Like Wikipedia without the anonymity, Google Knol is turning into an excellent resource for both researchers and experts alike. It offers information consumers a platform for finding encyclopedia-like articles written by experts, and a place for these experts to write said articles. Read on to learn how you can make the most of this useful new tool.
If you’re on the hunt for high-quality information, follow these tips to find the best.
- Read biographies: If you’re looking for authoritative information, check out a knol writer’s biography to determine how qualified they are to write about the topic.
- Use ratings: Let other readers know when you’ve found a good resource, or something you can’t use at all by taking advanage of the ratings system on Google Knol.
- Follow Google’s guidelines for searching: Read the search toolkit to get good ideas for finding the information you’re looking for.
- Write a review: Jut like ratings, reviews on Google Knol will help bring the best pieces of knowledge to the top.
- Read the comments: You can often find additional helpful information and resources by reading the comments at the bottom of a knol.
- Search on Google: For the broadest results, don’t search through Google Knol-just go to regular Google Search instead.
- Use Knol like a scholarly journal: Don’t be afraid to cite knols. Use them just like you would an article in a journal.
- Look for peer reviews: Some of the best knols will offer more authority with peer review comments.
- Respect the author’s copyright: Pay attention to the license that the author has granted, which is most often Creative Commons with attribution.
- Look for collaboration groups: Groups that contribute articles together tend to offer more authority than individual authors.
- Suggest new information: If you have useful information that an author hasn’t included, help them out and share your knowledge.
- Check out the author’s credentials: Go beyond the biography and verify that the author possesses the knowledge that they profess.
- Use it as a jumping-off point: Read Google Knol articles to find links to additional resources for research.
- Take advantage of searchable full text: If you’re looking for specific information inside of a knol, just search the text to find what you need.
Here you’ll find a number of tips for writing good knols.
- Update your articles: If you’ve found new information, update your knol so that it stays relevant and useful.
- Focus on a specific niche: The broader your topic, the bigger your competition will be, so write about a niche topic.
- Claim your content: Protect yourself from users that might steal your content and post it to Google Knol by preemptively creating a copy yourself.
- Consider Google’s search guidelines when you’re writing: Check out Google’s search toolkit to plan keywords and phrases that your knol will be found with.
- Place important links high in your content: Create prominent links to the sites you want knol visitors to click on.
- Write well: This should be obvious, but your work will be much more respected if you pay attention to grammar, spelling, and staying on-topic.
- Don’t plan for constant updates: If the topic you want to write about is better suited for a blog that can be updated on a regular basis, write a blog instead.
- Carefully place important words and phrases: Give important words and phrases prominence by placing them at the beginning or end of sentences.
- Speed things up by importing knols: Google Knol offers the option to import knols from documents that already exist on your computer.
- Voice your opinion: Share your opinion-just be sure to explain why you feel that way.
- Don’t be spammy: Write a knol with real, helpful information instead of teasers and sales pitches.
- Find out what works: Look at past featured knols to see what Google and Knol users are looking for.
- Don’t stop with just one knol: Write as many knols as you want about different subjects-they’ll all be linked to your name.
- Pay attention to your titles: Think hard about what you’d like to assign for your titles, because they play a big part in whether or not people will visit your knol.
- Offer lots of details: Knol readers are looking for authoritative content on a subject, so don’t be afraid to share everything you know.
- Write for various levels of expertise: Your audience is bound to be varied, so write in a way that will appeal to most readers.
These tips offer ideas for making your knols more trustworthy and authoritative.
- Use it to gain authority in your field: By writing a knol, you can be recognized for your expertise.
- Write a biography: Google Knol will require that you create a biography, but make sure that you’re filling out an adequate one to pique interest and further cement your status as an authority.
- Provide references: Use proper citation in the knols you write.
- Do a name verification: Add to your trust factor by verifying that you are who you say you are.
- Consciously create a table of contents: Be aware of how you assign headings to create your table of contents.
- Avoid conversational writing: Knols are meant to be authoritative sources, so use a more formal tone.
- Create a knol about yourself: Take your biography a step further and make a knol about yourself.
- Join a collaboration group: Give yourself more authority by joining a collaboration group or creating one yourself.
- Seek out reviews and references: Your knols become more trustworthy and authoritative with the more support you have, so be sure to ask your friends and colleagues to offer comments and additional information.
- Invite other experts: Ask other authors to contribute to your knol to make it a better resource.
Follow these tips to make your knols easier to read and more visually appealing.
- Use New Yorker cartoons to add interest: The New Yorker grants authors the use of one cartoon from the magazine per article.
- Use pictures: Upload pictures, and you’ll add some autheniticity to your knol.
- Keep things short: Be concise in your writing for better readability.
- Use HTML: You can take advantage of HTML formatting in knols to include formatting, images, tables, and more.
- Use lots of paragraphs: Be sure to break up your writing into small, digestable chunks.
- Write scannable information: Use lists and formatting to make your information easier for readers to process.
- Make use of ordered lists: Bolded and numbered lines make your text easier for readers to understand.
- Use visual aids: Google Knol encourages images, tables, and HTML help to make your knol look more appealing to readers.
Use these tips to make use of Google Knol’s community tools.
- Consider editing permissions carefully: Choose whether you’d like to allow your knol to be edited by the public, co-authors, or only yourself.
- Use your AdSense Account: Link knols you’ve written to your AdSense account to earn money from the articles you’ve contributed.
- Add a link to your website: Earn some Google juice from your knol by putting a website link in there.
- Be careful about open moderation: If you’re choosing to leave your knol open to public moderation, keep an eye out for spammers.
- Avoid writing spam: Google prohibits content that is designed only to promote businesses, products, and services.
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