Yes, we could look at Google's infoboxes as doing us a favor because they
decrease the load on our servers. We would need to account for those views
in some way if we are interested in quantifying success in the sense of
total views of our content regardless of where it is reproduced.

However, I think Analytics said in a WMF Metrics Meeting presentation that
the number of Google search referrals was not going down enough to explain
the drop in pageviews. I'm copying this email to Analytics in the hope that
they'll comment about the probable causes of the pageview decreases.


On Sun, Aug 24, 2014 at 6:06 PM, MZMcBride <> wrote:

> Risker wrote:
> >Given the mission is sharing information, I'd suggest that if we have a
> >95% drop in readership, we're failing the mission.  Donations are only a
> >means to an end.
> I think this assumes a direct correlation between pageviews and sharing
> information and I'm not sure such a direct correlation exists.
> When you do a Google search for "abraham lincoln", there's now an infobox
> on the search results page with content from Wikipedia. This could easily
> result in a drop in the number of Wikipedia pageviews, but does that mean
> that Wikipedia is failing its mission? The goal is a world in which we
> freely share in the sum of all human knowledge. If third parties are
> picking up and re-using our free content (and they are), I think we're
> certainly not losing. We may even be winning(!).
> We offer bulk-download options for our content, as well as the ability to
> directly query for article content on-demand via the MediaWIki API. Both
> of these access methods very likely result in 0 pageviews being
> registered (XML dump downloads and api.php hits aren't considered
> pageviews, as far as I'm aware), but we're directly sharing content.
> As a metric, pageviews are probably not very meaningful. One way we can
> observe whether we're fulfilling our mission is to see how ubiquitous
> our content has become. An even better metric might be the quality of the
> articles we have. Anecdotal evidence suggests that higher article quality
> is not really tied to the readership rate, though perhaps article size is.
> MZMcBride
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