Google Knol is getting a mixed reaction today with some people hating the idea and some people playing it down saying it might never launch.
Most of the criticisms come from the fact Google would be both the search engine and the content provider whereas in the past users provide the content and Google indexes it. However with the development of Google Pages, Product Search and Blogger this balance has been tipping for a while. It is a natural progression for Google to want to host content as well as search it.
Let’s look at the advantages over this kind of model. At present only Wikipedia has the kind of mass market appeal that a Googlepedia could have. Competition would no doubt get people thinking and would be good for users.
Google also would be able to create far better search results using Google hosted pages because they wouldn’t need to rely on domain data like they do with Wikipedia. At present any article on Wikipedia ranks well in Google because the domain is trusted. It doesn’t matter whether the article is good or bad. If Google hosted the article they could measure user data such as visits and ratings cross referenced with how trusted the users Google account was and figure out very quickly how good the article was.
It could be like having Wikipedia only ranking highly for pages that had high quality articles, surely a good thing all round.