Following poor traffic, Wikia Search will be shut down, says Jimmy Wales, trustee of the Wikimedia foundation. It was originally intended to be a search engine where users could influence the ranking of results, but recently it’s struggled for traffic – attracting just 10,000 unique users per month ovedr the last six months.
Wales says: “This one is too far away. It was going to take at least a another year to two before it’s usable by the public, and we can’t afford that right now. I’ll return to this again when the economy is good.”
Part of Wikia Search’s decline can probably be attributed to Google SearchWiki, launched last November, which allows users to comment and influence, though not fully determine, the rankings of individual results on Google searches.
Wales also discussed Microsoft’s shuttering of Encarta, commenting that it’s “disappointing to see a center of knowledge going away”. He said that he’d been attempting to contact Microsoft about integrating some of Encarta’s content into Wikipedia. Due to Encarta’s relatively small size, however, “the community probably wouldn’t find it useful. However, the images might be useful.”