Google has always had Beta projects and this week, Google opened another one to the public.
Known as knol – which they say stands for ‘a unit of knowledge’ – a neat concept. Superficially, knol would look much like a squidoo lens or a hub page. Google’s blog states ‘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’ – which sounds ominously like a knol ought to be at the top of the organic SERPs.
They go on to say that knols can contain ads from which the author will receive a substantial share! They won’t be moderated, only ranked so there is no censoring and marketers will flock to get their affiliate links in this new format.
It certainly seems like it would be worth trying to get in early and write some definitive knols about your pet subjects.
Perhaps this is why squidoo lens fell from favour!
Here is an example knol from the big G – they have a more serious and business-like feel to them than lenses.
While there will no doubt be plenty of rubbish appearing, community tools like ranking will help to make sure the genuinely good ones get to the top.
So go forth and nab your knols.
You can find the service at http://knol.google.com
I just received an email from Jonathan Leger and as I’m in content mode at the moment, I went straight and watched the video.
Boy, am I glad I did. This software sets the bar very high indeed. At least based on the video preview – I would love to be reviewing this product for real right now but I guess I’ll have to wait.
There’s a link to the video at the end of this review.
I have never used Instant Article Wizard 1.0 so I don’t know how that performed but it gleaned its content from free articles. Version 2.0 uses the web at large! And the preview shows how to use it to generate really readable articles that look like they were written by one person.
I would like to make a suggestion both to anyone intending to use it and maybe to the great Jon himself: modify every sentence slightly rather than using it verbatim. Maybe the software should only let you retrieve the content after it’s been modified a small amount. Nothing too onerous but change a few nouns, insert superlatives, do something to each sentence.
Because good as this is, Google could easily detect these articles. Not saying it would now. But if Google didn’t like this concept, it could detect them. I may be wrong but if I’m right, you read it here first.
What are the odds of two people writing the exact same 10 word sentence? OK, if it’s on a specific topic it’s of course feasible. What if 3 or 4 or 5 people have that exact same sentence? Now while the article may well look extremely unique taken as a whole, if (and it is a very presumptive if) Google finds the exact same sentence used in multiple sites, Google can now simply look for that sentence and any site with the exact same sentence will be penalised because it’s a near certainty it was scraped.
Will Google care? Maybe not. There is some value in an article that ‘summarises’ lots of other articles. But if the big G does care, I’m guessing it could switch on detection in a heartbeat.
Change a couple of words in each sentence and it would dramatically reduce the chance of big G spotting it.
This is not to knock the product, far from it. It’s great and I would recommend it. But if it’s overused and if people are too lazy, it may lead to lots of sites getting slapped.
So be smart. Like any tool, use it wisely, not lazily – you might thank me one day. Then again, I could be talking rubbish.
What do you think?