Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Why the Chinese #Wikipedia is doing so well

At #Wikimania there was one puzzle that no one new an answer to: Why is the Chinese Wikipedia doing so well. It does so well that it trades places regularly with the Dutch Wikipedia for the 10th place of Wikipedias in reach.

A group of Wikimaniacs where leaving from Ben Gurion international airport and one of them was Chinese. He was able to explain this riddle; the robot.txt for the Chinese Wikipedia used to be both in traditional and simplified Chinese. The result was confusion for the bots of organisations like Google, Microsoft et al.

By changing the text these bots now know how to deal with the Chinese Wikipedia and this results in substantially more traffic. This fits in nicely with the graph that is produced; there is a spike and after this the growth stays on the same trajectory.

The question arises if there are more projects with similar issues.


Amir said...

I suppose that it's a good technological solution to an important, but surely this is not the only reason the Chinese is doing well.

The interesting questions here are:

1. Is it a standard procedure for websites in Chinese? If it is not, then there's actually nothing very special here. If it is, then other Chinese websites should learn from it.

2. Can this be adapted to other languages with multiple orthographies, but different conversion algorithms? Kazakh, Serbian, Belarusian, Portuguese and a few others come to mind.

Android developer said...

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shizhao said...

see http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Special:Code/MediaWiki/75617