Wikipedia and Google – what does the future hold?

There has been much speculation about the commercial future for Wikipedia since remarks at the LIFT conference by Wikipedia Foundation chair Florence Nibart-Devouard that there wasn’t much cash left. Last week she issued a firm statement that Wikipedia wasn’t going to close, but was in need of support. Now John Battelle picks up on the huge growth in traffic being driven by Google:

The percentage of Google’s downstream traffic going to Wikipedia increased by 166% year over year (week ending 2/10/07 vs. week ending 2/11/06). Last week Wikipedia was the #3 website in Google’s downstream, after Google Image Search and MySpace.

He argues that with that much traffic going one way, something will have to give, maybe Google Adwords on the famously non-commercial site?

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