Okay, small business owners … you may have read already about the new Google “Knol” project announced today. If not, click the earlier link for Google’s announcement, and don’t miss a great Danny Sullivan rundown on Knol at Search Engine Land.
This service isn’t open to the public yet. I’m assuming that if/when it does launch, it will function like Squidoo in this sense: When you create a Knol, you’ll get to choose the URL where your Knol will live.
So, with that in mind, here’s what you should do right away if/when Google Knol launches:
1.) Sign up and create a profile. Judging from the screenshots, it appears each author will have a profile page. That’s a potential link opportunity, and Danny notes in his SEL article that Knol links might not have the “nofollow” tag.
2.) Create a Knol about your company. You’ll want to claim your space and your URL on this service (which you should also have already done on Squidoo and other similar services). Write a great Knol about your company.
3.) Create a Knol about your primary product/service. Again, you’re claiming a URL here just as in #2. Then write a great Knol about the product/service. Don’t overdo it so much that it’s spammy; as Danny’s article addresses, they’ll be watching. Be factual and educational.
4.) Create a Knol about your hometown/city. As local search continues to grow in importance, you’ll have a great weapon at your disposal if you have a pre-eminent content page covering your geographic area. Think of it this way: You know how we always say, Get links from the local chamber of commerce and other important local sites? Well, this is your chance to build that “important local site” yourself. Make sure to choose the appropriate URL … whateverthedomainis.com/yourtownhere should be great.
Okay. That’s four completely above-board, non-spammy ways to use Knol to your advantage if/when it launches. Now, if you want to be
a jerk more aggressive and don’t mind risk, here are three more:
5.) Create different Knols for all of your target cities/towns. It sounds like an invitation to spam, but hey — if you have enough time and knowledge to write 10, 20, etc., great Knols with local content, it’s not spam (in my opinion).
6.) Create a Knol using your competitor’s business name. This may or may not work. If I’m Google, I’m going to have some wording in the legal documents to try to prevent this, and promising serious repercussions for this kind of abuse. We’ll see if they do. If you get away with it, you can hold on to it as long as Google lets you claim a Knol without actually building it out. (Or you can build it out, I suppose, and write incorrect or mean stuff about them, while linking to your own business … but I’m not devious enough for that kind of thing, myself.)
7.) Create a Knol using your competitor’s product/service name. See explanation on #6.
I’ll stop there. If nothing else, be sure to do numbers one and two above, and preferably three and four also. I don’t recommend five through seven, but maybe you’re not as risk-averse as me. And maybe, if/when the service launches, there’ll be additional ways you can use it to market your expertise while being a legitimate contributor.
How else might you be able to use Google Knol?