By Mark O’Neill
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
Knol – Google’s equivalent of Wikipedia – has today finally gone live. Should Wikipedia be quaking in their boots? Well not quite yet. I’m sure Jimbo Wales hasn’t broken a sweat up to now and isn’t likely to for quite some time with his 116 million users a month.
Just like Wikipedia, you can write articles on virtually any subject you like and they will be published. But it remains to be seen what kind of editorial process Knol has compared to Wikipedia and whether Knol has a more relaxed or more stricter editorial control over “self-promotion”. It will also be interesting to see how Knol deals with spam pages.
It was speculated some time ago (I have lost the weblink now) that Knol was created because Google was becoming increasingly annoyed that Wikipedia was more and more the number one search result for most searches. So they decided to make their own Wikipedia-like service to knock Jimbo off that number one slot. Whether this is true or not I can’t say, but you can’t deny that whatever search term you put into Google these days, you more often than not get a Wikipedia link first.
But for Google to dislodge Wikipedia will take some serious doing. Wikipedia has been around for years and are one of the most visited and linked to website ever. Unless Google pulls an underhanded trick with their PageRank, I don’t see how they are going to knock Wikipedia off their throne anytime soon. Do you?