Google challenges Wikipedia for the knowledge crown

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Google challenges Wikipedia for the knowledge crown

Search giant Google is set to take on the world’s most popular encyclopaedia, Wikipedia, with the launch of Knol, an online, user-generated and user-edited learning resource..

Users will have access to 'easy editing tools' with Google hosting the service and ensuring Knol content is ranked appropriately in the online search engine’s search results.

"Our job in Search Quality will be to rank the Knols appropriately when they appear in Google search results,” said Udi Manber, vice president of engineering for Google.

"We are quite experienced with ranking web pages, and we feel confident that we will be up to the challenge. We are very excited by the potential to substantially increase the dissemination of knowledge."

In contrast to Wikipedia, Knol will highlight the authors of each entry by publishing his or her profile.

"The key idea behind the Knol project is to highlight authors," said Manber.

"Books have authors' names right on the cover, news articles have bylines, scientific articles always have authors – but somehow the web evolved without a strong standard to keep authors names highlighted. We believe that knowing who wrote what will significantly help users make better use of web content."

According to Manber, Google’s primary aim is for Knols to cover all topics, from scientific concepts, and medical information to how-to-fix-it instructions.

Manber acknowledged that Google will not be able to guarantee that all entrys are of the highest quality, with completely open levels of participation.

In classic Google fashion, Knol remains under wraps in its first phase of testing, with usage on an invitation-only basis.
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