Why does Google Knol’s search suck so much?

By Deane Barker on September 6, 2008

Update: See the comments. Google stopped by to say their search was temporarily broken and it’s fixed now.

Has anyone else realized that the search feature on Google Knol really, really sucks? I don’t get it. Did Google forget everything it knew about search when they created this thing?

I searched for “content management system” (without quotes). Here were the first five results:

Um…what? At the same time, these titles were NOT returned:

I put “content management system” in quotes, and the results got a little better, but not by much. The first three results are still unrelated, but the “Nine reasons…” knol becomes result number four and Joomla! shows up at number five.

I don’t get it. I think Google knows a couple things about search, but you wouldn’t know it from this mess.



  1. You caught Knol during a period when we had updated our site and broken our search relevance. Sorry! It is better now. The search for [content management system] retrieves more reasonable results.

    What is a Content Management System? Knowledge Management – Back to Basic Principles Business Service Management Knol Terms of Service Content Strategy

    Cheers, Michael McNally

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