Google What Is Closing?

Google is sending out reminders that it is closing its online encyclopedic wannabe Knol.

To the vast majority of web users that is not surprising. What's surprising to them is that there is a — what? — Knol to close to begin with. Or, as my wife put it, "que c'est ca?!!"

What Is Was Google Knol?

Knol was meant to be a community created online encyclopedia. Think Wikipedia but corporate owned.

Why would people write content for a corporate owned encyclopedia? Google thought it had that figured out by offering the incentive of monetizing what you wrote through ads.

What Happened To Google Knol?

Nothing, in fact.

For a brief moment some worried that Google would wade into content territory and become its own content farm, wiping out tons of real websites on the world wide web.

No such thing happened. A handful of people wrote a handful of articles and … Nothing.

The product was in fact so unremarkable that a downtime in 2010 seemed to go unnoticed by Google itself.

What Will Happen To Knol?

The Official Answer: until October 2012 you can export your Knol entries or move them to WordPress.com. Entries exported to WordPress.com will automatically redirected to that location. Other entries can be manually redirected.

What Will Really Happen: as was the case with the closing of Geocities — and really, the disappearance of any web property — content is scraped and being archived as we speak. This content will make it back to the web in the form of spun spam, fake web sites, and stolen articles.

Oh — and every SEO and marketer is busy creating Knol entries like crazy just to get the redirect ;)

Conclusion

This and other Google product closures were announced several months ago, so no surprise here.

For most business owners there are no actionables. Perhaps someone sees an empty spot in the market with the closing of Knol.

It's kind of refreshing to see Google cutting away all the cruft it had accumulated. Even without additional efforts what remains must be a more focussed company.

Ruud Hein

My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.

Ruud Hein

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4 Responses to “Google Sending Out Reminders That It Is Closing Google Knol (what is that?)”

  1. James Catter says:

    Yeah really no surprise, yet another closure, now we are used to it :P

  2. Shan_Ali says:

    I never knew about it….but still it is no surprise…

  3. jeff loquist says:

    This doesn't bother me. Honestly, Google needs to close down some of these oddball projects and focus on improving other areas…

    …psst, hey Google…

    get .pdf reports added back to the new analytics and BRING BACK THE WONDER WHEEL…

    …I'm still upset about that one :)

    • Ruud Hein says:

      I'm happy they kill some of these projects. Sounds kind of rash. The other night I was thinking about the people involved with those projects; it's no fun for them to see their (brain) child go.

      What's surprising with some of these projects is that the major reason they didn't make it seems to have been total disengagement by Google. See Jaiku, Oddball, Wave… Makes me "worry" about Google Reader at times :)

      Wonder wheel