16 December 2007

Google puts up 'KNOL' against Wikipedia

The days of our beloved, 'AD-FREE', one spot knowledge source for all our questions, Wikipedia, might be numbered.
Google, the giant search and advertising company, has announced 'Knol' ( "which stands for a unit of knowledge") as an alternative to Wikipedia.

Udi Manber's official Google Blog post says:
There are millions of people who possess useful knowledge that they would love to share, and there are billions of people who can benefit from it. We believe that many do not share that knowledge today simply because it is not easy enough to do that. The challenge posed to us by Larry, Sergey and Eric was to find a way to help people share their knowledge. This is our main goal.

Before you think whats google is upto this time,have a look at some important facts about googles' Knol:

  • 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.This is a sure move to push the top ranking,Ad-Free Wikipedia results down on google rankings in order to increase publishing space and boost ad-revenues for google.

  • Google will offer a revenue share from each page: “If an author chooses to include ads, Google will provide the author with substantial revenue share from the proceeds of those ads,” although we don’t know at this stage how much.

  • 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. For many topics, there will likely be competing knols on the same subject. Competition of ideas is a good thing. This contrasts with Wikipedia, where the original contribution is basically anonymous then gradually gets replaced by thousands of edits.

  • Google is moving away from simply indexing the worlds content to being a content provider itself. Of course Google in response would argue that it is simply facilitating user generated content (like with Blogger), that ultimately they are the host as opposed to the creator, but it still competes with existing content providers, many of whom rely on Google search results for their living.

Some points to ponder here are:

Why did'nt Google takeover 'Wikipedia' or 'squidoo'??

As we have seen in the past with youtube,blogger etc. google must have thought hard before deciding to set up a new knowledge hub.Though the decision goes well with its revenue model.Not only will it give huge advert publishing spaces, but top-ranks in google search results wil ensure that these pages are frequently visited.The model will fit very well with its Adwords,Adsense formula.

So is this the end of Wikipedia??

I seriously think NO.Simply beacuse its a one spot knowledge source where all authors edit the same page,i.e. there is only one comprehensive page for a particular topic, and the user does no have to visit ten different pages on the same topic , which seems to be the case with google's KNOL.Also the fact that wikipedia is adfree gives it huge advantage ove google.

Given these facts, It would be interesting to se what shape does KNOL take up, in any case, students are'nt complaining.Google is now making more provisions for hepling them to complete that assignment!!!


  1. The claim that Knol is anywhere a source of knowledge is ringing hollow, based on initial postings and members. Rather, it's shaping up more like MySpace.

  2. Thats great to hear! we needed more websites like wikipedia so that we can get more knowledge and information. i will surely use Knol for my next assignment.