Last week, Google quietly released Knol, an online encyclopedia similar to Wikipedia. Immediately the SEO community started buzzing about it, and SEOs wondered how they can start utilizing it.
Does Google favor Knol pages? I don’t have an definitive answer to this, but intuition tells me yes. It does, and it will favor knol pages in the future, and several people have proven it. The reason is simply that google favors authority pages, as I have written about in the past. And there is the obvious house advantage, google will likely try to push their own product.
How many times have you spotted a wikipedia article at the top of a SERP? It happens all the time, and the reason for this is simple: Google considers Wikipedia articles to be a decent authority on the subject. Aside from all the inbound links, and massive traffic, this could be the primary reason wiki often earns the top spot. Whether they are actually a good authority or not is certainly arguable, but currently wiki articles are given pretty good juice in SERPS.
With Knol, they are able to control the content of the articles, something they cannot do with Wikipedia. So in theory, if they start linking to Knol pages, they are giving an authority page a high ranking, and one that they can control the content of. If Google can implement quality control on this new encyclopedia, they can better direct what sort of content their searchers land on.
How do you take advantage of it? The best way you can take advantage of Knol pages is to start creating them. Become an “authority” on the topic, and make sure to sprinkle your links on pages as needed. Later down the road, if Knol really takes off, you’ll be glad you got your spot when you did. Even if it doesn’t give you SEO improvement, it’s another opportunity to get your name out there. I would recommend getting on there now, and start putting up content.