This is a special report for the Signpost, showing how many people look at the most popular articles. This report covers the last fourth months of 2010 and first eight months of 2011 on the English Wikipedia; if you want to see how many hits a specific page is getting, visit the counter at stats.grok.se, or, depending on your interface language, you may be able to click the "View history" tab of the page of interest, and then the "Page view statistics" link.
Page view countdown
Number of articles in the English-language Wikipedia, from January 2001 through to March 2011
Statistics from Wikiroll.com. Statistics for other language variants of Wikipedia are available from the same site. Annotations are those of this report's author(s). This list is of articles only; other namespaces are omitted.
Main page – The page with the most hits, of course, was the main page. With more than 100,000 visits an hour, our flagship page wins the jackpot.
Facebook – At the number two spot in our countdown, rather unsurprisingly, is Facebook, itself one of the top ten viewed sites on the Internet, along with Google and Wikipedia. Despite Google's higher visitor numbers, it fails to outrank Facebook, perhaps in part due to its seeming familiarity.
Wiki – What are we on? Everyone wants to find out. On this optimistic reading, readers are bursting to read about free editing sites, with a not too bad 2300+ hits an hour. (On the other hand, a pessimist might argue that surfers simply search for "wiki" when they mean Wikipedia, and then click through to the top hit, Wikipedia's article on wikis in general.)
Google – The company behind the world's favourite search engine, getting checked out on the world's largest free encyclopedia. Again, this could well be a case of mistaken identity; the article on Google Search itself ranks at approximately 500th on the list.
Search – Actually a redirect to searching, it seems the readers are trying to get to Special:Search – without much luck. At least 1700 visits an hour to this page.
Deaths in 2011 – Sorry to have such a sad thing on our list, but it's what the stats say. Visitors check for the latest obituaries at least 1680 times an hour, visiting the page more than that of any individual.
Amy Winehouse – Understandably, I think, why this one comes up at No.7. The late singer clocks in at an incredible 1600 views an hour for the first six months of 2011, helped mainly by a spike in pageviews that included over 9 million visits to her page in the week following her unexpected death.
United States – Possibly the world's most influential country, and the largest single source of traffic to the English Wikipedia, the United States places at number 8.
Songstress and pop icon Lady Gaga had the twelfth most popular article, racking up over a thousand views per hour.
Glee (TV series) – A rather unexpected one cropping up here, with a respectable 1100+ page views per hour. A popular culture phenomenon among younger age groups, the show receives 10 million viewers per airing in the United States (plus more on syndication to other countries).
Justin Bieber – The second singer for the list, completing the top ten viewed articles on Wikipedia. Not all these readers are fans, however: Justin also ranks as one of the most vandalised pages on the site.
Wikipedia – The project itself, just missing the top ten, with 28.8K a day; it is only Google hit #4 for the search term.
Lady Gaga – Another singer, coming in at number 12, to amaze us with 1040 an hour. Like other celebrities, her article fluctuates depending on press coverage, spiking during moments of controversy. For example, her appearance at the Grammys caused her visitor numbers to triple overnight.
Sex – Breaking away from type of subjects in the top 12, this one comes in at 1000 an hour.
Osama bin Laden – This terrorist is number 14 in the countdown, also with 1000 hits an hour on average; nonetheless, the article about Al-Qaeda leader would have not ranked but for his day on the 2 May, which prompted over 5 million visits.
India – At 15th, the second most popular country, view-wise, with 890/h. With Internet access climbing, however, it may yet surpass the US: it has nearly four times the population.
Eminem – Rolling in as the last one on our list, with at least 870 views an hour, or 20,880 a day!
The top five results were as expected, with the Main page and Google and Facebook and such. After that the list changes to reflect recent events, with entries such as Deaths in 2011 and Glee, emphasising that Wikipedia is often used as a source of news and popular culture updates. The project itself, Wikipedia, is only just outside the top ten, and India crops up three entries before the United Kingdom, at 18.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article, the newest in a series of half-yearly reports about Wikipedia's the top-viewed pages, to be brought to you every six months when Rcsprinter123 compiles a new list from WikiRoll. Expect the main page to be top again though! In the meantime, all sorts of other stats are available WP:Statistics for the English Wikipedia; many other projects have similar pages.