Examining 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:
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.