US tech giant Google has agreed to pay online encyclopaedia, Wikipedia, for content displayed by its search engine, which is in line with content deals struck with news outlets in Europe and elsewhere.
Google has become the first paying customer of the commercial venture Wikimedia Enterprise, run by Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit group behind Wikipedia. The deal will help Google provide the most accurate and up-to-date information on its search engine.
The Wikimedia Foundation, the charity that oversees the online encyclopaedia, said Google was the first paying customer for its commercial venture Wikimedia Enterprise, which it launched last year.
Tim Palmer, managing director of Google’s search partnerships, commented that Google looks forward to “deepening” its partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation through its Enterprise service.
Google uses Wikipedia content for its “knowledge panel” — a sidebar that accompanies the main search results. The source of the information is not always shown, a practice that had sparked complaints from Wikimedia. Google has previously given money to Wikipedia through donations and grants.
“We have long supported the Wikimedia Foundation in pursuit of our shared goals of expanding knowledge and information access for people everywhere,” said Google’s Tim Palmer. The foundation’s statement did not reveal the value of the Google contract.
With the new partnership, Google is expected to come up with a new way to increasingly integrate Wikipedia content into its services. Google has made donations to the Wikimedia Foundation in the past, but the signing of a partnership marks the first time it becomes a customer.
While Google became a paid customer of Wikimedia, the Internet Archive, a non-profit that runs a site called the Wayback Machine that saves snapshots of websites and is used to fix Wikipedia links, will be offered the commercial services free of cost.
“We’re thrilled to be working with them both as our longtime partners,” said Wikimedia’s Lane Becker in a statement on Tuesday.
Wikipedia, one of the world’s most visited websites, is free to use, updated by volunteers and relies on donations to keep afloat.
The new commercial arm will not change the existing arrangement for individual users, the foundation said.
The development comes after French regulators and Google on Tuesday ended a years-long dispute by agreeing a framework to pay news outlets for content.