Britannica 2.0 Adapts Wikipedia Model, Attacks Google SERPs

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Britannica president  Jorge Cauz is very displeased with the way Google has been displaying pages from Wikipedia on top of its SERPs. Mr. Cauz even attacked Google’s algorithm saying that for a top search engine such as Google, bringing Wikipedia as the first link in most of its SERPs undermines the capability of their search algorithm. Interestingly, while Mr. Cauz was attacking Google and Wikipedia, he announced that Britannica online 2.0 is ready to roll out, and among its new features would allow users to edit, enhance, and contribute to the online encylopedia.

Interestingly, while Mr.Cauz was putting down Wikipedia for having “plenty of cracks on it in terms of the quality”, he however explains Britannica 2.0’s features as:

“What we are trying to do is shifting … to a much more proactive role for the user and reader where the reader is not only going to learn from reading the article but by modifying the article and – importantly – by maybe creating his own content or her own content.”

In other words, Britannica online is “remodelling” its online encyclopedia into something like Wikipedia with a slight difference, among which is the pre-approval of contents or edits by Britannica’s staff or freelance editors before changes or contents are carried out on the Britannica online site. Likewise, all changes that will be done in Britannica online will also be reflected in the printed version of the encyclopedia.Those who are planning to contribute to Britannica 2.0 will need to register first on the site before they can make edits or upload their contents that will appear side-by-side those articles authored by Britannica’s paid contributors.

The question now is whether Britannica 2.0 online could become as popular and as widely used as Wikipedia? For one thing, if Britannica does this right, students and researchers will most likely turn to their site for a more authoritative content. But then, coverage-wise, the more unstructured Wikipedia could prove favorable for them than Britannica.

If Britannica 2.0 becomes succesful with this new feature, hopefully Mr. Jimmy Wales would not mind seeing Britannica references side-by-side with Britannica 2.0 on top of Google SERPs.

Arnold Zafra
Arnold Zafra writes daily on the announcements by Google,, Yahoo & MSN along with how these announcements effect web publishers. He is currently building... Read Full Bio
Arnold Zafra
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  • Paul Caudell

    Great news, even better news if they provide follow links!

  • alexc

    Our data shows that has got 14,476,222 external backlinks from 130,262 external domains, where as has got 1,323,660,270 (almost 100 times more!) external backlinks and from 1,831,623 referring domains (well over 10 times more).

    There is no suprise therefore that Wikipedia is so frequently on top in SERPs.

  • Paul

    I just hope they’ve looked very closely at the problems with wikipedia so they can avoid the same pitfalls.

  • Pejus

    After reading this article I took a look at Brittanica. It sucks and is not useful compared to Wikipedia. Wikipedia rocks. It is very easy to use and no advertisements. So Mr. Jorge, STOP WHINING!!! First improve your site and come out with a better product. Try your cheap tricks, to promote your useless website elsewhere. Wikipedia is the best and all in all its for the people, by the people and of the people.

  • Caleb

    This is hilarious. Poor Jorge doesn’t understand the internet and wants to compete with Wikipedia. The first step wouldn’t be to make Britannica a wiki (which is backwards). Instead, he should be making the Britannica website NOT as awful as possible.

  • Michael Martinez

    What an awful proposition.