Yahoo Answers : Ask Yahoo, Get Answers

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Yahoo Answers : Ask Yahoo, Get Answers

Yahoo Answers was launched about 30 hours ago and has already been hailed as a Web 2.0, beneficial and fun addition to the Yahoo Social Community. The Yahoo Answers service ties in a little bit of Google Answers, Yahoo Users, User Reviews, and Yahoo Local (up and coming) into one complete group informational source, with a little bit of social networking and blog feed ingredients thrown in.

Yahoo Answers is a Yahoo user community where one can ask questions and have them answered by other Yahoo members. Using Yahoo Answers, users can ask a question on any topic and real people will post an answer to that question. The service is a good fit for Yahoo, which prides itself on its registered member base and user generated content (like Yahoo User Reviews).

Yahoo Answers also has all of the buzzes and whistles of a Yahoo Social Media product, with add to My Yahoo buttons, RSS, Yahoo Member Photos and Avatars, and Q&A categories. The end result is a working example of Yahoo’s embracement of the community driven social web and Yahoo’s Social Media direction. Jeremy Zawodny, Yahoo’s Search, Blog, and FUSE guru kicked off the Yahoo Answers launch with an has announcement on the YSearchBlog.

I’ve heard more than a few people struggling to answer a question who turn to their keyboard and proclaim, “I’ll just ask the Internet…” while typing something into a search box…But there are many times that keywords just don’t cut it—times when you need to ask a question to a group of humans. You know, real people..

That’s what Yahoo! Answers was designed for. We want to give anyone a place to tap the collective wisdom of the Internet for advice, recommendations, theories, jokes, … whatever. Anyone can answer. It’s free. And once your question is answered, you get to pick the best answer and the whole thread is archived and searchable. So in addition to getting answers, you’re helping to add to the “the Internet’s” collective knowledge.

Of course, it has categories for the questions, per category RSS feeds, notifications, and other goodies too…

In addition to its Q&A web community, Yahoo Answers is also working on integration into the Local Search scene. Imagine the ability to ping locals in Baltimore for a good bar to hit after the Orioles game – when a normal search may serve you bland results like ESPN Zone or Pickles, some Baltimore locals can fill you in on out of the way gems, like Archibalds 2, Racer’s, The Yaught Club, or Fletchers.

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.

Yahoo users should also expect to see local businesses getting involved in the answers, and perhaps watch out for spammers (there is a Report Abuse link under user profiles). Interestingly enough, the Yahoo Answers also allow for user comments to the answers and user ratings.

Media Buyer Planner quotes the Kelsey Group’s Greg Sterling : The more immediate opportunity, however, would come when people ask others for reviews as they make purchasing decisions. “Wouldn’t an advertiser love to get access to people as they’re making that decision?” Sterling is quoted as saying. “‘What’s the best laptop under $1,000?’ Boom. There’s a targeting opportunity.”

Appears that Yahoo has a definite success in Yahoo Answers, and do expect further integration into Yahoo Search, Shopping and other channels as this Yahoo Community and its priceless user contribution continues to grow.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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