I just had to do a little more digging into Knol. The site is so new that I may have made judgments about pages being indexed without knowing the whole story. The page structure is so clean and in true Google fashion there are no meta descriptions or keywords. I was baffled why a page constructed in the basic would not be indexed.
Needless to say I was pleased to see a post describing how Ryan Moulton’s How To Backpack knol was already showing up in Googles search results at the number 3 spot just days after it was published. Wow! Thats pretty damn fast. Now I’m aware that some think the Google will favor it’s own content and rate it higher and it could be just that, but I think it’s too early to tell. I’m kind of partial to the idea that Google may be showing us what they want to see but who knows.
Back to backpacking -The first thing I noticed about this knol is the amount of content that Ryan has put onto it. Currently 8 tables with titles that are focus on several aspects of backpacking and excellent use of related terms associated with backpacking; what to wear, how to hike, where to camp, et. Latent Semantic Indexing anyone?
The second thing I noticed; there are no meta descriptions or keywords, only a title meta and the title is actually appended with the authors name (- a knol by). Not much help in the old school SEO basics here.
Third thing – The front page of Knol. Using
meta name="robots" content="index,follow" /
I wonder what it takes to be featured on the front page?
Back to the post describing the serp’s – at the time of writing, Ryan’ knol was listed in the number 3 spot for the phrase ‘how to backpack’. I just did a check and the knol now sits at number 1.
Digging deeper using SEO Elite I discover Yahoo reporting 46 incoming links (Blogsearch shows 53). Most of the anchor text is Knol or Google Knol and only four or five actually have the keyword backpack in the text. From looking at the screen shot below you can see the domain linking to the knol as well as the anchor text. BTW- Most of the incoming links are from blogs, which is expected since the knol is being used as an example all over the Internet.
What keywords are being used?
Like I said, the knol ranks #1 in Google for both broad match (7,810,000 competing) and exact match (30,100 competing) for – How To Backpack; according to Gtrend’s you can only expect 21 visits for being in the #1 spot for this phrase. Not much hope there. For the phrase backpacking,: expected traffic from #1 position – 8,917, the knol ranks 21st.
I also generated a keyword list using the phrase “backpacking” in Gtrends then ran all those keyword phrase through SEO Elite. From a list of 100 phrases, none of them returned results for Ryan’s Knol. You can use Wordtracker Gtrends to generate the list of keywords I used.
My conclusion to all this is , well….undecided. Although Ryan’s knol is ranking ok, the keywords it may be ranking for have little traffic, at least from what I have checked. I have questions though, like – What is influencing the SERP’s? Google?
I will continue to observe the Knol’s that make it to featured status – I might learn something.