You can already found some information here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikidata#Development_history (including finance details is you follow the sources).

For the "How intertwined is Google", it's a long and complex story, it goes back at least to 2005 (Wikipedia probably wouldn't exist today - or in a drastic different way - if the search engine didn't favour Wikipedia since then).
As a non-answer, I would say that Wikidata is as intertwined with Google as any major website is intertwined with Google.

Cdlt, ~nicolas

Le ven. 20 sept. 2019 à 10:48, Sebastian Hellmann <hellmann@informatik.uni-leipzig.de> a écrit :

Dear all,

personally I am quite happy that Denny can contribute more to Wikidata and Wikipedia. No personal criticism there, I read his thesis and I am impressed by his work and contributions.

I don't want to facilitate any conspiracy theories here, but I am wondering about where Wikidata is going, especially with respect to Google.

Note that Chrome/Chromium being Open Source with a twist has already pushed Firefox from the market, but now there is this controversy about what is being tracked server side by Google Analytics and Client side by cookies and also the current discussion about Ad Blocker removal from Chrome: https://www.wired.com/story/google-chrome-ad-blockers-extensions-api/

Maybe somebody could enlighten me about the overall strategy and connections here.

1. there was a Knowledge Engine Project which failed, but in principle had the right idea: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_Engine_(Wikimedia_Foundation)

This was aimed to "democratize the discovery of media, news and information", in particular counter-moving the traffic sink by Google providing Wikipedia's information in Google Search. Now that there is Wikidata, this is much better for Google because they can take the CC-0 data as they wish.

2. there are some very widely used terms like  "Knowledge Graph" , which seems to be blocked by Google: https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q648625 and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_Graph without a neutral point of view like the German WP adopted: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google#Knowledge_Graph

3. I was under the impression that Google bought Freebase and then started Wikidata as a non-threatening model to the data they have in their Knowledge Graph

Could someone give me some pointers about the financial connections of Google and Wikimedia (this should be transparent, right?) and also who pushed the Wikidata movement into life in 2012?

Google was also mentioned in https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/10/30/wikidata-fifth-birthday/ but while it reads "Freebase, was discontinued because of the superiority of Wikidata’s approach and active community." I know the story as: Google didn't want its competitors to have the data and the service. Not much of Freebase did end up in Wikidata.

As I said, I don't want to push any opinions in any directions. I am more asking for more information about the connection of Google to Wikidata (financially), then Google to WMF and also I am asking about any strategic advantages for Google in relation to their competition. 

Please don't answer with "How great Wikidata is", I already know that and this is also not in the scope of my "How intertwined is Google with Wikidata / WMF?" question. Can't mention this enough: also not against Denny.   

It is a request for better information as I can't seem to find clear answers here.

All the best,
Sebastian Hellmann

Director of Knowledge Integration and Linked Data Technologies (KILT) Competence Center
at the Institute for Applied Informatics (InfAI) at Leipzig University
Executive Director of the DBpedia Association
Projects: http://dbpedia.org, http://nlp2rdf.org, http://linguistics.okfn.org, https://www.w3.org/community/ld4lt
Homepage: http://aksw.org/SebastianHellmann
Research Group: http://aksw.org
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