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Google Closes Google Answers Service
engine




msg:3171879
 11:46 am on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Later this week Google will stop accepting new questions at [answers.google.com...]

They will stop accepting answers by the end of the year, however, the existing questions and answers will remain.

 

Lexur




msg:3171887
 11:51 am on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google did something wrong?
Google failed in any trial?

How many more services are still in beta?

jstar




msg:3171949
 1:09 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Bummer. I've been a Google Answers Researcher since 2002. It was fun for a while, but my life just got too busy to spend hours researching and writing the answer to a question for $1.50.

handsome rob




msg:3172198
 3:59 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

>How many more services are still in beta?

Gotta keep inflating that stock price somehow.

walkman




msg:3172212
 4:04 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

can I still ask there why they closed it...for $2.50? :)

well, they tried. There's no shame in trying and not everything works out as planned.

TinkyWinky




msg:3172239
 4:16 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

If they promoted it some more and allowed users to build up their own 'credits' by answering in return....

The only recent Yahoo win isn't it? ;)

rj87uk




msg:3172246
 4:25 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

heard of it, never saw it never used it.

europeforvisitors




msg:3172258
 4:36 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

>How many more services are still in beta?
Gotta keep inflating that stock price somehow.

Since when is it dishonorable to test or launch new products? Companies like General Mills, 3M, and Microsoft do it all the time. Some new products succeed; some don't. (And it isn't a biggie when they don't, unless the product is New Coke or Edsel and the corporation has flushed untold millions of product-development and advertising dollars down the drain.)

alexdino1




msg:3172272
 4:47 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)


Since when is it dishonorable to test or launch new products? Companies like General Mills, 3M, and Microsoft do it all the time. Some new products succeed; some don't. (And it isn't a biggie when they don't, unless the product is New Coke or Edsel and the corporation has flushed untold millions of product-development and advertising dollars down the drain.)

Who said anything about it being dishonorable? Someone is being a little defensive here. The Google faithful are still strong and vocal...although not as strong as they once were. (I used to be one, but am now in the middle.)

I am wondering why they have stopped this service. I thought it was great. Shouldn't something like this be able to run itself and not take much of an investment? I guess I do not understand the model as well as I thought. Can someone explain to me why it takes more resources than I am thinking it does?

europeforvisitors




msg:3172295
 5:09 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Who said anything about it being dishonorable?

You must have missed the quote in my post about "gotta keep inflating the stock price somehow."

And what's with the snide remark about the "Google faithful"? One doesn't have to be "faithful" to Google (or 3M, or General Mills, or Twentieth Century Fox, or National Widgetco) to grasp the simple fact that companies launching new products seldom bat a thousand.

handsome rob




msg:3172354
 5:41 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you want to get wrecked, go to wikipedia's list of google products and take a shot every time you read the words "beta", "labs", or "unknown". Frankly I have no problem with it... I've made some nice change off GOOG. No need to put on war paint, fella.

rohitj




msg:3172360
 5:46 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

There's nothing wrong with beta products. Last I checked, they have made lots of money off beta products. The term is used rather loosely -- and might just be a way of saying "hey, this product could change drastically...or be shutdown if we can't make it work."

rstein68




msg:3172391
 6:04 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

It seems weird to close it. How much does it take to operate? Surely Google has the money to keep it operating as it has been. Perhaps this is a PR thing and they will launch a new, better service? This model could work if Google either implemented a points/rewards system or ponied up some cash per answer.

weeks




msg:3172400
 6:08 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Back in the day, the New York Times tried to build a "knowledge management" network called Abuzz. Here, people answered questions posted in various categories and, if you signed up, you'd get an email about a question.

The answers were searchable. The income was to come from ads, including selling some areas to sponsors. For example, if the area was on webmastering, it might be sponsored by Dreamweaver or Adwords.

NYT paid $13 million for the software which was only slightly more sophisticated than this board you are on now. The network was shut down eventually. But, later, NYT purchased About.com, which offers the expert-answers much like Google answers. About.com (which started out as the MiningCompany.com) is turning into the Times more impressive online units, income-wise. But, only after millions have been lost.

joeduck




msg:3172410
 6:13 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Makes sense to me as consistent with Google being a place to find and monetize content rather than produce it. In some ways content is becoming pawn rather than king as the big players let us info serfs produce the content they can monetize with contextual and other ads and revenue sharing.

BigDave




msg:3172434
 6:29 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Unlike a lot of Google's betas, Answers seems like it would take a good sized staff to administer. It probably was not making enough to really cover those costs.

On the other hand, Google finance is just a chunk of code that can sit on a server, with little or no human intervention. If someone decided to build it up with some of their 20% time, it might improve. I doubt they will ever cut a beta that takes such little effort.

Gmail beta obviously takes a good sized crew, and is constantly getting new features. It isn't a 20% project. The difference is that Google is probably getting very nice cash flow from it, if not actual profit.

rohitj




msg:3172439
 6:35 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

one of the biggest critcisms of google is that it doesn't have the portal effect, like yahoo. There aren't things other than search until recently -- gmail, calendar, maps, etc.

To some degree, many of the little betas, in aggregate, can help create this portal stickiness. But Answers has been around long enough though where such benefits were likely measurable. It then just came down to a basic business decision + adding up the utility it brings to the loyal user base. Both of these numbers were probably shockingly low.

europeforvisitors




msg:3172457
 6:49 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

one of the biggest critcisms of google is that it doesn't have the portal effect, like yahoo...

Or Excite?

Portals are sooooooo 1990s. :-)

joeduck




msg:3172489
 7:14 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Excellent points BigDave.

With the best contextual monetizing and the best search Google has been able to follow the money *and* improve their core compentencies. When (if?!) Yahoo or MSN can effectively compete with better monetizing of their traffic things should get very interesting. I think Google is (smartly) trying to keep focus on the big money rather than the little things.

ispy




msg:3172533
 7:44 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Never even heard of it, too busy using Yahoo Answers.

Hugene




msg:3172543
 7:51 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Never heard of this product, strange.

hdpt00




msg:3172703
 9:47 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Travel content sites are sooooooo 1980's. :-).

puchscooter




msg:3172707
 9:52 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you want to get wrecked, go to wikipedia's list of google products and take a shot every time you read the words "beta", "labs", or "unknown"

You just made my day...I am going home to test this now. Will update

europeforvisitors




msg:3172762
 10:36 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

On the other hand, Google finance is just a chunk of code that can sit on a server, with little or no human intervention.

Good point. Google prizes "scalable" solutions, and Google Answers certainly doesn't fit under that heading.

I think Google Answers was a noble concept ("Hey, let's make it easy for people with expertise to make some money doing the kind of research that reference librarians do"), but it never had the potential to be anything but a tiny niche product for Google.

brakkar




msg:3173202
 9:06 am on Nov 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google answers simply got killed by yahoo answers. Period.

GrendelKhan TSU




msg:3173235
 9:57 am on Nov 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

ahem...
Yahoo! Answers will decimate Google Answers...

dont' think that's even in question (at least it isn't for me).^^

=P

Yahoo Answers history and discussion on WebmasterWorld (Yahoo Answers will crush Google Answers) [webmasterworld.com]

Answers is one thing, but been trying to spread the word about Knowledge search (the original inspiration for Yahoo Answers) for years AND as it is THE way to go here in korea (and would potentially be in the US as well...eventually, imo) but certainly would crush Google answers.

If you want to check out some more of the history of the system, the TRUE roots of Answers (there are more if you search for em)....

Alternate SERPS and beyond (incl. Knowledge search) [webmasterworld.com]
Knowledge Search [webmasterworld.com]
Yahoo Answers aka Knowledge Search (Korea) [webmasterworld.com]

Also, I will say it again...
Answers is something that should be watched.
...not only as the Google Answers killer, but as even as something that could challenge WEB SEARCH itself in terms of popularity or default usage (assuming "sematic web" or something doesn't come out first). Yup, I said it.
<< runs for cover.

It happened here in Korea...and its not showing signs of letting up there.

This bit from the other thread sums it up...
This was so good, it basically killed web search in Korea.

Once the incentive system is fully realized and critical mass is reached... Knowledge Search just gets better and better. and much much faster and generally better results than "regular" web search. period.

- so sayeth GrendelKhan{TSU}

[edited by: GrendelKhan_TSU at 10:08 am (utc) on Nov. 30, 2006]

Rugles




msg:3173477
 1:50 pm on Nov 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well I got a couple of links from google answers. They brought a little traffic, hope they stay up.

subway




msg:3173563
 3:05 pm on Nov 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google answers simply got killed by yahoo answers. Period.

Anything Google can do, Yahoo can do better.

or, that should read...

Anything Yahoo do, Google can't do so good.

eastwright




msg:3173569
 3:06 pm on Nov 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

As to me, the Google Search is the Google Answers. I am searching the Net for answers all the time (software error messages, how tos, you name it) - I am just kicking the question to search bar and - voila! - here is a list of answers to pick from.

Sometimes I get to Google Answers (this is how I learned about this service). Sometimes it is some expert exchange site or forum topic. Funny enough, I noticed I often find answers on a ask-expert-style web site. I recognize design and know I need scroll down over ads block to see answer thread (there are usually numerous topics). But I have absolutely no idea what is the name of the site or its url (or, may be there are multiple sites using the same engine?). And here is the point: why should I use Google (or ACME Corp) Answers, why should I wait for some expert to search the Internet for me to prepare an answer, when I can get solution within a few minutes using global search?

Google just found itself in a content creation business and the cost of that content appeared to be much higher than expected.

shaadi




msg:3173782
 5:29 pm on Nov 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

it is working fine from here (India), still accepting questions.

This 34 message thread spans 2 pages: 34 ( [1] 2 > >
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