Google Launches Knol Knowledge Base

Google unveiled it’s Knol service yesterday – a Wikipedia-eque service that allows users to write topics and post photos on a specific topic for money. “By trying to provide such content, the service is likely to compete with online encyclopedia Wikipedia, whose articles tend to rank highly in Google search results.

In an interview, Cedric Dupont, a product manager for Knol, described the service as a way to improve Google’s search results by making the ‘information in people’s heads’ searchable. While Knol entries won’t be given any preferential treatment in Google’s search algorithm, Knol entries that are highly ranked by users could surface higher in search results if they are established to have quality content, he said.

Google’s service differs from the user-generated Wikipedia online encyclopedia in a number of ways. In particular, rather than stick to one article on a topic, Knol will allow many articles — making it as much a collection of individual blogs as an online encyclopedia.

Users also attach their names to Knol entries. Others can comment on, but not edit, their work. (Wikipedia allows some users to edit others’ entries.) Users can also elect to run ads sold by Google on their entries and can share in the revenue from them.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said it ‘is a bit early to tell’ whether Knol will generate the sort of content that would make it a Wikipedia competitor. He said it seems ‘far more like a collaborative blogging platform’ that he expects will generate ‘a lot of opinion pieces rather than encyclopedic content.’

Google’s service is just one of a number that try to make it easier for users to self-publish articles and establish their authority online. But many such services have struggled to gain scale and to give users incentive to post content.”

If you’re interested in publishing your own Knol check out the Google Know page at