Google to take on Wikipedia ~ Encyclopedia - Online Marketing With Google Yahoo MSN

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Google to take on Wikipedia

POLITICAL spin-doctors will be hunting for another way of massaging the truth if a new service launched by the world's most popular search engine lives up to expectations.

Google is going head-to-head with the user-generated online encyclopedia Wikipedia by developing its own repository of knowledge.

The looming battle pits the world's busiest internet site, with 260 million users, against Wikipedia, which was visited by 107 million people in October.

Dubbed the "knol" project after what Google calls a unit of knowledge, the new information source will encourage experts on a particular subject to write an authoritative article about it.

But unlike on Wikipedia, only the author of a "knol" page will be allowed to edit it. Other authors will have to set up competing pages under their own names.

The Google system is designed to overcome a major criticism of Wikipedia: that it is open to abuse because it allows anybody to edit a page.

Widespread tinkering with Wikipedia was exposed this year after the release of a software tool capable of tracing people who edited pages on the encyclopedia.

The offices of former prime minister John Howard and NSW Premier Morris Iemma were accused of tampering with entries.

The knol project, still in an invitation-only test phase, is likely to go public within months.

It follows Wikipedia's move on Google's patch with Search Wikia, an open-source search engine. Wikipedia could go live with an early test version of its search engine this week.

The company says the new search engine will avoid some of the privacy concerns levelled at Google by refusing to share data with advertisers or store users' search terms.


No comments: