Google Reflects on Knol’s First 5 Months

    January 19, 2009
    Chris Crum

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.