Who’s Ranking For Knol? Hello, Wikipedia!

Wikipedia's Knol Page

Ah, sweet irony. Yesterday I spent some time raising concerns about knowledge aggregation sites like Wikipedia and the forthcoming Google Knol potentially ranking tops for every search conducted. Today, what’s in the top results for Knol? Yep — a new Wikipedia page on the topic!

The page was created yesterday and took less than 24 hours to show up. Looking at the top results for Knol is also fascinating in how until last week, the Google project wasn’t announced, so the results had no reflection of it. Today, they dominate the page:

Google Knol Results

Let’s run down the list.

  1. KNOL is also the ticker symbol for Knology, and the Yahoo Finance page about that company has managed to hang on to the top spot.
  2. The official Google Blog post on Knol comes next.
  3. The official Google screenshot of an example Knol page shows up third. Some SEO advice to Google: Get a title tag on that page so it doesn’t look all weird when listed. You might also want to put a link at the top of the page over to your blog post so people hitting the screenshot have somewhere to go for more information.
  4. Search authority Tim Bray warms my heart by covering how "transparent" Wikipedia actually is pretty closed given "a forest of acronym" and other issues that make me nod my head in violent agreement. But he doesn’t see Knol as a solution.
  5. MarketWatch’s page about Knology comes next.
  6. Mashable’s write-up on Knol is fifth. Sniff. We were one of the few places pre-briefed by Google on Knol and had an article with details not in the official blog post, which is what the Mashable article and virtually all other news stories were based on. But we get relegated to position 20 in the search results. Sniff. But congrats to Mashable, and we’ll look forward to when Search Engine Land is a bit older. With age comes authority and an easier way to make it to the top. We only just turned one!
  7. Wikipedia makes it at sixth. It’ll be interesting to see if the page rises over time. FYI, Squidoo has three pages about Knol now. I like this one that’s just a copy of the official Google Blog post. I guess the author missed the Google copyright statement at the bottom of the post. The other two (here and here) are pretty basic. Mahalo’s got a nice page of mainly news commentary (though our write-up, sniff, isn’t listed). As for Yahoo Answers, three questions: how can someone get a Knol invite (here, and you can’t); are there reasons for Yahoo Answers folks to be afraid of Knol (here), and how does Knol compare to Wikipedia (here).
  8. Noah Brier’s two paragraph summary of Knol pulls off a nice coup by getting into the top ten.
  9. News.com’s write-up on Knol.
  10. Wired’s write-up on Knol.

Also, I took a quick spin at Yahoo, Microsoft, and Ask. Main differences?

  • Yahoo results are pretty similar to Google, though the Dutch Knol-Online makes it in the top results.
  • Microsoft gets Knol Computers, Knol Farms, and Wikipedia’s Knol Tate page into the top results. Let’s hear it for diversity in search listings! You also get finance pages about Knology. As for Google Knol, you get one single page of ZDNet coverage — not even the official Google Blog post. Come on, Microsoft – that post should be there.
  • Ask has even more diversity, from Ryan Knol Designs to this page that mentions someone named Knol, among many other people. Google Knol is covered by only a single News.com article about the service. The official blog post doesn’t show, and that’s just as disappointing as with Microsoft.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Knol | Search Engines: Mahalo | Search Engines: Wikipedia


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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