Who Makes Money from WikiLeaks?

WikiLeaks.org is a website that publishes leaked (usually confidential) documents and memos from governments and companies. These documents are often embarrassing  to those behind the documents, and the website receives a lot of interest shortly before and after it releases documents. It’s been in the news quite a bit lately, and is almost always referred to as “WikiLeaks” without the domain extension.

I don’t know much about the organization behind WikiLeaks.org, so I can’t say how (or if) they generate revenue, but it looks like at least one company makes some money as a result of WikiLeaks, and the company is based in the United States.

A company called Wikia,  Inc. from San Francisco owns the “typo” WikiLeaks.com, and the domain name is not developed. However, there are pay per click (PPC) links on the landing page, which appears to be monetized by its registrar, US-based Godaddy. You can see the “Sponsored Links” on the left hand side of the page.

At its peak, Compete.com reported that WikiLeaks.com received over 230,000 visits in July of 2010. It also appears to be close to the 100,000 visit mark last month, and will almost certainly increase as WikiLeaks.org release new confidential documents.

Of course, this traffic pales in comparison to the actual WikiLeaks.org website, but the traffic is still substantial. I wonder how much Godaddy is earning from this typo traffic.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


    • @ Greg

      Not sure if that’s correct, but Wikipedia.org is registered to the Wikimedia Foundation.

      I also don’t know if the owner of WikiLeaks.com is actually parking the domain name with Godaddy or if it’s a standard Godaddy parked page that’s generally put on domain names after registration.

  1. I don’t see Wikileaks.org suing since the users will eventually figure out, although they could.

    On an unrelated note: I am so sick and and tired of seeing Jimmy Wales’ ugly face (I’m mad so I’m being honest) for weeks on each wiki page asking for money. He is not that famous among average users so it must be an egomaniac thing. Isn’t Wikipedia a real corporation now, not a one man team? Put a good looking woman or a celebrity if it helps raising money. But Jimmy Wales, WTF???

  2. Power of typo!

    Wikileaks.org will not be able to UDRP / WIPPO the guy who owns the .com typo (wikileaks.com). bucause wikileaks.org itself is rated as illegal and the guy behind it on the run from getting caught by swedish police.

  3. Just recently one of their financial supporters backed out – possible under pressure from the US gov’t. I wouldn’t be surprised if WikiLeaks would be making money by sharing their pre-release info to established news orgs.

  4. 1. Wikia owns the domain to avoid confusion between Wikipedia and WikiLeaks. Wales and Assange have discussed this through emails.

    2. Wales’ face is on Wikipedia because in tests it let to several times more donations than appeals from other editors.

  5. I’m writing a thesis on Public Trust in WikiLeaks, the Media and the Government and need to know what your opinions are. The online survey is multiple choice and will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Please follow the link: http://www.kwiksurveys.com/?s=ILLLML_9669e09d. Would be great if you would encourage others to do the survey also.

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