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Google Knol – No Threat to Squidoo

The recent announcement of Google’s new project – Google Knol – prompted this post from Seth Godin.  Having been a Squidoo Lensmaster for about a year now – I see no reason to believe Google Knol will negatively affect Squidoo.

Although Knol and Squidoo have similar business models – the motives behind the creation of content for them aren’t the same.

For example, anyone familiar with Squidoo understands that a quality lens is the key to building traffic and a successful lens.   In this case, quality equals usefulness, remarkable or something worth saying twice.  If you’re familiar with Seth Godin – you understand this type of usefulness has nothing to do with “appealing to the masses” and everything to do with world views of individuals in “small groups”.

The announcement of Google Knol suggests that a quality Knol will be dependent on a number of “Google defined” factors – which could be thought of as “an appeal to the masses”.  For example, a quality Knol about holsters might need to include content about gun holsters (i.e. ankle holsters, shoulder holsters, hip holsters, etc.), cell phone holsters, flashlight holsters, etc.

You can see the difference?  The goal of someone generating content for a quality Google Knol is to be “blessed” by Google with organic traffic (think about the Adsense potential).  Whereas, a Squidoo lensmaster isn’t concerned with organic Google traffic – she’s focusing on what’s remarkable and worth saying twice.  If she creates that – traffic will come.

In this way, Squidoo will always have an advantage over Google Knol.   Google needs “the masses” – Squidoo doesn’t want them – not in that way.   

7 Comments so far (Add 1 more)

  1. Well let’s see how Google Knol works if it can take more advantage compared to Squidoo. But I still believe that Squidoo is more focused on the quality of the lens, which could lead in getting more traffic.

    1. Andrew Reynolds on June 17th, 2008 at 6:41 pm
  2. Isn’t this just geocities 3.0? Eventually doomed to be merely be an abandoned wasteland?

    2. beth in greensboro on May 15th, 2008 at 2:21 pm
  3. The invitatin only part is what is getting me. That is the beauty of Squidoo, anyone who wants to can take the time and effort to build a good lens.

    3. new zealand accommod on May 3rd, 2008 at 3:03 pm
  4. I am leary of Google Knoll. Since it is inviatation only it sounds like just another way for them to control who gets traffic and who doesn’t.

    4. new zealand map on March 21st, 2008 at 5:00 am
  5. I’m with the previous poster. Let’s check out how Google Knol turns out.

    6. DeathMitten on February 20th, 2008 at 2:19 am
  6. Hi Stefanie:

    Regarding the quality of a Squidoo page - I think it’s like anything else - some are of high quality and some aren’t.

    One potential problem I see with Google Knol is that quality probably be driven by “knol economics” - the value of the topic. For example, with a high number of people competing for the Knol page “auto insurance” - you can bet the quality will be driven very high. However, topics with less “keyword value” will probably be of lower quality. Whereas with Squidoo - I believe passion for a particular topic is what drives the quality of a lens. It will be intesting to see if “passion” drives Knol pages as with Squidoo…

    7. Ed on February 18th, 2008 at 4:49 pm
  7. I don’t know, I’m interested to see how Google Knol works out over the next few months. The last 5-10 times I’ve seen Squidoo pages come up in Google, I’ve been really disappointed with what was there - a lot of people use it in less than honorable ways, it seems. I’m hoping there might be more quality with some of the Google Knol results.

    8. Stefanie on February 16th, 2008 at 2:05 pm

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