|Google recently announced that they shall be launching a new tool called Knol. Knol, which Google refers to as the 'unit for knowledge' shall let users write on topics they are authoritative on, and this will collectively be a whole new 'encyclopedia', much like Wikipedia.|
Why's Google doing this?
That's not difficult to decipher, is it? According to a recent study, over 25 percent of the times, Wikipedia appears on the first search result page of Google. Google just loves Wikipedia. But then, all of this traffic is just wasted away by directing to a different website and hence is not monetizable. By redirecting all this traffic who are looking for information to one of Google's own websites, this whole chunk of users can be monetized.
Is it the end of Wikipedia?
Many websites have already announced the beginning of the end of Wikipedia. But, in my opinion, it is quite clearly unlikely. Why? Here's why:
Wikipedia was not built in a day. It has been here since 2001, and it will be a long while before Knol can prduce something similar
Wikipedia is the knowledge of the masses, Knol is of one particular authority. Authority pages are not something new. Even article submitter websites like EzineArticles.com rely on expert authors for content. While search engine ranking shall not be a problem for Knol, credibility will be. And this credibility will be one deciding factor in favour of Wikipedia any day.
CONTENT, NOT THE MONEY
Wikipedia was just for the content part. Till today, webmasters do not mind linking to Wikipedia simply because it is a Not-for-profit site, and people trust it, very much knowing that it is not always accurate. Knol is more like Ezinearticles. And like Ezinearticles, Knol too shall be a website traffic builder and possible money-maker and will only invite contributors of the same kind.
All said and done, by the time Knol starts to make an impression, Wikipedia will be close to a decade of operation, and it will be much more than what it is today.
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