Wikipedia Founder Targets Google

by Rajashri on Aug 16 2008 3:12 PM

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has revealed that Wikia Search might finally be the answer to break Google's domination of the world's Internet search engine market.

Google and fellow titans Yahoo and Microsoft dominate the Internet search engine market, which Wales said was already causing some worry among web users.

"Right now in the US in particular we have a really strong concentration of the industry," Wales said Thursday at the Global Brand Forum in Singapore.

Industry statistics showed over 90 percent of Internet searches in the United States are done through the three firms, he said.

"So a lot of people are really concerned about this... Do we really want all of our traffic, all of our editorial control of the Internet all being piped through one, two or three companies?

"I don't think we do... I think we want to have a broader marketplace than that."

Wales said Wikia Search will run on an open platform, similar to the principles behind Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia in which entries can be made and edited by anyone with an Internet connection.

"All of the existing search engines are proprietary black boxes," said Wales. "You have no idea how things are ranked and what's going on."

With Wikia Search, users "can participate in meaningful ways" when they browse the Internet, he said.

One area of participation by Internet users is in politics, as politicians increasingly turn to the Internet to get their message across.

US Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama's campaign team has "been very, very intelligent about understanding the new media and actually involving people in new ways," Wales said.

"I actually think this is something that is going to be really, really important for a lot of politicians," he said.

"I don't know exactly what's going to happen... but I am generally optimistic because I see that ordinary people actually do love to engage with the issues and actually talk about things in detail."