I spent a good amount of time exploring Knol when Google opened this Wikipedia like product for public some two months ago but that was it. I can’t remember a single instance where I have referred to any of the published knols in the past sixty days.
Maybe the reason is very simple – there’ aren’t enough knols available yet despite all the initial hype.
Try searching for What is Knol on Google and you’ll be surprised to see a suggestion like "Did you mean: what is knoll." Search for knol on Windows Live and the top result points to Wikipedia while the official site itself is at #5.
Like everyone else, I also perform a fairly high number of web searches every day on Google & Yahoo but cannot recall if I ever encountered a Knol on the front page of Google search results.
Why? This Google search suggests that there are around 23k knol entries in English language which is definitely not a bad number but the signal to noise ratio may not be very healthy.
Now I cannot comment on the quality of articles available in Google Knol but you’ll get enough hints if you spend five minutes at this official directory of ‘featured knols’ – lot of content doesn’t add any value or is written to boost the visibility of another website.
One article that’s featured on the front page of knol directory is lifted verbatim from Wikipedia so getting listed in the directory doesn’t add any credibility.
Finally, here’s a Technorati chart that shows the number of blogs who have mentioned ‘knol’ in their articles in the last 60 days. Ignore the first week of launch and it become obvious that even the Google loving blogosphere has forgotten knol.
Take this poll – Do You Use Google Knol?