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.