Knol – it’s short for knowledge you know!
Our old chums at Google are playing around with a new product called Knol. It looks like it’s a repositary of knowledge (see what they have done there?) set to take on Wikipedia, Mahalo and Yahoo! Answers.
Primarily aimed at authors the Knol web pages goal is ‘to cover all topics, from scientific concepts, to medical information, from geographical and historical, to entertainment, from product information, to how-to-fix-it instructions’.
Here is a wee picture of an example page:
Google will not have any editorial input with the author totally responsible for all content. Other people will be able to add comments, questions, content at the author’s discretion. Ads can also be added, again this is down to the individual author.
Articles can be rated and they will appear in the search results but Google will give no special weight to these pages; if they rank, they rank because they compete with other pages and win the algorithm race. Check out a full picture here. All of this is currently in trial and only people who have been invited can take part, and it may never come out of beta, but watch this space!
Sir Danny of Sullivan has lots of useful chat on this possible new service here.