Yahoo Answers Adds New Features
Yahoo Answers has been live and running for 2 months now and has added several features to the popular information exchange service which may serve to become a strong foundation of Social Media and the future of search. Yumio Saneyoshi and the Yahoo Answers team have a run down on the Yahoo Search Blog with new features include Ajax, recognition, and RSS.
Yahoo Answers has added an Ajax widget which searches previously asked questions while the Yahoo user is typing in their questions. This serves as a timesaver for both sides of the info exchange as Answers to the queried question and similar questions are instantly served, and no waiting around is needed.
Y!Answers has also built a Badge for bloggers and web publishers who want to show off their knowledgable answers to the questions of Yahoo users. For those Yahoo users who want to showcase their qualifications of an Information Guru in certain niche markets, this may serve as a useful tool.
Additionally, Yahoo Answers rolled out a Toolbar Button for easy access to the interface and Yahoo also says that “you can get an RSS feed of Q&A by search keywords, in addition to your own Q&A, other user’s Q&A, and Q&A by category.”
Yahoo noticed that users were using Yahoo Answers to ask about specific Yahoo products and launched a Yahoo Products area which highlights Q&A sessions about Answers, 360, and Yahoo Messenger.
What about integration of Yahoo Answers into other services? Yahoo Answers has already integrated their service into Yahoo Local :
While performing a Yahoo Local search in a major metro area, (San Francisco CA for example) Yahoo Answers are integrated down near the bottom of the page:
Given the example’s selection, this is an excellent lead in to the implications of Yahoo Local Answers and advertising potential. Sure, we’re dependent on local Yahoo users to give quality responses to questions, but the answers area for the question “Can you recommend a good dentist in San Francisco?” is obvious territory for a Yahoo Search Marketing Local Match contextual ad and I’m sure local dentists would jump at the opportunity.
And in additon to local, expect more integration into natrual language search once the database of responses reaches a peak level.
Niche Answers sections, integration into Yahoo Local, Badge and user recognition, RSS and user driven information responses to queries is a nice start to the 60 day old Yahoo Answers program.