What we seem to have here is evidence of a fundamental failure of the Web as an information-delivery service. Three things have happened, in a blink of history's eye: (1) a single medium, the Web, has come to dominate the storage and supply of information, (2) a single search engine, Google, has come to dominate the navigation of that medium, and (3) a single information source, Wikipedia, has come to dominate the results served up by that search engine.Please see also my Dec 2007 post, "One Wikipedia to rule them all", which cites a 2007 study that claims that Wikipedia is the first result on about 30% of web searches.
Even if you adore the Web, Google, and Wikipedia - and I admit there's much to adore - you have to wonder if the transformation of the Net from a radically heterogeneous information source to a radically homogeneous one is a good thing. Is culture best served by an information triumvirate?
It's hard to imagine that Wikipedia articles are actually the very best source of information for all of the many thousands of topics on which they now appear as the top Google search result.
What's much more likely is that the Web, through its links, and Google, through its search algorithms, have inadvertently set into motion a very strong feedback loop that amplifies popularity and, in the end, leads us all, lemminglike, down the same well-trod path - the path of least resistance. You might call this the triumph of the wisdom of the crowd. I would suggest that it would be more accurately described as the triumph of the wisdom of the mob.
Update: I should have remembered this earlier, but please see also Rich Skrenta's Jan 2007 post, "Winner-Take-All", where he says, among other things, that "Google is the start page of the internet."