Wikimedia foundation is in the process of developing its own search engine for Wikipedia website and secured a grant of $2,50,000 from Knight Foundation for the project. The project known as Knowledge Engine project will turn the wkipedia.org in to a search engine where users can search the required information right from their website.
According to the data Wikipedia is getting over 200 million search referrals per day from Google, Bing and other search engines. As a searcher if you search for some keyword on Google you will mostly see Wikipedia results at the top slots and if the same searches go to their website then it will surely have a negative impact on Google and other traditional search engines.
Entering in to search engine industry is the second try as Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales tried getting into search years ago with the launch of Wikia Search in 2008, but that service shut down just 14 months later.
People fond of Wikipedia will welcome its own search engine because they have to carry out a search process like, go to Google, and follow the Wikipedia link, read the content then come back to Google or Bing and search again. This exercise will end now and if Wikimedia Foundation is able to develop CirrusSearch (the name of their search engine) according to the peoples’ expectations then it will be a big service to the humanity of course.
There were news and rumors that Wikimedia is developing global crawler search engine that may threaten Google, Bing and other search engines. However the reports were denied by the Wikimedia Foundation and clarified its search-related intentions, saying it has no plans to build a search engine to crawl the web and compete with Google. Source
I as a general web surfer and searcher welcome the CirrusSearch project of Wikimedia Foundation because it will make the things easy and beneficial for the online community. The number of internet users is increasing at a rapid pace and the project will surely benefit the community.
As more people are struggling to have online presence such type of projects should be welcomed because dependency on the traditional search engines will reduce. The sense of healthy competition between the large companies will ultimately benefit the masses.