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I sometimes use Goodsearch.com, as it apparently donates a part of the advertising revenue to charity. Regardless, sometimes I see really odd behavior that results from non-commercial sites like .edus and even Wikipedia appearing as sponsored results. Does Wikipedia advertise to drive revenue to their sites? If not, who is sponsoring (i.e. paying) to drive visitors to Wikipedia and other apparently non-commercial sites? In the screenshot below a number of results are from Wikipedia. Or is it Yahoo or Bing trying to get a larger share of visitors going through them?

screen shot for the search "does wikipedia advertise" on goodsearch.com

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It would be funny if one of the charities was Wikipedia. –  gadgetmo Feb 16 '12 at 11:32

3 Answers 3

Non-profit organizations can apply for ad credits in Google Adwords. Any non-profit can apply, big or small.

The Google Grants program empowers non-profit organizations to achieve their goals by helping them promote their websites via advertising on Google. Google AdWords ads appear when users search on Google and when you click on one of the ads, you are brought to the website being advertised.

See Google Grants for details.

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The goodsearch website uses the yahoo ad system rather than google's. Also if you search on goodsearch, it seems that all sorts of non-commercial sites are listed in sponsored results. Seems unlikely that they are all participating in some sort of non profit ad grant system. Is there any source for Wikipedia participating in such an effort? –  highBandWidth Feb 21 '12 at 1:26

I found this article http://blog.wikimedia.org/2011/10/26/search-and-wikipedia/ which says Google drive traffic to wikipedia!! This is an old data (2007): "Google is responsible for an astounding 24% of all this traffic. Put differently, Wikipedia/ Wikimedia results in Google searches are clicked on roughly 56 million times a day. (Yahoo in comparison only sends 2%; Ask.com ends up at a meager 0.05%.) Pages from Wikipedia are heavily cross-linked, and internal links from Wikimedia properties make up 44% of the traffic, according to the numbers."

Wikipedia does not want ads because have a look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Advertisements

If goodsearch.com donates a part of advertising revenue to charity then it must be the one to advertise about wikipedia for free because that is also a kind of charity!

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That just means that traffic comes from google searches, not google ads. The supposed charity model for goodsearch is donating half the revenue from the ads, so them sponsoring wikipedia links isn't part of the picture. Besides, non-commercial academic links also show up in the "sponsored results" category so this is not really wikipedia specific. –  highBandWidth Feb 17 '12 at 17:52
    
If its about non commercial academic links, I think that people of non commercial academies want to help wikipedia! –  Ashutosh Dave Feb 18 '12 at 12:44

Wikipedia itself needs advertisements to draw people inside, so I guess (warning! only a guess) Wikipedia (strictly speaking, Wikimedia) itself pays for that.

Another consideration: AD providers like Google's AdSense are to pay, instead of to be paid. So Wikipedia may tried to earn a little money by putting itself on AdSense, and, god knows how, appeared elsewhere.

Another suspect: The AD provider may put Wikipedia's (along with other influential non-commercial sites') AD there out of charity.

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Since Wikipedia is asking for donations, I think it was clear that they themselves don't participate in AdSense (to earn ad revenue). It seems unlikely that they would be paying to drive traffic since they are already popular and asking for donations for their hosting related costs. I don't see why advertising for Wikipedia would be better charity than simply donating to them. Interesting hypotheses nevertheless and it would be interesting if anyone has any info on any of these. –  highBandWidth Jan 17 '12 at 21:05
    
This answer is wrong, the Wikimedia Foundation (Wikipedia, etc) does not get revenue outside of donations. They do not use donated money to draw visitors because they make no money from visitors whatsoever. Wikipedia does not have ads and doesn't make a profit from anything. –  Kevin Duke Apr 26 '12 at 2:29

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