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Will Google Knol kill off Wikipedia (and many webmasters)?

Wikipedia competitor from Google?

   
5:52 am on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Google's official blog announced "Knol"

[googleblog.blogspot.com...]

which appears to be a Wikipedia-style system, allowing contributors to write articles.

Will this mean the death of Wikipedia?

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.
6:20 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)



Metaphorically - I'll hit another nail on the G$$gle-head - this will also be blatant conflict of interest.

Google: Find and post information is not easy, yada yada, so let's create a resource and put ads on it
Webmasters: well, aren't your main objective used to be "to organize the world's information", and isn't the pivot point of that to have the BEST SEARCH?
Google: yes, but we HAVE the best search, but it is still hard to post good information so lets make it even harder by creating for profit informational resources
Webmasters: Great, now you can replace our websites that we've created with years of knowledge and experience with cookie-cutter paid-for ad-blasted cesspools. How wonderful!

You know what I think? I think the web is ripe for a better search engine.

6:26 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It's even tougher today than when Google started to create a better search. There are many site who block all bots by default and have exceptions for the incumbents.

This just seems to be the way things go when you have to "partner" with companies that are many many times your size. They get to set the terms and we have to struggle to keep getting a piece of the pie.

6:33 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)



Sounds like in a few years Google won't even need the rest of the web.

I'm sure that's what they hope.

Unlikely. It's just another Google project. Google Search is, and will be, the core product and the cash cow for a long time.

6:40 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Actually, they don't have to buy wikipedia. They can just host all of their content.

Wikipedia is free, after all.


At the discretion of the author, a knol may include ads. If an author chooses to include ads, Google will provide the author with substantial revenue share from the proceeds of those ads.

[edited by: blaze at 6:44 pm (utc) on Dec. 14, 2007]

6:42 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



BTW, which of you black hats are already cranking out a script to automatically generate KNOL's for every topic known to mankind that has an affiliate program just so they'll be on the top of every search term possible when this thing goes live?
6:46 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, iBill, which is probably why this will take off pretty fast.

People will be writing articles like mad men. Even to just get the revenue share from the ads..

I wonder if Google will put a limit on how many articles each person can write. A bad idea, I think..

6:51 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I just looked at this in more detail.

This is an extremely well thought idea by the perfect group of people - PHDs. This is what PHDs do for a living, they write KNOLs.

References, Peer Reviews, Revenue Sharing. I suspect we'll find that this gains traction very very quickly and that Google throws its weight behind it big time.

6:52 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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lol - I've already established that we can't beat them so you've got the logical conclusion incrediBill - join them.

Whether we like it or not and whether it succeeds or not they're going to run them above your site listing for a while. So who's going to take the content from their site that shows on page 3 right now & stick it in a knol for their preferred search phrases? It might not last but it could be another way to jump ahead of your competitors for a while.

7:10 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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One think wikipedia is better than knol is that all content is automatically creative commons.

I don't think this will be the case with Google because they don't want someone to steal all their content.

Which is evil if they end up killing wikipedia who does share the content for free.

7:11 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Not to be a killjoy, but exactly how many of Google's other competitive apps actually succeeded? Google Answers comes to mind, as do Orkut, Google Checkout, Froogle...

In fact, if there isn't an actual problem with Wikipedia, why will a Google solution be better?

7:28 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Hmm, knol backlinks sound delicious.

However this project may be as successful as say orkut or google groups.

7:30 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Time will tell. But they have a lot better chance of success given the resources they can pump in to it. With the kind of money they have it doesn't have to succeed on the first try, they can do like MS and win on version 2 (or 3 or 4 or how ever many tries it takes before the competition is out-spent).
7:35 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)



In fact, if there isn't an actual problem with Wikipedia, why will a Google solution be better?

It won't be, but a Knol article on erectile dysfunction is likely to rank higher than Joe Pharma's ED e-commerce, affiliate, or made-for-AdSense page. I think that's the real issue for at least some of the people who feel threatened by Knol.

As for whether PhD types will flock to Knol, I think they might if Knol had editorial supervision and peer review. But if Knol ends up going the wild and woolly way of AdSense, with every wannabe Web entrepreneur and illiterate trying to profit from revenue-sharing, the academics are likely to shy away (and rightly so).

9:22 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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To replace wikipedia?

Impossible, at least in next 5 years.

9:27 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This is a perfect example of a wolf in sheep's clothing. Google is hiding behind their "we just want to promote the sharing of information" cloak so that they can exploit contributors and make financial gains in the process. It may even be a good idea – but why not call it what it is?

Basically, they’re taking the innocent Wiki platform and molesting it for financial gain. This sounds like prostitution to me.

9:33 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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notice on the pic how google will be putting ads there. You do the work, they get the money. I bet that if Wikipedia started to put for the founder's benefit, people would feel like losers and stop contributing.

That's the point.When you do something to help others (or show off your knowledge LOL ), you do not they make big $$$ on your work.

9:37 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



To replace wikipedia? Impossible, at least in next 5 years.

I would say the rapid success of Wikipedia is entirely due to its "Made For Google" qualites.

One algorithm change and it will have to stand on its own (probably copied from another site) feet.

Easy come, easy go...

9:42 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I would say the rapid success of Wikipedia is entirely due to its "Made For Google" qualites.

One algorithm change and it will have to stand on its own (probably copied from another site) feet.

Easy come, easy go...

No.

Ask college students how do they search. It is so common for college students to search "? wiki". In other words, they are looking for content from wikipedia

10:50 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Don't forget if you have the slightest shred of decent content, these volunteer experts will be scraping your site just like wikipedia does.
2:35 am on Dec 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Hmm, too bad they didn't put in the winning bid for about.com back when they were interested in it so that at least they wouldn't have ended up creating one more content goliath.
2:57 am on Dec 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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it has some advantages. It's going to use real names, articles will be vetted, and most importantly, writers will get a slice of the revenue.
I'll certainly be putting content on knol just to see what happens.
3:31 am on Dec 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Count me as a skeptic, for two reasons:
1) Google will be competing with significant numbers of high-traffic sites that have already built communities of contributors: e.g., Wikipedia and other wikis, "experts" sites, TripAdvisor, and so on. Granted, there may be some migration of contributors from other sites to whatever's currently new and cool, but what's to keep fickle contributors from losing interest and wandering off when something else becomes new and cool?

Google has the right to do what they think is best for it's users. Users trust Google and will use their authority and expert knowledge on various subjects to contribute original and free articles. By providing Adwords and Adsense advertising KNOL will become a much more flexible and user-oriented platform than Wikipedia.

2) Knol is a sideshow for Google (at best), and I have to wonder whether Google has the long-term commitment to make it work and keep it working. Unlike, say, Wikipedia, TripAdvisor, or Suite101.com, Google's reputation and very existence don't depend on committing the resources and energy to make the idea a success.

You should be really ashamed of yourself to undermine Google's commitment to organize the world's information. Most (if not all) Google products and services have been throughoutly thought out and are free for its users. Knol has a chance to become the only independent and reputable source of online information.

6:55 am on Dec 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yep, as soon as Orkut finishes beating up MySpace and Facebook.

And Google Checkout kills Paypal.
6:56 am on Dec 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Users trust Google

I suspect it.

6:59 am on Dec 15, 2007 (gmt 0)



I really wish people wouldn't make the mistake of regarding Knol as a latter-day Wikipedia. The concept is very different from Wikipedia's: Knol is a platform for individually-written articles with author pictures and bylines, not for collaborative articles by anonymous contributors. It's more about ego and self-expression (and, in some cases, making a few bucks) than about participation in a community. To me, Knol sounds a bit like Suite101.com without adult supervision. And it isn't going to replace Wikipedia; if it survives, it'll be one of many "user-created content" aggregators, competing with properties that, in some cases, Google itself already owns.
8:27 am on Dec 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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about.com sucked knol is just the same concept but applied to the masses...

About.com
Small summaries written by a collection writers with cpc ads below each article

Knol
Small summaries written by anyone with cpc adsense ads below/above each article

9:22 am on Dec 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



This project has a potential to win "the largest Made For Adsense site" title. More and more junk on the web ....
11:37 am on Dec 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I guess the search results from google will prioritize knol articles... or even have then separated from search content and obviously visible so you can't miss it....

So for most of your search you will have competing wikipedia and knol articles come first.

It is going to be annoying. If Wikipedia didn't existed, I could see the point, but now..... it's possible knol will be unpopular and considered the first "evil" act of google (against wikipedia).

12:09 pm on Dec 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



You should be really ashamed of yourself to undermine Google's commitment to organize the world's information.

Ashamed? Why?

They want a monopoly on the world's information, whatever their nice-sounding marketing language (geek style) may tell you. THEY WANT TO SELL ADVERTISING in the first place. It's all about the money.

Most (if not all) Google products and services have been throughoutly thought out and are free for its users.

Thoroughly thought out? *cough*

Free? Sure, users are not paying cash. However, people are paying with their behaviour data. They are becoming glass sheep, herded by one single source of information. People should know that they are paying with their freedom to choose (less competitors --> less options --> less freedom to choose).

Today, we are already in a situation, where Google with all its cash could enter any niche and basically block access for competitors. They'd just buy out the existing #1 and part with a bit of cash (see Youtube). Monopoly at its best. Certainly, this does not work for big companies (they couldn't buy Microsoft yet), but for most small niches, or new areas, they could just suck up the whole sector, or at least the market leader.

All this is very very dangerous IMO.

Knol has a chance to become the only independent and reputable source of online information.

I would be interested to hear what gives you this confidence? Why should Google be any better than, for example, Wikipedia?

Anyway, from a financial point of view I see ONLY Search and Adsense as money generating products for Google. ALL OTHER products have been failures so far, or are at least irrelevant.

I think, KNOL will be so spam-laden that end users will TURN AWAY from it. This thread just indicates the enormous potential for spammers. And the reality will be even worse.

One thing is for clear: Google are desperately trying to create "community products" where the users (glass sheep) are creating content for them. They certainly do not want another Adsense, where they have to pay a lot of money in order to keep a small percentage. They need another product like search where the profit margin is really high, and they got to keep the biggest chunk.

Blogger was a failure (financially), and KNOL will also be a failure.

4:05 pm on Dec 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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zett, you may be totally right, sorry about my outrage..
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