Size of Small Business Market – a Knol

Google just launched a new service called Knol. With Knol you can create articles on specific topics at the site. If you wish, you can allow others to contribute their thoughts and information to your Knol article (either subject to your approval, or unmoderated). Some SEO professionals are seeing that after just a few days, some Knol articles are already ranking well in the Google search results.

This morning I created a Knol on the topic of “Size of the Small Business Market.”

Size of Small Business Market - Knol

In this Knol I outlined in plain language the size of the small business market in the United States. In other words, it describes how many small businesses there are. I’ve included some statistics, but you won’t be overwhelmed with numbers, I guarantee it.

I also cover the distinction between the “SMB market” and the “small business market.” And I started to cover the different ways some vendors segment the small business market.

But I could use your help to add to and improve the article.

One example: the knol article could use more information about other designations such as “personal businesses,” “microbusinesses” and “SOHOs,” that describe specific types of small businesses. That’s just one example of how the article could be improved.

So now I invite you to contribute to the Size of Small Business Market knol, with your own comments. Feel free to add comments to that article over there. You can suggest additions to the article; clarifications of wording; and links to other helpful resources (including articles on your own sites). I will consider all helpful resources, insights and commentary for inclusion. You will be given credit for all contributions that make it into the revised article.

Get the latest headlines from Small Business Trends. Follow us on Google News.

More in: 16 Comments ▼

Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

16 Reactions
  1. Martin Lindeskog

    What does “knol” stands for? Interesting statistics regarding the amount of really small business organizations. Have you studied other countries and the percentage of small business companies and bigger organizations?

    Could you compare and contrast Knol with The first time I heard about Know was at TheAppGap and your article, Content Aggregation Sites: The Business Applications You Can’t Market Without.

  2. Hi Martin, the logo on the Knol site says a knol is “a unit of knowledge.”

    Regarding other countries and their small biz population, I have looked at some countries in the past. But it’s such a big subject that I decided to focus on the U.S. only in that article.


  3. Martin Lindeskog


    Thanks for your reply. I have good eyesight, but it didn’t see the slogan at first! 😉

    Yes, it is a big topic, so I understand that you concentrate on the United States of America. In chapter 1, America: Land of Entrepreneurship in an Entrepreneurial Era?, of Scott A. Shane’s book (The Illusions of the Entrepreneurship), you get a list in table 1.1 – Self-Employment Rate in OECD Countries (page 16):

    Turkey 30.0 (2002) 29.7 (1992)
    Mexico 29.2 (2002) 32.9 (1992)
    Korea 28.1 (2002) 26.7 (1992)
    Portugal 24.5 (2002) 26.5 (1992)
    Italy 23.6 (2002) 23.8 (1992)

    25 countries are listed. United States is at position 23 with a rate of 7.2 in year 2002 and 8.6 in year 1992.

  4. Thanks for the information about knol Anita.

    Your article was really helpful for those of us who sell products globally, particularly the point about the large number of sole business owners.

    I added a knol and haven’t worked out how to add a picture yet. I am not sure whether this is because if you live ouside the US you can’t verify the name.

  5. Theron @ Schmoozii Business Networking Community

    This looks like it could be a valuable tool for small business promotions. Does it give you any stats or allow you to use google analytics for tracking?

  6. Sharing success stories of Entrepreneurs on if you any story which can inspire some one please share it

  7. Online business opportunity

    Hi Anita,

    I am actually trying to post some articles on the historic personalities of my region. I am much exited to explore on this project. I really appreciate Google for the benefits it is providing.


  8. HI Anita,

    Great find on Knoll. From what I can see in terms of functionality, this concept is very similar to Seth Godin’s, Squidoo. (

    In using the system, have you noticed any modules or functions that separate the two services? Which do you feel is more valuable to small business owners?



  9. Hi Nate, there are some differences in layout and such between Squidoo and Knol.

    With Knol, you have the ability to invite others to contribute to an article.

    Also, Knol lets you set up what is essentially a personal profile for yourself as the author, in a Google site, to add to your personal branding. That’s kind of interesting for consultants, speakers, authors and others who depend greatly on being found online.

    Finally, there’s the home court advantage. We know that Google gives extra priority to YouTube results (Google owns YouTube) in the search results. Some are speculating that the same thing will occur here with Knol pages. At this point it’s just speculation and evidence is slim, but still you might want to get in on the ground floor, so to speak. 🙂


  10. “Some SEO professionals are seeing that after just a few days” … Google is becoming notorious for preferring its own properties in search results. Thanks for the tip. I suppose a new SEO strategy will be to create related knols stuffed with backlinks to your target site.

  11. I will be interested to see how Knol will grow and expand. It sounds like an interesting new service and a great way to gather traffic.

  12. I was just speaking at OSU and afterwards was interviewed on their radio program. One of the questions caught me off guard when they asked what I thought of KNOL.

    Sadly, my unit of knowledge on the new site was KNIL – until reading your post. Thanks Anita!

  13. Hi Anita,
    Just came back from vaca. trying to really prioritize. There seems to something new everyday to write about, add to, contribute to, etc. How do you think this fits in? To what benefit is this going to be?
    Joel Libava
    The Franchise King Blog

  14. Thanks for the post, Anita.

    This is what is confusing me: the first thing I ever read about Knol was that its pages would get no preferential treatment by Google (not going to say I believed that). A day or two after its release, Google implemented no-follow tags. If they are trusting this user-generated content as reliable, why wouldn’t they allow follow tags? I have read a few articles that I found to be completely self-serving — which ruins it for everyone that is genuinely interested in providing quality information. Either way, it will be interesting to watch Knol’s expansion.

    Have you ever taken a look at or read anything about Twine? I think they are putting their money on other sites not being semantic.

  15. Anita–good info on Knol and great comments about small business. It drives me nuts when the terms “SMB” and “small businesses” are used synonymously. And it’s amazing how often I hear that in my conversations–especially with press, analysts and software industry “experts.” You’re absolutely right that it leads to a ton of confusion for vendors and prospects.

    I’ll go to your knol and tell you how we at Infusionsoft define small businesses, based on our research and experience working with small businesses over the past several years.

  16. Hi Chad,

    Regarding your comments:

    “This is what is confusing me: the first thing I ever read about Knol was that its pages would get no preferential treatment by Google (not going to say I believed that). A day or two after its release, Google implemented no-follow tags. If they are trusting this user-generated content as reliable, why wouldn’t they allow follow tags?”

    I can’t hope to figure out what goes through the minds of people at Google. However, I can understand using the nofollow tags to prevent blatant spamming for links. Look at it this way — by nofollowing Knol links, it keeps away the worst spam, and in a way protects the site. Wouldn’t you just hate to see Knol articles that have 300 links to porn sites in them, just in some blatant attempt to get link juice?

    But even without link weight, Knol may still be very interesting and useful. If you write an article on a specific topic and that article starts ranking high in the Google results, then indirectly you can drive traffic to your site if you have a few relevant links in it back to your site. And if nothing else, an intelligent, well-written Knol can position you as an expert, regardless of the traffic factor.

    Regarding this comment:

    “Have you ever taken a look at or read anything about Twine? I think they are putting their money on other sites not being semantic.”

    I requested a Beta invite to Twine. It looks like a topical treatment of a Pligg type site. But the only thing is there are so many Pligg sites now and only a handful get any traction. Anyone else using Twine?

    — Anita