The Ultimate Guide to Google Knol: 50+ Tips and Tricks

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.

Research

If you’re on the hunt for high-quality information, follow these tips to find the best.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Follow Google’s guidelines for searching: Read the search toolkit to get good ideas for finding the information you’re looking for.
  4. Write a review: Jut like ratings, reviews on Google Knol will help bring the best pieces of knowledge to the top.
  5. Read the comments: You can often find additional helpful information and resources by reading the comments at the bottom of a knol.
  6. Search on Google: For the broadest results, don’t search through Google Knol-just go to regular Google Search instead.
  7. Use Knol like a scholarly journal: Don’t be afraid to cite knols. Use them just like you would an article in a journal.
  8. Look for peer reviews: Some of the best knols will offer more authority with peer review comments.
  9. Respect the author’s copyright: Pay attention to the license that the author has granted, which is most often Creative Commons with attribution.
  10. Look for collaboration groups: Groups that contribute articles together tend to offer more authority than individual authors.
  11. Suggest new information: If you have useful information that an author hasn’t included, help them out and share your knowledge.
  12. Check out the author’s credentials: Go beyond the biography and verify that the author possesses the knowledge that they profess.
  13. Use it as a jumping-off point: Read Google Knol articles to find links to additional resources for research.
  14. 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.

Writing

Here you’ll find a number of tips for writing good knols.

  1. Update your articles: If you’ve found new information, update your knol so that it stays relevant and useful.
  2. Focus on a specific niche: The broader your topic, the bigger your competition will be, so write about a niche topic.
  3. Claim your content: Protect yourself from users that might steal your content and post it to Google Knol by preemptively creating a copy yourself.
  4. 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.
  5. Place important links high in your content: Create prominent links to the sites you want knol visitors to click on.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Carefully place important words and phrases: Give important words and phrases prominence by placing them at the beginning or end of sentences.
  9. Speed things up by importing knols: Google Knol offers the option to import knols from documents that already exist on your computer.
  10. Voice your opinion: Share your opinion-just be sure to explain why you feel that way.
  11. Don’t be spammy: Write a knol with real, helpful information instead of teasers and sales pitches.
  12. Find out what works: Look at past featured knols to see what Google and Knol users are looking for.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Offer lots of details: Knol readers are looking for authoritative content on a subject, so don’t be afraid to share everything you know.
  16. Write for various levels of expertise: Your audience is bound to be varied, so write in a way that will appeal to most readers.

Authority

These tips offer ideas for making your knols more trustworthy and authoritative.

  1. Use it to gain authority in your field: By writing a knol, you can be recognized for your expertise.
  2. 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.
  3. Provide references: Use proper citation in the knols you write.
  4. Do a name verification: Add to your trust factor by verifying that you are who you say you are.
  5. Consciously create a table of contents: Be aware of how you assign headings to create your table of contents.
  6. Avoid conversational writing: Knols are meant to be authoritative sources, so use a more formal tone.
  7. Create a knol about yourself: Take your biography a step further and make a knol about yourself.
  8. Join a collaboration group: Give yourself more authority by joining a collaboration group or creating one yourself.
  9. 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.
  10. Invite other experts: Ask other authors to contribute to your knol to make it a better resource.

Design

Follow these tips to make your knols easier to read and more visually appealing.

  1. Use New Yorker cartoons to add interest: The New Yorker grants authors the use of one cartoon from the magazine per article.
  2. Use pictures: Upload pictures, and you’ll add some autheniticity to your knol.
  3. Keep things short: Be concise in your writing for better readability.
  4. Use HTML: You can take advantage of HTML formatting in knols to include formatting, images, tables, and more.
  5. Use lots of paragraphs: Be sure to break up your writing into small, digestable chunks.
  6. Write scannable information: Use lists and formatting to make your information easier for readers to process.
  7. Make use of ordered lists: Bolded and numbered lines make your text easier for readers to understand.
  8. Use visual aids: Google Knol encourages images, tables, and HTML help to make your knol look more appealing to readers.

Community

Use these tips to make use of Google Knol’s community tools.

  1. Consider editing permissions carefully: Choose whether you’d like to allow your knol to be edited by the public, co-authors, or only yourself.
  2. Use your AdSense Account: Link knols you’ve written to your AdSense account to earn money from the articles you’ve contributed.
  3. Add a link to your website: Earn some Google juice from your knol by putting a website link in there.
  4. Be careful about open moderation: If you’re choosing to leave your knol open to public moderation, keep an eye out for spammers.
  5. Avoid writing spam: Google prohibits content that is designed only to promote businesses, products, and services.

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