Make money with Google's Wikipedia-killer

Knol launched

If you're looking for a way to start writing for money, Google's so-called Wikipedia-killer offers a new option.

Its new Knol — short for 'a unit of knowledge' — site is similar to Wikipedia in that anyone can write an article on (almost) anything. But where Wikipedia is a collective endeavor where anyone can both write and edit pieces, Knol focuses on preserving ownership of articles.

That ownership makes for two key differences when comparing Knol with Wikipedia. First, authors can choose 'Moderated collaboration' for their work, which allows them to vet any proposed changes to their article. And second, authors can opt to show Google ads, and thereby share in their revenue.

If you have a Gmail account, it takes about 30 seconds to start writing a knol. If you do, you can also choose open collaboration, where any signed-in user can edit the knol. And knols won't display revenue-generating ads by default. To get them, you'll need to create an AdSense account or tie in an existing account.

Google's post announceming the move says that the company expects "multiple knolls on the same subject, and we think that is good".

I'm curious to see where Knol will go, and whether anyone will make any real money from its ads. I disagree with TechCrunch's Jason Kincaid, who writes that the system will draw many posts on huge topics like Barack Obama, but fail to draw articles on less popular topics. It instead encourages the opposite, since a well-written post on an obscure subject would stand out much more than a me-too article on a politician. The authoritative post would stand a better chance of showing up in search results, and thereby drawing ad revenue, for a longer period of time.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Erik Larkin

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?