My friend Jon Henshaw, who is a search-engine marketing strategist (of the Nashville-based company, Sitening), is thinking (and blogging) about how Google knols* will affect search-engine-optimization. Jon considers Knol from a completely different perspective than I did in my earlier post on the topic. He sees both an opportunity and, perhaps, challenge in the new product.
“As Google increasingly enters the content space â€” no longer scraping other sites, but actually producing and delivering the content themselves â€” they stand to overtake their own search engine results (SERPs). The introduction to Universal Search and the increased Google Web properties will almost certainly ensure that the above the fold search results will be from Google entities or those closely aligned with Google. If that becomes true, and users continue to flock to Google’s search engine for information, Google will not only become a target for influencing SERPs, it will also become the next target for content manipulation.
*I’m still not sure how to refer “knol.” Is a knol just a single post or is it also the name of the service with which I’ll create such “content units”? I’m going to refer to all of it as “Knol” until I learn what’s correct. Also, I’ve been slow to figure out (and I’m not sure even now) that the word is pronounced “naahl” instead of “noll” as in the first syllable of the word, “knowl-edge.” Of course, the early wiki folks will tell you that that word is pronounced “wee-kee” instead of the way everyone in the world pronounces it, so what does it matter how it’s supposed to be pronounced — it will be pronounced how people think it should be pronounced.
Sidenote: I’m especially impressed by the integrity of Jon’s approach to contemplating the impact of the service, when I see someone in a dark-corner of the Internet make a post on an SEO blog (which will get no link from me) with the subject line, “7 Ways to Use Google Knol” (for SEO purposes) that includes such advice as “Create a Knol using your competitor’s business name and your competitor’s product or service name.” That type of advice — even before the service is launched — is what makes it hard for the reputable white-hat guys to convince folks they’re offering a legitimate service.