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Yahoo Answers

 5:27 pm on Dec 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yahoo Inc. unveiled a service Wednesday that allows users to get their questions answered online for free by volunteers.
The feature, called Yahoo Answers, gives a human touch to what has typically been the exclusive role of the Web portal's search engine.

Yahoo Answers story [sfgate.com]

Yahoo Answers [answers.yahoo.com]

[edited by: engine at 6:08 pm (utc) on Dec. 8, 2005]



 5:39 pm on Dec 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

wow. Many questions already have answers. This is going to be amazing, like a huge forum where youy get to ask anything.

cyril kearney

 5:47 pm on Dec 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think Yahoo has a winner with the answers site.

The questions page is simple and straightforward. I expect lots of kids will be getting homework answers here as well adults solving problems.


 5:51 pm on Dec 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> I expect lots of kids will be getting homework answers here as well adults solving problems.

yp, and clicking on ads /signing up for Y! services. It's much friendlier than G groups


 5:59 pm on Dec 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Wondir [wondir.com] has been offering what appears to be the same service as Yahoo! Answers for a while.


 6:04 pm on Dec 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ya but it takes a big name like Yahoo to kick off something like an answers service.

What is really interesting in the points model is that it promotes complete activity, not just answering questions. Even choosing the best answer to your question gives you more than double the points than answering a question. This is interesting because it is spurring activity to build a community.

While I won't be answers any questions on the service (hundreds of hours of work for a featured spot on the homepage? no thanks). I will certainly be using the service to answer my questions (cheaper than google answers) and to find good article ideas.


 6:10 pm on Dec 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Finally! "what is the airspeed velocity of a coconut laden swallow?"


 6:12 pm on Dec 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm glad for the feature. It should work, I hope it works, but a similar concept did not take over the search market in ask Jeeves, did it?


 6:37 pm on Dec 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Wow, Yahoo is really getting after the user driven content space.

Bad news for the Wondir guys - or maybe not. If Yahoo Answers takes off, maybe one of the other big guys will decide they need a similar service.


 6:41 pm on Dec 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Taking the time to answer questions related to a product you are promoting could have it's benefits.
(as a motivation for experts to be willing to help out)


 6:47 pm on Dec 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's close to Wondir, but even closer to Answerbag [answerbag.com].


 8:25 pm on Dec 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Boy, now maybe we can get some answers about our Yahoo PPC campaigns! Or maybe about why entire servers get dropped from the Yahoo algorithm results! Or maybe ... ahhh ... I see it's not for questions about Yahoo. Never mind.


 8:38 pm on Dec 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

they should implement the same thing for customer service related issues.


 9:28 pm on Dec 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

And talk about $$ here. :) You can get rewarded with cash for answers too. Now this gets you reading doesn't it.

"Get rewarded for your best answers with cash
If you have a Yahoo! Publisher Network ID, click below and login:"

The caveat... coming soon.


 10:10 pm on Dec 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sounds a lot like Google's Answers service. But G has an army of screened, paid folks to answer questions. Sounds like a tradeoff. Y will get more folks to ask questions since it is free, but G will provide better answers since the researchers are paid.


 10:14 pm on Dec 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

It doesn't seem like yahoo answers the questions themselves, but people visiting should do it.


 10:43 pm on Dec 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

wow. Many questions already have answers. This is going to be amazing, like a huge forum where youy get to ask anything.

You mean like the Straight Dope Message Board, which has been around for nigh onto a decade? Or...usenet?


 12:06 am on Dec 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't get it. First question I saw got an answer from an idiot basically trolling. So it's like usenet in a q&a format?


 12:25 am on Dec 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

hmmm this is being done in the UK very well by UK Net Guide called www.theanswerbank.co.uk


 12:35 am on Dec 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've asked 10 questions and it is pretty obvious that in its current form it is only good for the most superficial of questions.

Any questions requiring indepth knowledge get answered by morons who write 2 sentenses to get the points.


 1:33 am on Dec 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yahoo put nofollow tags on outgoing links in answers...funny. Google's solution is to not allow href tags but it used to be a good source for links.


 4:24 am on Dec 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I thought they have had this for years?!? I have it on my My.yahoo.com interface. Maybe they are just now marketing it..

My question for Yahoo Answers is how to get back into Yahoo LOL..


 4:28 am on Dec 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Oops I am thinking of ask.yahoo.com not answers... its basically the same thing I guess except the answers is marketed more towards the google answers..

I have had the ask.yahoo.com on my.yahoo.com for a few years now they get some pretty interesting stuff on there.


 4:32 am on Dec 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

isn't this a bit like experts exchange started out?


 7:20 am on Dec 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

there are many of these sites already.

whenever i have a question about cell phones, i go to MobileQandA - they allow the community to answer but also have inhouse experts.

Yahoo's advantage is that they have the traffic - from the moment of launching, they can get enough exposure for their new project, that they get plenty of questions, and also people willing to answer.

what will be interesting is whether people prefer using niche sites for asking questions and getting answers (webmasterworld for internet related questions as an example) or whether the general public will use the major portals for Q&A.

I think in the medium to long run, the major sites such as Yahoo will attract large numbers of questions and answers, but people who want more indepth answers will prefer to use the niche sites (such as WW), as the quality of the answers will be far higher.

GrendelKhan TSU

 9:02 am on Dec 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

sorry all...but all the other sites you guys are referencing for comparison are off target.

well...or at least if you want the true direct 1to1 insipiration comparison site... you need look no further than yahoo itself...

or YAHOO KOREA specifically. (or any Korean portal).

I'll be my n#t that this is...FINALLY... the first real port of "KNOWLEDGE SEARCH", which YAHOO KOREA has been doing for years in the Asia and I've been posting about in the Asia Pacific forums for about as long. Its called "Knowledge search" (KS), in Korea, but the name "answers" serves nicely for the US. Looking briefly at Answers, it CLEAR they are using the model that has been established for yeeears in Korea--adjusted a bit for the US market of course. I can go over the differences (korean stuff still has more bells and whistles) some other time. Buts its basically just the Yahoo Korea's Knowledge Search in the US. (the points thing is the kicker).

background: "Knowledge Search"/answers is THE dominate kind of search BY FaaaaAR in Korea, and dominated by the portal Naver, who "invented" the incredibly successful system. Web search is no where near the most popular kind of search in Korea (which is another reason why Google Korea has only 0.38 of the search market here +_+).

There are MILLIONS of Q&A in the KS in Korea and thousands upon thousands added everyday. and this is JUST korea.

I actually always wondered why Yahoo never released this stateside since they've doing this in Korea for years....and when I talked to a Yahoo exec about at an SEM conference years back, he said it was something they are watching closely and have a lot of interest in brining back to the US (now that its out, I can say that freely). I suppose they were just getting it down.
(btw, Yahoo Korea KS is only mildly successful only because they were late into the game very very far behind Naver, who has the lion's share of the search market).

IMO this is the best move yahoo has made in years. Well done. FINALLY. (and still have no idea why they didn't do it earlier). I bet it will very quickly take a prime spot in the search choices (web, answers, image, etc?) once it fleshes out a bit and comes outta beta. Again, in korea it is usually the FIRST/default search.

the only major hurdle to KS in the US I see is that it could be toooo spread thin as the Us and English markets are so spread out (as opposed to Korea which acts much like a LARGE LOCAL market/niche). But that's probably one of the reasons its BETA anyway...so once it fills up a bit it won't be an issue.

I will straight up say, KS is INCREDIBLY useful and (in Kroean) better (I'd say 80% of the time) for finding what you are looking for via search.....certainly when it comes to TACIT information, which standard web search falls the most short on.

The only practical downside for me is that it may take away from a similar thing I've been doing on my forum site if gets big enough. lol. :p

so, if anyone is curious how this may develop into the future....what the history is...and how it many change the face of search (as in how people have to advertise and how this affects SEO--and it has SWEEEPING implications--trust me on that), then I recommend checking out the Asia forums on WebmasterWorld about this stuff. EG: here's a oldie but goody: to alternate SERPS and beyond [webmasterworld.com]
some other links here:
but there is a ton more about it if you dig. (sorry I'm too lazy :P)

you won't be disappointed.

Let me emphasize that point again, that the Korean market is a crystal ball for what's to come stateside. and Answers and likewise other changes to come will have HUGE affect on how SEO and SEM in general is handled. So far this has been true for many of yahoo's recents changes here and there (like the introduction of the Buzz log)). Getting the background can help you get the edge in getting ranking before this hits big time. I assume that's why many people on WebmasterWorld in the first place. no?

GrendelKhan TSU

 9:19 am on Dec 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

btw...if you haven't noticed. I'm psyched! I've been waiting YEARS for this. :D

the more I look at the more I know its just their Korean knowledge search done for the US.

like I said, quality control will be an early issue for them...but the checks and balance system works is very developed and down pack now here, so I suspect it will in for US version as well as they have plenty of experience with it from Korea. Answering is questions is very addicting and its self-moderating ... that's the beauty of it.

again, check the thread I referred to earlier. also,

interesting history: I understand that Naver first start filling content for this by literally hiring a hundred or so part-timers to ask and answer questions. sounds crude...but it worked (note: last I looked naver has 68% of the search market in Korea.....number has about 23% +_+)

this could be first real threat and blow back at google I've seen since big G started being "the" search engine. Google can adapt G answers to this for sure... but in the "interactive"-community-search game the first to party tends to be the winner (from what I've seen out here). its not about crawling as it it about just getting people to actually post stuff. once critical mass is there...its hard to start up with that as number two.

GrendelKhan TSU

 9:37 am on Dec 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think in the medium to long run, the major sites such as Yahoo will attract large numbers of questions and answers, but people who want more indepth answers will prefer to use the niche sites (such as WW), as the quality of the answers will be far higher.

1. that's what the incentives/points are for. attacting QUALITY and in dept answers. people here right just as long and indepth responses to Knowledge search (aka Answers) as they do on forums. its even "status"/internet creditbility thing for many.

2. Cart before the horse. They've already succeeded in many ways if it the situation you describe comes about. That is, people will look to Yahoo Answers FIRST to get whatever results or information...and THEN if they still need more in detail (as you said) will go elsewhere. Peoples responses (if quality) is almost always better than a bot. (Such is the case here.)

Naver KS is the DEFAULT search cause in the end...humans will always be more accurate than a bot, ESPECIALLY for information search that not just a web site (ie: looking for a specific company's web site...which a crawler can do better with from what I've seen in Korea).

as I said, in my other post joking...I'll say again more seariously...

this can be a real threat, or at least, have a very affect on independent forums and community sites. By no means is it a replacement, as it is not in korea as well, but its naive to think it won't have its long-reaching consequences to sites, even WebmasterWorld.

eg: if search for "web master tips for optimizing my site" I will proably come up with plenty of WebmasterWorld threads.
cool. But if down the road, many people search at Answers first (which they will - ex, if yahoo makes it the default or second tab search engine cause it has "enough data"), it comes directly up with a detailed reply (rated highly by other members) and perhaps a couple more replies saying "check out WebMasterWorld.com as well for more in depth replies".

some people won't go an further than that. some people will check out the link to WebmasterWorld. but already you are losing people that normally would have comee here directly.

this is just a SMALL example of how it works here.

KS or answers, is unmatched for getting access to TACIT knowledge. period. because its people. dmoz is a pale pale pale comparison. Once that hits critical mass, its going to be tough to get to beat or dislodge from the market (unless some paradigm shift happens in search---like mindreading or true natural language whatever. lol).

again, web search is still useful and great for many things(in Kroea) but there is a reason KS is first and web search ofen the 7th or lower in useage in the types of search here. its just better.

I'm very excited for seeing this become a reality....and very bummed at how this takes a lot of the steam outta my sails for things I've been doign for my small communities. lol.

it comes down the people....if they ask good questions and reply well (like they do around here), it WILL be the next search revolution. I guess we just ahve to wait and see how well the US market takes to the payment/points system.

let's just say though....I'm buying considering buying some yahoo stock over GOOG for the first time in years.


 2:39 pm on Dec 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> Yahoo's advantage is that they have the traffic

Bingo. Plus, you have oen site that answers all types of questions. They might not as detailed as some forums, but for basic questions should be enough


 4:55 pm on Dec 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I still think Google Answers is a more reliable service with a better business model. I think Yahoo! needs to start either ramping up their current services or start innovating new ideas.

This 47 message thread spans 2 pages: 47 ( [1] 2 > >
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