Google has fixed a bug that temporarily made Knol look like a ghost town this week. And, without exactly providing a ringing endorsement of its article writing service, Google says it is still supporting Knol.
The Google Operating System blog suggested yesterday that Google had “abandoned” Knol and questioned if Google should or would shut it down. When we asked Google if Knol is still alive and if Google planned to close it, a spokesperson told us:
Yesterday, we discovered a bug affecting the Knol service and have since resolved the issue. Knol is a beta product and supported by Google.
And what a bug it was: Knol was broken in several places and gave the impression that much of its content had been deleted or somehow gone missing.
The Knol home page was essentially empty, with nothing appearing under “What’s new” and just a single article under the “Featured” tab.
Knol’s search engine was broken, too. A search for “SEO” only offered five matching results, all written by “Anonmyous.”
Today, with Knol fixed, that same search produces more than 9,000 matching articles. One of the top results for that search is an article by Aaron Wall. But yesterday, his profile (and others) were empty and showed no authored content.
As best I can tell, Google hasn’t shared any Knol-related news since this blog post on January 22, 2010 — nearly one year ago. The Google Knol Twitter account hasn’t been used since December 21, 2009.
Knol may be fixed now, but it’s no wonder that people are questioning its future.