So, Google launched Google Knol today and the whole blogosphere is talking about it. That’s understandable. It’s not everyday that Google releases a new product which gets its own sub domain. But, what I don’t understand is: why is everyone, including reputed blogs like Lifehacker, Problogger and others calling it a wikipedia killer ?
I think that this is just another way for Google to display adsense advertisements on the internet. And the real competitors are sites like hubpages.com which work on almost exactly the same model, that Google Knol is working on. You know, the model where you write something on someone else’s site and include advertisements in it and hope to earn some money. The difference is that this is Google and the reason why people are worried is that Google might give a preference to one of it’s own sites when displaying search results for a particular topic, rather than displaying, say, a wikipedia article, which is what comes up now if you search for a lot of generic topics.
But, I don’t think this will be the case. Even if Google tries to give a preference to it’s own sites, a backlash from users will probably contain Google’s evil plans and if Google still doesn’t agree, most users, including I, will happily move to another search engine. Infact, looking at the kind of knols that Google is hosting right now, most of them are not the kinds that would be competing with wikipedia articles. It looks exactly the kind of content that hubpages holds.
So, I think the blogosphere should just relax and let Google roll out another product and another way for the publishers out there to make money :-)