Mink Machine

Whats wrong with Google Knol

These days, Wikipedia seems to be one of the cornerstones of online information. Google is happily expanding their empire every day and this morning saw the birth of Google Knol, a service quite reminiscent of Wikipedia where the term Knol refers to a unit of knowledge. I usually try to be positive about new ideas, but this one got me wondering.

Once upon a time, the giant entity known as Google started out with four empty hands and a search engine. If such a company would build a Wikipedia-killer, surely it would come highly optimized for search engines? Right?

To my big surprise, it is not.

A random Knol page has a transitional doctype, 24 validation errors, font elements and very unfriendly URL (unlike Wikipedia). In addition to the following element:

<meta name=”robots” content=”index,nofollow” />

Hello? Is there any brilliant reason why the world’s largest search engine company prohibits robots from indexing their site?

For some strange reason, these pages seems to magically position themselves highly in the Google search results. It seems that the Google Knol content is favored by the Google algorithm, perhaps a side effect of the fact that it is a subdomain of a domain with pagerank 10. I don’t like the smell of that.

5 comments

  • avatar
    bollman
    21 Aug, 2008

    I have always had a nagging feeling that there is something evil going on when I use Google.
    I so much more liked Altavista, an engine not primarilly made for pushing advertising onto unsuspecting searchers.
    It’s a bit like what I read about Swedish Kanal 5: They had big problems finding the right staff. Everyone applying for a job thought that Kanal 5 was in the TV-business. Not so. Kanal 5 aims to be the best advertising platform for their clients. The chore of transmitting TV just hapens to be the best way to push the advertising out…for the moment.

  • avatar
    21 Aug, 2008

    Aaah, AltaVista… Those were the days.

  • avatar
    bollman
    27 Aug, 2008

    Bah! I remember WebCrawler emerging. The power of searching for webpages and not only endless following of links…

  • avatar
    bollman
    27 Aug, 2008

    Note: the use of underscore in the comment seriously angers your guestbook script.

  • avatar
    29 Aug, 2008

    Having a webpage search? Luxury! :)

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Reine is a web developer who enjoys caffeine-fueled urban traveling. More...

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