Google's Knol Seems To Be Unit Of Knowledge People Don't Use

Problems at Knol - Google's Open Encylopedia - had people discussing the site more than usual yesterday. Google Operating System - an unofficial blog covering news about Google - found the site had problems and suggested it was being dropped.

The site is back up, but its health may be in jeopardy. Once thought of as the Wikipedia killer - the site seems to have some spam issues and has not been updated since December 2009, according to reports.

Looking at Knol Help page shows problems with RSS feed updates and a lot of spam, add the bug and it would appear no one is really keeping an eye on this project. Though the search box is working and a couple of the searches I did showed a decent number of views for various articles, there does seem to be more activity at a community site set up around Knol than the site itself.

Knol was started mid2008 and had its 100,000th article posted by January, 2009. While impressive, it is not the numbers of success other online communities have shown. Groupon is younger and worth billions, Knol is not the success people thought when it first launched How long it will last we will have to wait and see.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.