The impact of Google Knol

By | December 17, 2007

Google is finally moving away from being just a search engine to a content provider with Knol, their Wikipedia-like encyclopedia. The main difference between Knol and Wikipedia, is (in the case of Knol), highlighting and financially rewarding the invited authors (whomsoever gets chosen), with a portion of the ad revenue share. I would describe Knol as a cross between About.com and Wikipedia. From the looks of it, Google has some big plans in store for Knol. Pretty big.

Now, if Google actually promotes Knol, it goes without saying, the impact will be huge…

Will Knol become another peg in Google’s path to… total Web domination? The post stated that, “Google will not serve as an editor in any way, and will not bless any content;” but naturally people don’t quite believe that. “What are the real chances of Google staying totally neutral to its own product and creation?”

An observation…

For the record, many Blogger blogs nowadays, do not automatically get good SERP rankings (or even get indexed)! Yes, Blogger was once a great place to start a blog, but after many spammers set up splogs there, it is quite clear Google has inserted some filter or sandbox in place at Blogger. If Google does not give preferential treatment to Blogger (which it owns), it’s also entirely likely they will stick to their word when it comes to Knol. Heck, Google doesn’t exactly promote YouTube either.

Play Monopoly…

knol.jpgApart from the Knol-Wikipedia-rivalry angle, what does this mean? All this goes to prove my theory that the Web is not getting bigger, it is actually shrinking. Not in the number of sites, but in mindshare. The Web is actually getting more and more polarized, if you think about it. Well, have you played Monopoly before? If you haven’t, go try it out – it’s a good game. 🙂

Knol is a reminder that the big boys can come and play anytime. I don’t know if Knol will turn out to be as big as Wikipedia, BUT that just goes to show what the big boys can do.

I’m not just talking about Knol. In general, I see the Web being increasingly dominated by a relatively small number of large/mega sites, until it’s not so hard to imagine what the Web will be like 5 years from now. I see many small sites whithering away in the face of mega sites dominating large sections of Web traffic. Small fishes will get eaten by big fishes. Unless they can adapt to those changes.

For entertainment and socializing, just go to YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, etc. For info, head to Knol, or Wikipedia (I’m sure they’ll still be around). For shopping, go to Amazon, eBay, etc. Looking familiar now?

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