Social Media

In a Google search, WP is a shortcode for Wikipedia

If you do a Google search that starts with the letters “wp”, Google will automatically bring you to a Wikipedia page. (WP is a shortcode for Wiki Pedia.)

Sounds pretty handy, right? Why type out the full word “Wikipedia”? You can just type a shortcode, “WP”. Except it’s not so handy, when you really do need to search for something that starts with the letters WP.

According to thefreedictionary.com, here are the top 20 acronyms for WP:

  1. WP Word Press (blog management system)
  2. WP Washington Post
  3. WP World Peace
  4. WP WordPress Plugin (software)
  5. WP Wallpaper
  6. WP Windows Phone (Microsoft)
  7. WP Waterproof
  8. WP Work Place (various locations)
  9. WP Web Page
  10. WP Working Paper
  11. WP Wikipedia
  12. WP Working Party (NATO)
  13. WP White Paper
  14. WP Wirtualna Polska
  15. WP West Point
  16. WP Word Processing
  17. WP WordPress
  18. WP White Pages
  19. WP Work Package
  20. WP Western Province (South Africa)

Interesting that WordPress holds spots 1, 2, and 17. Whereas, Wikipedia is down the list at #11. (btw, I love how the White Pages are at #18. Oh, the old White Pages!)

As a WordPress developer, I’m often Googling names of plugins like “WP RSS Aggregator”. In this case, the ‘WP’ stands for ‘WordPress’.

Instead of getting the WordPress plugin homepage, Google immediately shoots me over to the Wikipedia page for “Aggregator

Screenshot of a portion of the Wikipedia article for "Aggregator"

That’s rather confusing. I’m searching for: WP RSS Aggregrator. That’s a plugin. I’m not looking for a Wikipedia page.

It always takes me about two seconds to realize, “oh right, Google shot me over to this Wikipedia page because my search started with ‘WP’.”

Then I modify my search to not have “WP” at the start of the phrase.

Wikipedia vs WordPress

Wikipedia is huge, so it makes sense that Google would have a shortcode to search their site. However, something like one-third of all websites online use WordPress. With WordPress becoming more and more dominant online, at some point there is going to be a crux.

I say that jokingly, because the average person is not making searches for WordPress solutions. Wikipedia will always have the larger drive of people searching for stuff over WordPress searches.

At this point in my life, I love both Wikipedia and WordPress. Both are open source. Both contribute vastly to shape of the internet we know today.

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