Google has announced that Google Knol is going away. But not for good.
In actuality, they’re just changing form. But there may be more to it than simply a metamorphosis. It looks like a complete branding job and Google is getting out of the picture.
It appears that Annotum intends to keep the basic format of Knol while changing its platform to WordPress. But it’s unclear what else will change beyond that. Currently, Knol pages provide a link building benefit for authors – the few – who use them. But will Annotum continue that? Will Google place a higher priority on content published on Annotum? Those questions have yet to remain unanswered.
Furthermore, Annotum seems interested in targeting the scientific and scholarly communities, which is how Knol started out. But because Google didn’t put strict guidelines on the content, much of it became commercial. And that appeared to be by design. Some people suspect that Google encouraged commercial content. Whether they did or not is neither here nor there since the Knol domain will no longer be active after May 1, 2012.
Change is something Internet marketers have come to expect. And Google giving up on products not doing well is another. There’s no real surprise here. But if you have Knol pages, then you should either import them to Annotum or download them for other uses.