This past December I discussed how Google’s Knol is a new Wikipedia competitor which will make it more difficult for smaller companies to rank high on search engines. If you think ranking high for specific keywords is tough today, just wait.
You see, Google Knol has been opened up to the public today and Google acknowledges that there may be numerous knols on specific topics. This could mean that search engine results could not only have entries from Wikipedia but now multiple Knol entries as well.
It is too early to know if Knol will become popular but it seems there will be a mad dash to fill Knol with content and link back to corporate sites to help build search engine prominence. It will be interesting to see how Google deals with these problems.
The company has mentioned that strong community tools will help users submit content, rate it and write reviews of knols. It remains to be seen how this changes the world of search engine marketing and whether Wikipedia becomes a big loser to knol over time.
If you want to check out the site just type in knol.google.com.