking for something else, I'll use Google - and that's where this plugin comes in handy

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  13. Nick

    Thanks for the clarification. I apologize for the "snarky" comment.

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  14. No problems Nick - I'd much rather have open commentary than feel people didn't want to comment. After all, constructive criticism is often the most helpful!

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  15. Hi Nick. Looks like Tom's covered most of the reasons behind the plugin - and thanks for coming back and commenting again. I hope you'll keep reading!

    I just wanted to echo what Tom said about the usefulness of wikipedia. I have consulted it recently on lists of Australian cities, flags of countries, mathematical theorems (in fact, I wrote a post about how great wikipedia is for mathematical stuff) so this definitely isn't designed to criticise wikipedia.

    It's actually more of a criticism of Google. There are times when I want wikipedia to be the top result, but there are all kinds of ridiculous queries (as Tom pointed out) where Google's algorithm is currently assigning too much weight to wikipedia (in our opinion) and so they're ranking even when they shouldn't be.

    We're hoping that if the SEO community raises the profile of this issue a little, that Google might take a look at it and hopefully we'll end up with better results for all (without our plugin!).

    Don't worry about calling us snarky - we've been called far worse ;)

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  16. Froodly dooblie

    What we really need is a plug-in that disables SEO for google.

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  17. Cherubino

    Pingback by Wikipedia dominiert Suchergebnisse bei Google http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Kurier

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  18. Fantastic. This has just made my day. All I need is one that removes adwords from my page. If anyone has one let me know :)

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  19. @mecurythread - I think there is a plugin which does just that. Let me see if I can find it....

    edit: found the one I was looking for but it doesn't work anymore. Not that unsurprising :-)

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  20. Cherubino
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  21. Hi Cherubino,

    Thanks for the suggestion - so far I've found that most of the mirrors etc. don't rank crazily like wikipedia.org itself does. When it ranks where it should do, I don't see too much of a reason to keep it out of the results. Might be worth a look in the future though.

    Will

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  22. me

    It's no good idea. Because Wikipedia results are the best I hope to get on search the web. Why are free non commercial projects bad as firs results? If some pages want to earn money with the 1st Place in Google then it shouldn't prevent google to give good results.

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  23. Nickelo

    Please also create a thunderbird plugin that allows me to only see spam mails and not the unrelevant normal mail.

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  24. micha

    Where is the problem?

    www.google.com

    SEARCH: content -wikipedia -ebay -...

    Every thing's fine.

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  25. Werth

    Yes. Thank you!!!!!!!

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  26. @me & @Nickelo: In situations where you want to see wikipedia, don't use the plugin - I often turn to wikipedia and enjoy and like it as a resource. There are, however, many searches for which wikipedia is categorically not a good result - all we are trying to do is highlight that to the powers at Google. I want wikipedia to rank for many things, but just because a page is on wikipedia doesn't automatically make it great.

    @micha: I think you'd probably want to do -site:wikipedia.org -site:ebay.com because otherwise you'd lose pages that mention wikipedia or ebay as well. It is perfectly do-able with longer queries, but if you are going to do it a lot, this would save you time (and many people aren't comfortable constructing longer search queries).

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  27. helooo

    THANK YOU!!!!!!
    but i have to say i had to go through 10 searches with wikipedia on the top 3 on EVERY search to find your blog,

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  28. Search Without Wikipedia Nice...

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  29. Whats the point of exluding Wikipedia. if its not of interest don't click it !

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  30. Viola

    Thank you thank you thank you for this wonderful plugin!

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  31. Tommy

    You don't need a plugin, just add -keyword to your search. For example, if you want to search watches without ebay, you would go to Google and enter "watch -ebay" without quotes. Or if you want to avoid shopping sites completely, enter "watch - buy -shop". ;)

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  32. One other solution is add "-wikipedia.org" to your search query. This would filter it from the results.

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  33. And I just noticed, at least two other people have already mentioned it ...

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  34. Georg

    I removed the wiki search (remove, promote) boxes from google serach using greasemonkey, and now my siteadvisor safe browsing checks are gone from my google search as well. My AVG safe search icon is also gone. How do I get those back?

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  35. Barrett Ahern

    This is fantastic! Any way to use this with Chrome?

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  36. Christopher V.

    Forgive me if I am being a nuisance here but I cannot stop myself from commenting on a comment from a few years back by Nick. I have Encyclopedia Britannica and I have used Wikipedia. One of these encyclopedias has porn star bios with links to pornography sites, and an article on C** ****(s) with animated pictures wherein the completely unverifiable argument that "... the men who get most turned on by watching cum shots are the ones who have positive attitudes toward women" is exhibited out of context and without any evidential information. I just cannot take the idea of accuracy seriously in context of this reality.

    Wikipedia has some useful information, and some completely biased and unverifiable information. It has dominated the online world and taken advantage of the desire for easy answers in the public to become a monopoly of the most important resource (arguably) humans have (i.e. information). It is also socially irresponsible and vulgar in its form of expression. Again, I apologize for what amounts to little more than a rant, but when all sides agree on something there can be no balance of truth.

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  37. Christopher V.

    Sorry, I left the a potentially offensive term in the quote without realizing it. Cheers, and thanks for the allowance of feedback.

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  38. I do consider all of the ideas you've offered on your post. They're really convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very brief for novices. Could you please extend them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

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  39. Wikipedia is usefull thing. but some time it is irritate. interesting idea.

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  40. Wikipedia should not be avoided.. I see wiki results only on relevant searches.... So I have no probs with it....

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  41. Yes that's true that wikipedia is ranking for almost every term !
    Thanks a lot for sharing this Add on to remove Wikipedia. ;)

    Thanks

    Saif

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