Google has finally decided to kill its Knol pages. The big question is, Why?
It’s been 3 1/2 years since Google opened up its Knol pages to the public. My suspicion is the service isn’t as popular as Google initially thought it would be so they are either selling it or making some kind of deal with the new owners/developers to keep the product going under a new name.
The Google Knol home page links to a company called Annotum, which will be the new name of Knol pages starting in May 2012. It appears that Annotum will be powered by WordPress.com.
I’d say that Annotum appears to be an open source endeavor being pushed by for-profit companies like Solvitor LLC and Crowd Favorite. They appear to target scientific industries and academic or scholarly organizations.
Nothing is wrong with any of that. But it makes me wonder whether the new face of Knol – Annotum – will provide any value to the average small business owner. At this point, I’d have to say, it doesn’t look like it will. But it could be too early to tell. We’ll just have to wait until they provide more information on their intentions. But it appears that come May 1, 2012, Google will be out of the picture.