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Nov 04, 2008
How To

Google Knol Primer Part II: Strategies for Managing Content, Interacting with Community to Get Seen

SUMMARY: Editorial content has to be seen to have an impact. Content can’t build credibility with your clients, drive more traffic to your website, or attract new customers unless it attracts an audience.

In this second installment of a two-part series, discover strategies for managing your content on Knol – a new Google platform for content that can give you some quick search rankings. Includes best ways to avoid revision problems, get the community to react to your content, and reap measurable results.
Knol management

Your knols will require attention once they’re published – especially if you’re collaborating with the community. Knol readers can submit reviews, toss out other comments, and make and suggest edits. Here are a few details to watch out for after you’ve published a knol:

Editing and interacting

Any of your approved authors are allowed to make immediate changes to your knol. Keep in mind that every time a published knol is changed and saved, a new “version” is created.

All readers can see the older versions, so it’s especially important to pay careful attention to your revisions – they can affect your reliability quotient. Some revisions can be viewed as negative, says Rodney Liber, Director of Web Services, The Turn Group. He’s seen people alter numbers without explanation. Failing to provide a reason might invite suspicion.

“If you, without doing your research, put a quote in there, referencing a piece of information, and that information was correct, and you go back and do a revision and completely change what you put in there, people are going to question the credibility of the article,” Liber says.

o Unpublishing bad versions

You can unpublish a past version of a knol if you decide that it is unfit for public consumption. While no one, other than your authors and owners, will be able to read the unpublished versions, Knol will reveal to all that a version has been removed.

o Responding to comments and reviewers

Be courteous to the people who constructively interact with you on Knol. If they’ve taken the time to comment on your article, review it or provide a suggestion, acknowledge their effort and, perhaps, return the favor.

It is also possible to have less-constructive interactions with users. Spammers and foul-mouthed commentators are just a few of the problems you might run into. Mercilessly report these violators to Knol’s operators and try to get their content removed from your pages.

o Deleting

Be absolutely sure that you want to delete a knol before doing so -- there is no getting it back, according to Knol help.

Taking advantage of event notification

You can program Knol to alert you when the following events happen to your knols:
o New revision
o Submitted suggestion
o Published review
o Comment made
o Reply to your comment

Set up to be alerted to all of these actions. Your name and your photo are on your knolls, and you should be familiar what is being published below them. These alerts will also help keep you active in the community.

Finding ways to measure despite a lack of tracking capabilities

In part, you will be managing your knols blindly. Knol does not tell owners which knols are more popular than others. You might be able to come up with an educated guess of the draw your knolls have by looking at the number of comments, suggestions and reviews they attract.

Scott Blair, Director of Ecommerce, Sun and Ski Sports, can track how much traffic Knol drives to his website with a basic analytics package. But he can’t track individual articles. Liber is able to track metrics as complicated as bounce rates on his individual knols.

Interacting with the community

Knol is not designed to be a one-way conversation between authors and audiences: it’s a community. Getting into the collaborative spirit should drive more traffic to your knols and elsewhere. Below are descriptions of Knol’s more interactive features and some tips for using them.

o Reviewing

Writing a review of another knol is a great way to show your expertise without writing an entire knol. To do it correctly, however, you need to be more than a subject-matter expert. You also need to be a pretty good knol writer because you’ll have to critique both aspects of the article. It’s better to hold off writing reviews until you’re more comfortable with the community’s preferences and style.

o Soliciting reviews

A great way to benefit from experts’ credibility is to get them to review your knols. Be careful, though. They don’t have to write a positive review. And once it’s published, you cannot delete it.

Knol has a tool that will email a review request to experts of your choice. You can do this even before your knol is published.

o Commenting

One of the easiest ways to interact in the community is to comment. Try to keep your interactions as professional and pleasant as possible. Provide constructive criticism only. Definitely comment on articles related to your industry, but do not limit yourself to them -- comment on any type of article you wish.

“We never talk poorly about anybody, including the direct competition, because you weaken yourself by doing that,” says Damien Patton, Founder and CEO, Find Any Floor.

Writing positive comments may help drive traffic to your knols. After all, your comments reveal your picture and a link to your profile page, which contains your list of knols.

o Editing, making suggestions and rating

These are three other content-based ways to interact on Knol. Make use of them. Your actions will enrich the community and help drive traffic to your knols.

Marketers’ take on the platform

The marketers we talked to have a wait-and-see strategy with Knol. They’re intrigued by the idea and are aware that it has been launched by Google – one of the largest presences on the Internet.

“It’s not really having a lot of return on investment at this point, but is something that we feel there is a lot of potential with,” says Antonio Centeno, President, A Tailored Suit. “We’re hoping that the stuff we have turns to gold later on.”

Here are some benefits other marketers are seeing:

-> High rankings and targeted traffic

“Out of the five articles I’ve put on there, if you take the title of the article and Google it, two to three out of the five bring up that article on the first results page…We’ve already received calls off the articles we have written, which has thus produced business,” Liber says.

-> Boost in company reliability, consumer confidence

“I’ve heard back from several people who had not heard about us [until Knol], and we got several advertisers on our site because of our knols,” Patton says.

“It’s also helped by when we talk to other foreign professionals who may have not heard of us yet,” he says. “When you show them that we have these articles up on Google Knol it gives us credibility. Right or wrong, because anybody could produce a knol, but when they go onto Knol and when they see the articles we’ve written and how they’re written, we get instant credibility. Hence, the reason we have 28 today and another 16 on the way.”

Links related to this article:

Google Knol Primer: Strategies for Writing Content, Getting Started, Designing Layout

How to Get Your Company Listed on Wikipedia, Part 1

How to Get Your Company Listed on Wikipedia, Part 2

SEO Tactics to Quadruple Lead Gen - Link-Building, Keyword Targeting & Landing Page Tests

How to Get Better SEO Traffic: 4 Strategies to Increase Leads 58%

Creative Commons Licenses

A Tailored Suit

The Turn Group

Sun and Ski Sports




See Also:

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