Wikipedia's English version has more than 1.6 million articles and received 43 million unique visitors from the US in January 2007.This makes a lot of sense. People type in search terms into their search engine and Wikipedia articles come up high in the search results because of high page rank or quality of content. While I'm sure there are lots of people (e.g., students) who go to Wikipedia as an online encyclopedia, the majority of the traffic is not that kind of traffic.
Pages related to entertainment and sexuality represent more than 50 percent of the most visited Wikipedia pages. In particular, many of the most popular pages are related to media celebrities and TV shows, which also constitute some of the most popular queries that were submitted to the search engines in 2006.
70 percent of Wikipedia’s traffic comes from search engines. This implies that links to Wikipedia pages are included in the search results or result page and people select these links.
This also suggests something about using Wikis for content that we create. While our workers/learners/users will likely use the content sometimes in the reference look-up, it is likely that they will find the content because of it being appropriately indexed both locally (by the Wiki) and within the intranet/extranet/web search engines.
Of course, many organizations have issues with good intranet search. This gives us another reason to suggest that we push that to super high priority.