Google Decides to Make its Knol Site a Moderated Wikipedia

After seven months since it was announced, Google finally opens its Wikipedia-like web product KNOL to the public. I could understand why it took Google that long to launch Knol, for one it needs to populate the site first with relevant, enticing and interesting articles from its beta authors to make Knol appealing to the public. And so it did. Knol, currently has a slew of “authoritative” articles and the site certainly looks more a live site now.

Like we said during our first coverage, Knol is being touted as a direct Wikipedia rival. But there’s a direct difference between Knol and Wikipedia. Where as Wikipedia allows anyone to edit entries as a social collaboration feature, Knol is tweaking it a bit by infusing the “moderated collaboration” approach.

Meaning, users/readers can only suggest edits and modifications to the articles in Knol and it’s still up to the author to accept or reject those suggested modifications. Logically since the author’s name is attached to every article, they should have full control over their articles.

Now, other’s may see this feature as a flaw, while others may see this necessary. But in a “socialized” environment “collaboration” should never be moderated.

Wikipedia doesn’t have to worry about Knol. Despite the Google branding its not and will never be a Wikipedia killer. Knol is more of a “socialized”, free-for-all, anyone-can-be-an-author version of

One thing that could probably attract more would-be authors from contributing to Knol is the fact that Knol is giving them the option to serve Adsense ads into their articles. Authors get to earn, and Google gets to serve its Ad units.

Now, that would make everyone happy.

Arnold Zafra
Arnold Zafra writes daily on the announcements by Google,, Yahoo & MSN along with how these announcements effect web publishers. He is currently building three niche blogs covering iPad News, Google Android Phones and E-Book Readers.
Arnold Zafra

Comments are closed.

6 thoughts on “Google Decides to Make its Knol Site a Moderated Wikipedia

  1. I believe each of them have their own targeted audience, nothing to worry about, google is trying to capture every profitable market.

  2. I can see members of the MMO community scrambling to Google Knols to make money. Aaron Wall is already asking for help with a page he authored. Let’s face it, the more people who rush across there and start trying to make cash, the sooner Knols will get massive domain authority, start appearing for important searches and start squeezing out the little guy.

    Yet another Google property that will consume its own first page SERPs. An unmitigated disaster for independent content providers, and web users.

  3. I had setup a Google Knol Tracker, , to track what kind of articles show up on Google Knol’s frontpage.

    So far it’s very heavily health related and with articles that are a lot more eZineArticles like rather than Wikipedia like. I think Knol will provide a lot more competition to the article directories than it will Wikipedia or other similar sites.