Knol, SEO and The Blogging Idol – Test Case ends

I’ve decided to end the “Test Case on Knol, SEO and the Blogging Idol“.

If you remember, I wrote a Knol on the “Blogging Idol” competition, where the test case was “How long will it take for my Knol to reach the top 10 in Google search results“.

The reason I did this test case was to see whether Google was showing favoritism for content written in it’s own system.

So, here are the results, and a preliminary analysis.

The Impressive Results

  1. It took just 35 minutes for Google to index my Knol
  2. It took about the same amount of time for Google to index my blog post about it!
  3. At T0+27.5 hours, the Knol was #20 on Google, and the blog post was #22 for search expression: the Blogging Idol
  4. At the same time, the Knol was #10 on Google and the blog post was #11 for “the Blogging Idol”
  5. 10 hours later (no, I wasn’t obsessive compulsive about it …), my Knol had gone up to #16, and my blog post was up to #20.

Then It All Went Belly-Up …

  1. As I write, my blog post is still at #20 and #11, respectively (for the 2 different searches)
  2. The Knol, on the other hand has been dropping quite steadily, and is now at #88 and #35, respectively !!

My Analysis

  1. Firstly, Google does seem to be indexing Knols (and Blogs for that matter), very quickly.
  2. Obviously http://knol.google.com has a many more pages and links than my blog
  3. How on earth did http://knol.google.com get to Alexa Rank 2 ?!?!   A..HAH – that’s easy. Who wants to guess? Which site is ranked #2 on Alexa? That’s right, Google. By the way, who knows what is #1 on Alexa?
  4. Anyway, back to my poor Knol. Why did it go into free fall, whereas my blog post did not? Why did it go into free fall, while How to Read Russian in 75 Minutes did not?
  5. So, using some of my SEO knowledge, I’ll hazard a few ideas:
    1. My Knol is about a subject that lots of sites (mainly blogs) are writing about. These sites, including my own blog, are adding more relevant content all the time.
    2. I didn’t figure in the fact that “American Idol” is also alive and kicking, and there are thousands of blogs about that. Same thing here – lots of new “relevant” content.
    3. On the other hand, my Blogging Idol Knol is static – the most it has received is a couple of links. But content-wise, I’m not doing anything with it. True, there have been about 500-600 pages added to Google Knol since I wrote mine, but none of them are relevant.
    4. How to Read Russian in 75 Minutes is also a pretty static subject. There aren’t 10’s or more pages being written every day about reading Russian. So, relative to the rest of the Web, this Knol isn’t continually “under attack” by lots of new content in the same niche, using the keywords “read Russian”.
    5. I’ll hazard another guess: the URL structure of Knol focuses first and foremost on the Author. That means that if I write loads and loads of Knols, they will all start with knol.google.com/k/debi-zylbermann/…
      The subject is much less important. Now, if you agree that a site built using a Silo structure (see this 9-minute video for a very good explanation) is more effective in the search engines than one that is not, it becomes clear: in Knol, all the content on a particular subject is divided up into author-related silos. So, if an author doesn’t continue writing lots of Knols, his or her Knols are not going to move up the search results.

What do you think? Any other ideas to explain how my Knol fell flat on it’s face?

Have you written any Knols yet, and have you checked their Google search position?

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4 responses to “Knol, SEO and The Blogging Idol – Test Case ends

  1. I wrote 2 knols yesterday. I checked an no one else has written about my subject: faux painting. How do I check where it shows up on google search?

    Some other writer wrote an article complaining about Google indexing the knols quickly and so maybe they are changing their policy. Oh well.

  2. Hi Sandra,
    The simplest way to check if it Google indexed your knol is to just google “subject knol”, e.g. “faux painting knol”, or “sandra silva knol” (assuming you used your name to write it).
    A more scientific way is to go to your knols, find their URLs (addresses), and google the complete address.
    In either case, if Google doesn’t list your knol, it isn’t indexed yet.

  3. Very interesting article and test. I am investigating the bennefit of Google Knols. It seems that if you need to quickly get some content out then this is a practical solution. It also highlights the fact the fresh content is seen as more benneficial. Good analysis.

  4. Hi Trevor,
    Thanks for your comments.
    Debi

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