Google Knol Thoughts

I’ve been getting quite a few private inquiries as to what I think of the new Google Knol project… and here’s my thoughts:

  1. Who knew articles were the way to go? Ohhh yeah, you and I did. :)
  2. About 99% of the Knol chatter has been that it’s a Wikipedia, Squidoo, Mahalo, Hubpages, Helium, eHow, competitor concept. Ok, so be it. Others have said it validated components of the EzineArticles system model.
  3. I’ll give Knol this: When I look down and see the Alexa rank of 2 vs. the EzineArticles Alex rank of 318 today… 2 beats 318.
  4. It’s made me realize that even if EzineArticles is #1 in its niche, our real competitor may be perceived as user-gen sites (with or without a community) that do not have a human editorial curation component due to the speed of publishing the market desires (meaning, everyone wants to click PUBLISH, be reviewed or have their content instantly online for all to see).
  5. But we already have competitors (not sure I’ll call them that) that auto-accept every content submission instantly, but they have a very difficult time developing market credibility. No kidding, right!
  6. I predict 2nd tier smaller competitors to EzineArticles may disappear at a faster rate than they are already for many reasons, including the obvious inability to differentiate substantially.
  7. I do like that Knol is trying to force their users to present themselves in the authorship light instead of hiding behind their content anonymously.
  8. In their launch they said, “Google will not serve as an editor in any way, and will not bless any content. All editorial responsibilities and control will rest with the authors.” Well, that is a differentiation point even though I’m sure they also meant to say that they will censor content submissions with a quality assurance team/process of some kind. We (the Internet community) have already learned what it’s like to allow anyone to publish anything without accountability…a recipe for failure.
  9. Will Knol make EzineArticles better? Most likely and we appreciate them for that. :]

For now, our plans are to continue to innovate daily by building new tools & services within our proven EzineArticles platform; we’ll continue to build our article exposure/distribution/syndication strength via millions of permission-based emails, hundred thousand+ RSS feeds, widgets, our new API under development, strengthen our most valuable asset (relationship with our registered members & expert authors) by communicating, training & listening… and while I’ll admit to getting less sleep these days, it’s only because I’m so excited about the new stuff we’re rolling out this year.

Your thoughts on Knol?


ian writes:

It’s clearly going to be a Squidoo/Hubpages sort of community – which will unquestionably eat into a large segment of their organic results. (although probably not for a while just to keep the Google as King of the Orwellian Universe chatter to minimum..:-)

What is the ETA on your expedited service offering? Is this still a planned offering for Summer? If not – why not? Some of us are looking forward to this – and are eager to be apprised of it’s status.


Comment provided July 29, 2008 at 3:42 PM



I am a happy camper at EzineArticles… its been good to me. Where else can one connect with the company like we do here on this blog?

I should not write this I guess… delete it if it is way out of line, but I cannot stand Helium. I have maybe 30-40 articles on there.. it was soo horrible to post them, I have not been back, except once to see that I have made $1 or maybe less.. gads!

No… I am true blue to EzineArticles! I post on one or two of my blogs and then on EzineArticles.. and that is it.

Comment provided July 29, 2008 at 4:21 PM


Jan Verhoeff writes:

At the risk of sounding like I’m supporting EzineArticles again… LOL

You guys ROCK!

I’ve done Squidoo, Helium (ARGH), and Hubbabba – they all serve their purpose, and do quite well at publishing those kinds of links. I prefer to spend my time writing articles, selling product, and making money on my own websites… of course, after I support the EzineArticles Google-Income Monsters.

Rock on…

Comment provided July 29, 2008 at 5:12 PM


Cathy Perkins writes:

Hi Chris – Since Google Knol has the all-encompassing word GOOGLE in it, and they test like crazy, and I’m sure they all have the Alexa toolbar, I don’t wonder that their Alexa is 2.

Tech-heads use the Alexa toolbar – many normal people don’t. I think your 318 is absolutely fantastic and probably beats the pants off that 2 out in the real internet!


PS – Wonder why the Alexa blog is on Blogger? :)

Comment provided July 29, 2008 at 7:05 PM


Edward Weiss writes:

The real kicker for google (and authors) is that they’re monetizing knowl with adsense.

Authors can get paid for pageviews. This alone will give them a competitive edge. Something to think about.

Comment provided July 29, 2008 at 7:39 PM


Hanifa writes:

First impression lasts. If I can submit an article by myself easily, I give the site the thumbs up.

No computer generated ranking system like Alexa will ever replace the kind of human respect and emotions readers have on good authors.

It’s a bit like, if you want to eat good curry, go to an Indian Restaurant. But if you really want to eat great curry, go to India.

Can’t compare EzineArticles and Knol, if you win using both, why not? The spices are different anyway.

Comment provided July 29, 2008 at 10:19 PM


GetArticlesDone writes:

I don’t think Knol will ever be a competitor for EzineArticles. It’s competition for Wikipedia.

Articles at EzineArticles have a personal touch and are not boring content like the lexicon type “articles” on Knol or Wikipedia.


Comment provided July 30, 2008 at 12:07 AM



I think that EzineArticles should just keep on the track that has been planned, offering more value and keeping in touch with your users.

Knol is a (k)novelty right now – and yes it is providing early results. But eventually it will become saturated and not as useful.

I think the personal service that EzineArticles offers is far superior in the long term.

As fo adding Adsense to our articles, it’s possibly a good idea – I know Qassia do it, but if EzineArticles don’t want to go that way then it’s fine with me :)

Comment provided July 30, 2008 at 5:02 AM


Sarah Arrow writes:

As a ‘newbie’ to article writing, EzineArticles has provided me very supportive emails and encouragement, Knol does not do that. I found it difficult to post a Knol, not sure now whether they are published or not, I know my articles here are published, I get an email informing me of their acceptance.
The usability and value of EzineArticles is far more than that of Knol to me, as a new user to both.


Comment provided July 30, 2008 at 5:18 AM


judith writes:

Chris…. We all know EzineArticles has nothing to worry about! I’ve been with EzineArticles since almost the start and EzineArticles consistently sets itself way above any perceived competitors by actually not allowing just anything to be posted (aka quality control) and most importantly adding the human factor into your process.

Google and others just want technology to be a panacea without human intervention — and that will never work. Adding the human being into the process, as EzineArticles always has done and will continue to do, does nothing but add quality, value and relevancy that computers, applications or algorithms will never be able to accomplish. To leave editorial values and decisions up to users encourages blatant irrelevant self promotion of the worst kind.

Google would need to look at adding the human factor into their algorithm and into Knol so they too can set themselves apart. Only then would that be a possible competitive environment.

Just think… If they did, that would also mean less dead, outdated, 404 and AdSense sites pulling as the “most relevant.” That won’t happen…

So, see? EzineArticles has nothing to worry about!

Keep up the great work!

At your service,

Comment provided July 30, 2008 at 9:23 AM



Thanks everyone for your comments.


I don’t know about others, but my perception is that Knol wants to have human intervention but only human logarithmically and not human editorially…

Given the gray areas of the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), those who state they don’t get involved editorially are less liable and can better stand behind the OSP (Online Service Provider) shield… but ultimately, that shield is pierced by the raw fact that without intervention in either automatic software or human personal review of content, …the value of the site becomes worthless in a matter of hours to days due to content spam.

I’m not sure the founders of the DMCA properly accounted for the reality that web & ezine publishers need to have quality controls of multiple kinds & systems, less the whole experience becomes one spammy cesspool of a website after another.

Comment provided July 30, 2008 at 9:33 AM


Allen Graves writes:


I really think it is too early to try and speculate on what Google Knols will do to the article marketing community. However, I do think that we should be poised and ready to take necessary action if Googel Knols begin to re-mold the community as a whole…however that may be.

The fact that the name “Google” is attached to this service is what most of us are attracted to (or in the case of most directory owners, scared of). So commenting on crap article directories might be side-stepping a little bit. Sorry, just keeping it real.

The “police force” in the Knol community is lacking, at best. If Knols fail, it will be because of the phenominal amount of spam and useless information that is sure to saturate their databases within the next few weeks. I have already found useless, blatant advertising in their community.

As you and I both know, the key to surviving in this industry has always come down to one thing…providing quality content for our visitors. If Google does not make any changes, they will realize that the name “Google” won’t be enough to keep people coming back.

Content is King. Even with the power that Google has as a search engine and traffic generator, it won’t be enough to support a bunch of crappy, sales-filled articles.

Allen Graves

Comment provided July 30, 2008 at 10:05 AM



Hi There

Having looked at a number of directories, I still think EzineArticles is the class of the field.

However, thanks to you I looked at alexa for the first ttime in months

I may be wrong but Knol traffic cannot be determined from alexa cos its a sub domain


Alexa cannot at this time discriminate between the main domain and its sub domains

Hope you keep editing and developing EzineArticles and that it continues to have a different character from and

I think diversity is precious and ezinearticle has given me the opportunity to be published in a publication that I and others respect

Well done


Comment provided August 1, 2008 at 5:12 AM


Eb Netr writes:

The first time I saw Knol, I said it was more of an EzineArticles site than a wikipedia site. I couldn’t understand why no one else saw it. In spite of the scholarly articles – that Google paid for in beta, by the way – it’s no wikipedia.

Those articles are on the front page, but shlock is creeping into the inside pages and will continue to do so as long as there’s no editorial oversight.

Let’s be honest, most of ezinearticle’s authors are selling something. I am. But there’s a difference between those of us who are willing to trade quality information to get people to visit our site, and the sleazemeisters who scrape articles, insert ads and put it all on a site that looks like what it is – a splog, whose owner can’t be contacted.

My name is on my site and so is my email address. I use my own articles on my site, but if I were going to use someone else’s articles, I wouldn’t go to Knol. I’d go to EzineArticles where I know a human being has vetted the articles for quality and content.

Eb Netr

Comment provided August 1, 2008 at 8:25 AM


Bill Haynes writes:

For some things, computers simply cannot replace humans. This is one of those things.

Comment provided August 4, 2008 at 10:30 AM


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