Google Reflects on Knol’s First 5 Months

Passes 100,000 Knols

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Knol is a service from Google that lets people write "authoritative articles about specific topics." Recently, the 100,000th "knol" was published since the service’s launch in July.


Google has put up a blog post about the progress that has come along with Knol in its first five months of public beta. Product Manager Cedric Dupont and Software Engineer Michael McNally write:

The Knol interface is now available in eight languages (Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish) and we are excited that our users are helping us translate it into many more languages using the Google in Your Language console. Encouraging people to contribute their knowledge online is particularly important for languages with limited web content, and we are glad to see that knols have been written in 59 different languages to date. It has been very exciting to have people all over the world come forward to help improve online content in their language.

We have worked quickly to incorporate the features most requested by our early authors, such as usage stats showing reader activity on knols and rich media embedding (videos, spreadsheets, forms, slideshows, etc.). All of these improvements are tracked in our Announcement and Release Notes.

The rich media embedding should further improve the search engine optimization tendencies that apparently already come along with Knol. Search gurus Danny Sullivan and Aaron Wall both looked at the service’s effects on SEO shortly after its launch. Wall even found that Google was ranking his duplicate content on Knol higher than the original source.

Knol receives usage from 197 countries and territories on an average day according to the Google guys. Interestingly enough, I haven’t come across too many knols in results in my everyday searching.

Google Reflects on Knol’s First 5 Months
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  • http://tenerifemortgagebroker.com Tenerife Mortgages

    I have been looking at different media for a while for a couple of my websites. the other day I spotted that Google maps was amongst the first results for a search I did.
    So I promply added entries for all my sites to Google Maps.
    I would do the same with video and images and Know but I need to know that it is worth all the effort.
    With my primary site, people generall search for “tenerife mortgages” or “mortgages in Tenerife” “remortgages…etc” which I try and cover.
    I just cant see people coming to my specific sites via video or image searches though!
    Video could certainly be beneficial for real estate sites but thats not what I do so is it worth the time investment?
    Would google rank these knol sites favorably to promote the concept?

  • http://www.financieelvoordelig.nl Voordelig

    Didn’t know you can outrank existing content using a Knol. But as mentioned I haven’t seen to many knols popping up using google.nl.

  • http://www.seovisions.com SEO Company

    I have found overall that Knol seems to be a simple experiment mostly gone wrong by Google. What have they achieved with this? Many of the good Knols were removed, and very little if any of the Knols get traffic.

  • http://ppcroi.referguson.com R.E. Ferguson

    I have only written about 6 Knols for Google in the hopes that they would show up as good, external links into my payday loans website: http://www.fastezpayday.com. However, I have yet to see them appear in Google Webmaster Tools under the External Links section. I wrote the knols about 2 months ago. Does anyone have any feedback on how long it takes Google to index it’s own article directory?

    Patiently waiting…

    R.E. Ferguson

  • http://www.prospectmx.com Jonathan Bentz

    Likely because of SEOs like Aaron Wall experimenting with the Knol pages, Google simply discounted them in SERPs all together. On top of that, the url strings are insanely long before you get to the target keywords.

  • http://www.cubeonlinemarketing.ie Cube

    I just hate the idea that anyone would write content and give it away to Google. This content will eventually show up somewhere in the SERPs and stop real pages listing.

  • http://www.seosean.com SEO Services >

    I guess I’ve given up on knols – I totally forgot about them. I just don’t think they are that useful to SEOs. I followed Aaron Wall when he first created his knol and experimented with it and did not see much use for SEO, although it could have some marketing and promotional value.

  • Guest

    Who is KNol trying to compete with..? with Knol…it downgrades there public search on topics…if not included in results…

    who is knol’s competitors… about.com?

    why waste resource on knol…when they can tweek the algorithm to show all the world expert results…if they wanted with a click box…show me experts…

  • http://tuwd.org TUWD

    google won’t admit that knol is more or less a failure but it’s completely failed to gain any traction. but then again, with google the bar is always set high, had this been some random company creating knol, then maybe it would not be looked upon so poorly.

  • http://africasiaeuro.com/squidoo Heinz Rainer

    Knol has – in my opinion – a remarkable success factor.
    It taps the vast expertise of many Specialists who have something in common: Knowledge.
    By this factor alone, Google has been successful in bringing together
    Experts from many fields.

    Heinz Rainer Technical Adviser

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