INTRODUCTION TO YAHOO! ANSWERS As more people turn to the internet to find information, search engines are becoming even more refined and intelligent.
Searching with a basic keyword search isn‟t the only option; as more people are looking for niche subject matter and details, sometimes a search engine can‟t retrieve what a team of online experts and researchers might be able to track down.
Participating in blogs, communities, forums, and other online interaction portals opens the doors to sorting through the wealth of information available online today.
Still, as this knowledge market grows and grows in scope, it becomes even more difficult to find specific information.
Search engines such as Google and Yahoo! are leading the way in sorting and indexing the world‟s information, making it easy to simply type in keywords and display results.
Search engine rankings are a valuable part of marketing any idea or business; whether you are promoting a blog, article, video, or simply a comment, it‟s important to know the details about how to write it effectively so that the search engine can index it appropriately.
A high search engine ranking not only offers visibility, but you‟ll increase your page rankings for similar sites and help with promotions.
Still, when you have a specific question, it‟s now possible to turn to a new direction. Yahoo! Answers is a community-driven website launched by Yahoo! in late 2005.
It allows all users to participate in a site-wide discussion forum, driven by user participation in asking and answering questions. The service itself is free of charge, and anyone can post a question and have it answered in a reasonable amount of time.
Information that is posted on Yahoo! Answers is non-exclusive and royalty-free; it can be accessed by anyone, anywhere in the world and published in a variety of formats.
Any type of question can be asked and answered, and each posting is indexed appropriately.
The question of „What is Web Hosting‟ has likely been answered in the Computers & Internet category, while „How do you change the tires on a 1995 Honda‟ might be answered in the Automotive section.
Yahoo! Answers covers a wide range of topics, subjects, and categories. Yahoo! Answers has taken user forum participation to an entirely new level.
Combining the power of search engines with a human touch, it represents a segment of Yahoo! communities with much success.
Users can simply enter questions and answers in a simple text box and use as many resources to link within their responses.
Unlike a chat room, Yahoo! Answers only allows users to ask and answer about a range of subjects; there is no „free-form‟ chatting involved, and the community can rate the best answer as a group effort.
As part of your online marketing efforts, you can take part in Yahoo! Answers to establish yourself as an expert in your niche.
By providing useful and quality information on a regular basis, you will be building credibility and providing essential information.
After this credibility is built, it becomes much easier to encourage users and visitors of your website to become subscribers.
A subscriber list can help you gain a significant advantage for promoting and marketing your business week after week, month after month.
Yahoo! Answers is currently used in the United States and around the world. Popular international sites include Canada, India, Italy, Japan, France, Spain, and a U.K.-based version.
Uses of Yahoo! Answers can also become a part of the Yahoo! Publisher Network. This is a place where you can start making money with an integration of Yahoo! Answers.
YAHOO! ANSWERS: HOW IT WORKS Users of Yahoo! Answers can submit a question or response on a variety of subjects.
After a question is submitted, it is indexed within the appropriate category section and made available to the community.
Any community member can view it, flag it, or provide a response. Instead of counting on an automated process to retrieve information, Yahoo! Answers counts solely on the users in the community.
Yahoo! Answers works on a basic point system to encourage user participation. Questions are opened up for four days only, at which point the ask er can extend their question if a sufficient answer is not found.
To ask a question, you simply need a Yahoo! account that has a positive score balance. A positive score is assigned each time your respond to another user.
Each new user is given 100 points when opening the account, then assigned two points for every answer given, and one point for every vote on an unresolved question.
Ten points are assigned if the user‟s answer is chosen; it is up to the asker to confirm if the answer was helpful to them or not.
Other users can give thumbs up or thumbs down rating based on what was chosen, and this can further bump up the point factors.
The point system is also weighted so that users can answer questions appropriately, and limit the amount of spam comments that are prevalent across the network.
The levels and points assigned are as follows: Level & Points
SOCIAL NETWORKING AND TRAFFIC WITH YAHOO! ANSWERS
The goals of Yahoo! Answers are to share knowledge, help others, while earning earn points in the process. A leading competitor to Wikipedia, Yahoo! Answers has taken the traditional way to search for information into a new avenue of opportunity with its community-driven network.
Since each user can earn points, there is an extra incentive to create a profile and network with other users. It‟s simpler than ever to share a message, thought, idea, or advice. Social interaction becomes incentive-driven, and provides a fresh area of opportunity for marketing and promoting purposes as well.
Although Yahoo! Answers launched in December 2005, it reached impressive numbers for web traffic in just six months. According to Hitwise, Wikipedia earned a ``6.76% market share in May 2006, with Yahoo! Answers trailing far behind with 2.94%; Dictionary.com came in at 3.80%.
However, the important thing to note here is that Yahoo! Answers was only a few months old when it reached the number three ranking; even sites such as Google Scholar and City-Data.com didn‟t reach the level of success that Yahoo! Answers managed to acquire.
Yahoo! Answers has often been compared to Wikipedia, but the difference may trace to the addictive component.
Yahoo! Answers often makes use of references to Wikipedia as a resource; but since each user is involved in interaction, building up their profile, and sharing independently researched information for review by other users, it becomes a highly evolved social networking community: naturally.
Users can compete for a position on the „best picked‟ answers of the day or week, look to the leader board to find the most valuable users, and pitch all sorts of questions.
Users can contact each other by setting permissions on their account and allowing other users to contact them by e-mail.
Adding communication permissions is easy by selecting the appropriate editing option in the profile page. E-mail addresses are never shown to the users, but are sent through a messaging system instead. YAHOO ANSWERS ALL YOUR QUESTIONS FOR ONLY $3.95
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