Yesterday, Google launched Knol , which has been seen as WikiPedia Killer and the big reason for that is, that it allows publishers or content writers to link their Adsense accounts along with it. Darren Rowse has asked an interesting question over his uber blog that is Google Knol – A Wikipedia killer or a blog killer?

Darren has posted some interesting and useful points and the one which really raises questions against Google’s not so evil approach is -

My mind goes back to sitting in the offices of Google in Sydney where in a presentation by a Google staff member (a fairly highly ranked one) I heard him say that Google was not in the content business and didn’t ever want to compete with their publishers sites.

Google has certainly jumped in as a media company too however, will you see it’s Knol as a blog killer ? Here’s what I think about Google Knol and it’s effect on Blog industry -

I see Google Knol as just another big fish in the market, which has come to join already present thousands of big fishes. I don’t see it making a huge difference and certainly not as a blog killer. The reasons are simple and here are some of them are -

Is Google Knol a blog killer ?

1. Authority blogs won’t have any problem : if we take example of Darren’s blog itself then you’ll get the answer yourself. No matter what happens, if you follow Darren to learn blogging, you won’t switch to Google Knol for learning blogging. The amount of tips, tricks, marketing ideas you’ll see on Darren’s blog won’t come on Google Knol.

Some one can argue that what if some one decides to use it as platform to post blogging tips, well Wikipedia already has millions of articles and there are millions of selfless contributors on it, they never took that step.

2. Wikipedia exists and still blog run : Wikipedia is already present and has got millions of articles ranking on top of the search engines but does that stop you from blogging ? Blogging is not about just sharing the knowledge, it’s about finding like minded people, building communities and Google Knol is not about that. It’s about sharing knowledge only.

3. Traffic doesn’t come from Search Engines only : We all have seen various blogs do really well even though they were banned from the giant search engine itself. JohnChowDotCom, Smashing Magazine are some of the prime examples, they still exist and have grown much more than what they were. They concentrated their energy in building the community and that helped them in building traffic, even though they were banned from Google search. So, if the fear is loosing another rank from the search engine (wikipedia already has many booked on it’s name) then one really doesn’t need to worry about it.

4. Google Knol may only help small publishers : As Darren mentioned in his post, that he has met people who are publishing articles on Squidoo and monetizing them and that too full time. So, if small publishers will feel the threat then they can always use Google Knol to monetize. For a small publisher or I’ll say make money online blogger only, it won’t matter that from where the money is coming. Those bloggers who blog to build an authority will really won’t get affected because of Google Knol.

5. Internet is expanding like Big Bang theory : Everyday more and more people join the internet and they will love to see those sites which cover one topic and provide more resources and information on a subject rahter than a site which cover too many topic and doesn’t cover just one topic. They’ll be more loyal readers of a blog on a particular subject. I think that even if we’ll have 5 more Wikipedia clones, then also we (publishers) won’t be able to cater the information demand on internet.

I don’t understand that how Darren sees Google Knol as a blog killer or some platform which may kill small publishers. For me, it’s like another fish in the pond who has joined the party of publishing the content to attract visitors, who just doesn’t end up reading 1 page on a particular topic, there hunger increases more and if they are attracted towards a topic then they will end up reading a blog more than Google Knol, provided that blog has done good enough research and has authority posts on it.

What are your thoughts on it ? Do you think that Google Knol is a blog killer or do you feel that it will rather help small publishers who are ready to devote their time on Google Knol ?

6 Comment

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6 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Think Knol will have the same contributors of Wikipedia. And these contributors may not be bloggers per se. Also, they form a very tiny community. Good for them as they get to make some money off their content. The plan sounds similar to what Calacanis did – woo top Diggers to Netscape Propeller.

  2. Perhaps my title suggests that I think it’ll ‘kill’ blogs – but I don’t. I do think it’ll hurt some though – in terms of their search rankings for competitive terms. For example I rank #2 behind Wikipedia for a couple of big terms and know that they take most of the traffic for those terms as a result. With Knol I half expect to be #3 for those terms in a year and as a result traffic will fall more.

    It won’t kill my blog – but when a term that you rank #2 for sends 10,000 visitors a year and you fall to #3 and only get 5,000 (and this happens on a few terms) it does take away some potential new readers, income etc.

    It’s not going to stop me blogging or grind things to a halt – but I guess I do think that on the scale that Google do things that it’ll have an impact upon small publishers across the board which will add up.

  3. @Darren: That was an awesome analysis of the knol break through. I agree to what you said. I hope Mayank too would appreciate this.

    If a service like knol which has the backup of Google behind it can hamper with Probogger.net’s traffic, what it shall do for smaller blogs, publishers, etc. is pretty obvious.

    Let’s get our fingers crossed and watch the next move!

  4. Google Knol, in itself, is not a blog/small-publisher killer.
    But, as Darren said:

    Me too am of the (exactly) same opinion as of Darren.

    It’s good that who shares their knowledge. gets paid off.
    And also, at times, it is necessary to have a database of information on many things together (like Wikipedia and Knol)

    But, as Darren pointed out, as Google ventures into more and more aspects of the web, especially content producing and managing (they’re already successful in almost all other fields, either starting them on them own or aquiring best performed ones), AND GOOGLE BEING REGARDED AS “WHAT GUIDES THE WEB” , the web could surely be modified in any way (of theirs!! )
    Do i sound like saying about Google’s Monopoly ? (Nothing wrong in ‘YES’)

    [off-topic: Why was SmashingMagazine dumped out of Google Search?]

  5. I think Google Knol will fail soon as WikiPedia is cool and full of knowledge based articals.

  6. @ Arvind : Thanks for stopping by and sharing your insight with us. Well Google’s idea is to ensure that they can display more and more adsense on the internet, no matter it’s with their own content or some body else’s.

    @ Darren : Well, I completely agree to what you have said that it may effect the publishers when it comes to search engine traffic, however as you and john have always taught that one just doesn’t need to depend on search engine to ensure that traffic flows in. Also, in my personal experience I’ve seen that if you ensure that you have decent on page optimization and are posting decent posts then you are good to go in search engine and you can rank at the top.

    Instead of just giving up for certain keywords, we can always use better search engine optimization techniques to come up in search results. Although, I will certainly agree that it will take up some decent amount of publisher’s time.

    @ Praval : I certainly appreciate Darren’s analysis, however I’m just spreading what I learned from Darren himself and that is never give up and just post quality posts and you’ll definitely be a winner :) And as far as Search engine ranking are concerned, I’ve already mentioned in the reply to Darren’s comment that it’s really isn’t that tough (may be I can say that because I know some of the tricks applied by SEOs)

    @ Aravind : May be that’s what I really don’t want to accept. Google has built a monopoly and I don’t want to accept that and I guess even they don’t accept it and that’s why they try to constantly improve their search engine. Well, I would also like to point out one thing and that is, it’s still not certain that if Google Knol will be a hit or will it be a miss. Google Q&A wasn’t a hit at any point of time and Yahoo Answers clearly ruled that space.

    WikiPedia has been around for years and people are kind of used to it and apart from that there is a huge community which supports wikipedia and I’m sure everyone will agree to the fact that it’s really not easy to break communities, so if we look on that aspect, Google Knol may not even take off that well.

    @ Vinamra : Agreed! I can’t be as sure as you are but I certainly think that Google Knol may have tough time in becoming as successful as Wikipedia.