Posted in: Technology

Google Knol starting to smell spammy


Google launched its Wikipedia competitor Google Knol last week, but one week later it is starting to look more like Blogger meets Ezine Articles, rather than the resource rich destination Google was hoping for.

Knol contributors have split into distinct groups. Where as some people are contributing their knowledge for the greater good, others are exploring ways of exploiting the service, for profit, search engine position, or simply self promotion.

Spam isn’t the right word to describe all of the content being added, and the use of link=nofollow seems to have kept the spammers who frequent Blogger away so far. Instead, much of the content is trying to hide self promotion and links by using informative articles…well informative to some, in a similar way commonly found on Ezine Article sites.

Others seem to be adding pages of rubbish (for example this entry on WordPress) in an attempt to gain authority on Knol through their volume of contributions.

Then there are those targeting content in high paying keywords, for example adding Knol entries on terms such as Insurance, their goal being not to provide the best knowledge on the service, but to get high paying clicks via the ads Google show on each page. There’s even a blog dedicated to doing just that.

There aren’t millions of rubbish pages yet, but as more people notice that Knol articles are ranking well in Google search results, the landrush to profit from Knol will accelerate. Google may say it cares about spam on Knol, but it has said that repeatedly about Blogger as well, and we all know how much spam you can find there.

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9 Responses to “Google Knol starting to smell spammy”

  1. Jake

    I'd guess a good majority of articles will probably be scraped from Wiki. Would Wiki's license have allowed Knol to preload some of their data?

  2. Digital Biographer

    I NOTICED TWO interesting phenomena yesterday – the first was that on one of my Google Knols about learning Russian, a link under the heading “Duplicate Content on the Web” appreared, which highlighted the fact that an article I had added to Google Knol was “75% similar” to content inside a PDF file on one of my web sites that I had allowed Google’s earch engine to spider.<br><br>So Knol does have the ability to spot duplicate content, and flag it up. If you look at a Digg article in Knol<br>[ <a href="">…</a> ] which is in fact a straight lift from Wikipedia, you can see the following to the right:<br><br>Similar Content on the Web<br><a href=""></a&gt; 100%<br><a href=""></a&gt; 100%<br><a href=""></a&gt; 99%<br><br>Whether Google's going to penalise such plagiarism or theft by demoting search results, I can't say – but at least it shows the issue of recognising duplication and textual analysis is built in from the start.<br><br>THE OTHER FACT was someone joining my network at KnolRoll who has written a guide called The Internet Marketers Report on How to make money Writing Knols with The Knol™ Project. Note the use of Trademark™ to add credibility. The biography leads to the inevtiable ‘long copy’ sales page with a special offer for the first 100 people to respond,<br>and yes it’s now only $29.99.. you can guess the rest – act now before it's too late…<br><br>I think Google Knol will have some big issues to deal with in the future.

  3. Gregory J Hoffman

    nice article! nice site. you're in my rss feed now 😉
    keep it up

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