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There’s a post over on SlyMarketing blog today about the difficulty of getting press attention to your latest and greatest idea – particularly the product or service you might be marketing. The difficulty he identifies is that the local newspaper is focused on something else, namely soccer! what else and the specific local area.

This is an extreme example but encapsulates not so much the difficulty of how to get press attention but rather the opportunity it opens up. This is a traffic generation strategy much loved by Andrew Reynolds, one of the UKs leading direct mail marketers.

His advice is not to write a press release and ship it off to every journal under the sun. Rather to research the publications that are big in your niche, study the style of their articles and then write an article for them. Note I said an article, not a press release.

The editors of most niche publications are desperate for copy. Something, anything to fill those empty spaces that will attract readers because it is the reader numbers that attract the advertisers that pay their salaries.

If you deliver to them an attractive article about the niche in which both their publication and your product belong – and you just happen to major on your product as being newsworthy; and it is written in their house style and is the length they are comfortable with so it fits into their usual page layouts then it is quite possible they will print the article without even editing it.

And what did you put into your article? Why, your website address, the product name, your company name and contact details so that the readers of that publication will have no difficulty at all in finding your website or picking up the phone to order. All in a nice subtle way, but just make sure they are there.

So what’s the secret? It’s the research and tailoring the article to fit easily and neatly into the editors product. After all, what editor is going to complain if a contributor makes their life so easy?

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If you don’t K.now about K.nol yet then it’s time to get with it.

Ask Google what a knol is (define: knol in your Google search bar) and Google tells you: “Knol is a project planned by Google for user-generated articles on topics ranging from “scientific concepts, to medical information, from … http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knol

– and as you can see it draws it’s information from Wikipedia.

Apparently, Knol was announced in December 2007 and was opened in beta to the public on July 23 just 6 days ago, with a few hundred articles mostly in the health and medical field.

The Google view seems to be that it wants to build a source of knowledge as an alternative to Wikipedia. Wikipedia has it’s own problems as anyone can edit the content much to the annoyance of many politicians who find their life stories being adulterated by their enemies. But it has built up a phenomenal reputation and body of knowledge. So to compete Google is going to have to pull all the stops out if it is to achieve comparable recognition.

In contrast to the peer review editing of Wikipedia, a Knol, the word Google has invented to describe their nuggets of knowledge (my phrase!) can only be edited by the author and should therefore maintain it’s integrity.

But there lies the rub. What is to prevent people publishing rubbish? The wiki concept, in its pure form, applies peer review to content so that it is constantly improved. It’s a shame that some people just can’t stop themselves being vandals and corrupting the information

Since Knol opened its doors there has been a storm of comment and no little criticism particularly in the SEO community. Why? Because there appears to be little difference between a knol and and article when used for promotional purposes in that if you are first to get an article/knol published in your subject area then Google is going to rank it and you are going to get recognition.

So the real question is whether Google was going to allow the ranking to develop naturally and according to it’s normal algorithm or whether it was going to give it’s latest baby something of a boost.

The evidence so far seems to be that Google is boosting knols up the search engine rankings above existing content. Evidence for this has been supplied by Aaron Wall, a highly respected SEO operator in a post at www.seobook.com

So it looks like there is going to be lots of argument probably for months to come as Google works to either justify it’s approach or to modify it’s algorithm so that it’s own product is downgraded. Hardly likely, is it?

From the average marketers point of view there is only one thing to do. If writing up your content and calling it a knol rather than an article is going to get you high search engine rankings then get to it. Get your knol machine in gear and start writing knols.

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