Yahooanswers.com Offers Free Research
I first noticed Yahoo! Answers in my research when writing articles. Succinct, specific responses to keyword searches on Google are often provided by Yahoo! Answers with excellent links to additional information. I find that in some ways Yahoo! Answers acts like a kind of Google search with human intervention. A light bulb went off in my head. I can conduct my searches directly on Yahoo! Answers instead of having it filtered by Google so I can get more direct information without endless pages of non relevant information in my page returns. Plus if I need help looking for information I can use Yahoo! Answers to post a question. It’s like having a free research assistant as a writer or author. According to Yahoo, “Everyone has life experience and knowledge about something, and Yahoo! Answers provides a way for people to share their experience and insight.”
How to Get Started Using Yahoo Answers to Get Your Research Questions Answered
If you have a Yahoo account already, you can use this to sign-in. Otherwise as part of the sign-up for Yahoo Answers, you will automatically be signed up for a Yahoo account. So make sure you choose a name you can live with because should you decide to also take advantage of Yahoo e-mail, that it’s a name you can easily refer professional colleagues, potential clients and friends as opposed to some raunchy, flirty e-mail title like sexybabedc. Sign up on the Yahoo Answers registration page.
Ask Yahoo Meets Yahoo Answers
You might know Yahoo! Answers by the name of Ask Yahoo. The two services were merged in June 2007. “An online Q&A service, Yahoo Answers has become the second most popular Internet reference site after Wikipedia, according to Comscore” as referenced in a Business 2.0 magazine article posted on CNNMoney.com, October 2, 2006. Once signed up you can start posting questions.
There’s a Limit On the Number of Questions You Ask
Choose your questions wisely and sparingly as there are a limited number of questions you can ask everyday plus it will cost you a number of points to participate. This is nice so that the website does not get over saturated with meaningless questions. Here is how Yahoo! Answers works. You start off with 100 points. Every time you ask a question, it will cost you 5 points. Upon initial sign-up, I was given a limit of 5 questions I could ask for the day.
How to Earn Points Back
So to earn points Yahoo! Answers encourages participation by rewarding points every time you answer someone else’s question. The easiest way to earn points is to answer a question. When you do, you’ll earn 2 points. If it’s chosen as the best answer, you’ll earn 10 points. Plus you’ll get 1 bonus point up to 50 points for every thumbs up that’s given for best answer. When you simply participate in Yahoo! Answers by logging in, you can earn one point every day. When you take the time to vote for a best answer, you earn a point. When you choose a best answer to a question someone answers for you, you’ll practically get more than half of your points back, earning 3 points. So basically, to recap it simply, if you post a question (-5 points), but when you take the time to choose a best answer to your question (+3 points) then in the karmic cycle of things, pay it forward by answering a question (+2 point) it won’t cost you anything. Here is a guide to the Yahoo! Answers point system.
No Money Exchanges Hands
Yahoo! Answers doesn’t cost you anything. It’s free to ask a question. On the flip side, it’s the same for answering a question, there is no payment or performance share kickback. However, if you check the terms and conditions on Yahoo! Answers they are fairly generous about allowing links to blogs, websites and article writing websites such as Squidoo and Associated Content as long as the content is meaningful and helpful to readers. Although there is no money being paid to participate in Yahoo! Answers, occasional swag is offered to frequent contributors such as Yahoo! promotional items or other knickknacks offered either by Yahoo! or participating advertisers.
Using Yahoo! Answers to Promote Your Content
What I like about Yahoo! Answers is that it is a fairly easy way to promote your own content and help others without it seeming like shameless self promotion such as on Digg or StumbleUpon. Plus I find that Yahoo! Answers seems to come up consistently on Google searches so you don’t have to go out of your way to think of a search engine optimized answer. Click on several of the answers to get an idea of the concise 1-2 sentence answers provided on Yahoo! Answers. Then in less than a few minutes, you’ll find yourself eagerly answering questions. What’s nice is that the Yahoo! Answers are archived so your content and link to your relevant writing will remain available for people to find on Google searches.
Entering Relevant Keywords
Think about either an article you have that’s extremely popular or an article you have written that you think is one of your best that could do better if it had a little promotion behind it. Beside the “Search for Questions” box, click on advanced search to enter your keyword search. Enter keywords that relate to your article. Click on “Open Questions – Best Answer Has Not Been Chosen” so you can just choose from the questions that need answering. Write a couple of helpful sentences then it’s perfectly okay to include a link to your blog, Squidoo, Associated Content, Helium, Triod or other information content. Don’t abuse this opportunity as it could end up backfiring and having someone from the community reporting your posting as abuse. Spend a little time
Hammer, Susannah. “The Secret to Yahoo Answers’ Success”, Business 2.0, CNNMoney.com, 10/02/06
Yahoo! Answers, Wikipedia.org
“Points and Levels” Yahoo! Answers points table, yahooanswers.com
“What is Yahoo! Answers”, yahooanswers.com