Google launched Knol about a year ago. The big worry back then was that Google might favor Knol in our search rankings. I stopped around various places on the net to debunk that idea back then, but I think it’s safe to call this idea fully debunked now. As I said six months ago:
Google Knol does not receive any sort of boost or advantage in Google’s rankings. When Knol launched, some people asked questions about this. I dutifully trundled around the web and said that Knol would not receive any special benefits in our scoring/ranking for search. With the benefit of six months’ worth of hindsight, I hope everyone can agree that Knol doesn’t get some special boost or advantage in Google’s rankings.
I think we can call that idea completely debunked now.
In the mean time, the Knol team hasn’t been standing still. In a recent announcement on the Google Blog, the Public Library of Science is starting up a new website on Knol to publish research results about influenza. PLoS Currents: Influenza will be moderated by an expert group of researchers. With H1N1, it’s important to communicate preliminary results, and this new site provides a way to do that.
I wanted to talk about something else cool that I recently saw on Knol. One of Knol’s strengths is making it easier to add knowledge to the web. For example, the web has fewer documents written in languages such as Arabic. One Google Knol project resulted in a ton of informative pages being added to the web in Arabic. They made a video about it:
Getting more useful content onto the web is a good thing, so I’m glad that Knol can help with that.