Yahoo!7 Boosts Answers But No More Questions for Google
By Martin Kelly, Editor, Search Engine Room
Australian search engine Yahoo!7 integrated its free ‘Answers’ facility into organic search results late last week, rapidly following the lead of US-based Yahoo!.
The move comes less than two weeks after Google announced it was shutting down Google Answers – a paid service that never found traction with consumers either globally or in Australia – after four years.
Latest figures from Nielsen//NetRatings show that Yahoo!7 Answers ranks third in the ‘Research Tools’ category with 365,000 unique visitors for October, while Google Answers is in 45th place with 45,000 unique visitors.
A key difference is that Yahoo!7 Answers is free and that answers are provided by the ‘community’ rather than paid, screened experts as is the case with Google, which will stop taking new questions in the New Year.
This category is dominated by Wikipedia, with all 2.5 million unique visits. Daylight, in the shape of Answers.com, is second (499,000 uniques).
Other players include Dictionary.com (347,000) Findarticles.com (245,000) and TheFreeDictionary.com (224,000). All of these are free services.
Head of Search at Yahoo!7, Brett Poole*, said the Australian launch of Answers was part of a global rollout, that included other regional markets such as Singapore, after it was recently unveiled in the US.
The initiative is part of the Yahoo! quest for differentiation by emphasising its strength in the fast-growing category of Social Search, where it owns sites such as flickr and del.icio.us.
At present the integration of Answers into Yahoo!7 Search is limited, with a selection of relevant results – complete with miniature images - appearing after the 10th organic response.
However, it only seems to work on generic searches utilising phrases such as ‘parenting’ despite using the comprehensive international ‘Answers’ database.
Poole said it is early days for the service and that Yahoo!7 is currently monitoring the click-through rate to determine effectiveness.
* Brett Poole will be speaking at Search Engine Room in Sydney on March 20 & 21.
11 December, 2006
Australia's first Group Buying Summit was staged in Sydney on May 7, 2012. It was a good day with 135 delegates and lots great presentations. Speakers included:
Search Engine Room, Australia's original search event, is returning to Sydney in mid November, 2012.
Please subscribe to newsletter for event updates and if you have any queries, contact Martin Kelly.
Meanwhile, check out images from the last Search Engine Room below.