Last week Google announced their ‘Knol’ service and I (among others) questioned whether it would have a significant impact upon smaller publishers ability to rank well in Google’s search results.
Initial results show that Knol articles are already ranking very well (here and here for example) – and with as little as a link or two from other sites are even capturing #1 search results for certain keywords.
Aaron wall from SEO book has added more fuel to the fire with some of his own testing.
Update: What I think irks me the most about Knol is Google’s insistance that they’re not a media company.
They host content, they pay those who write it income when that content makes money, they keep part of the money for themselves, they distribute the content….
If it looks like a media company and acts like a media company – I got the feeling that they are one.
Of course this is Google’s right to do – they can set their own business plan – but I guess they need to be willing to be up front about it and name what they are doing for what it is.
They also need to be willing for other publishers (many of them who are their partners in many ways) to react against them. I’ve been hearing murmurings from a few fairly large independent bloggers and web publishers today of talk of a move away from using AdSense out of protest. I’m not sure what impact this would have unless a lot of large publishers did it – but it seems like there’s growing discontent around the online publishing community around this issue.