Google have commenced testing for a new service called ‘Google Knol’ which will see the company compete with the likes of Wikipedia, Squidoo and Yahoo! Answers. Google Knol aims to be an information sharing resource similar to Wikipedia where users can contribute articles and have them rated by peers.
According to the Google blog, Knol stands for “unit of knowledge”:
“A knol on a particular topic is meant to be the first thing someone who searches for this topic for the first time will want to read. The goal is for knols to cover all topics, from scientific concepts, to medical information, from geographical and historical, to entertainment, from product information, to how-to-fix-it instructions. Google will not serve as an editor in any way, and will not bless any content. All editorial responsibilities and control will rest with the authors. “
A screenshot can be found below:
Source: Search Engine Land
As you can see from the picture, Google plans to highlight authors in this project, which it claims have been lost as information evolved on the web. Anyone will be free to write a knol, which others can comment on, rate, and contribute to if the primary author allows. Google will provide easy-to-use tools for writing, editing, etc, and it will provide free hosting of the content.
But the plans are not popular with everyone. SEO blogger, Aaron Wall has raised concerns regarding the project saying that the integration of Knol and search could be bias as Google wants knol’s to be “the first thing someone searches for”.
Given Wikipedia’s commanding position on the web and domination of Google search results; it might be tough for Google Knol to quickly establish any market share. What do you think? – have a say in our blog comments.