ChaCha, The Tortoise Of Social Search, Keeps Plugging Away

ChaCha, which was one of the early Q&A or social search sites, is something of a survivor. It started out in late 2006 audaciously challenging Google with chat-based human-powered search and then reinvented itself in 2008 as a mobile site, with voice and SMS search. Repeatedly dismissed and even ridiculed it has defied critics and grown to 10 million monthly uniques, double its audience in 2009.

It also developed one of the broadest and most effective marketing platforms (SMS-based) to reach youth and young adults. ChaCha last year integrated with Facebook and started a social network of sorts ( The site added local deals and coupons. Now the company has relaunched its main site with new content and functionality.

The new, which uses HTML5, is more social and offers images and video relevant to queries/questions. There are also new topic pages for browsing. And there are fewer ads (for more share of voice) and greater contextual relevance. There’s also an emphasis on brand advertising. As on Yahoo Answers, users can rate or vote on the best answer to a question.

Whether you use or like ChaCha, what’s impressive about the company is its resilience and persistence, and willingness to creatively try things as it reacts to twists and turns in the economy and the market.

Other Q&A or social search services include (partial list):

  • Aardvark
  • Answerbag
  • Ask Q&A
  • Askville/Amazon
  • MerchantCircle Answers
  • Facebook Questions
  • Hunch
  • kgb
  • JustAnswer
  • LinkedIn Answers
  • Quora
  • Yahoo Answers

And at least a dozen more.

Related Topics: Channel: Social | Search Engines: Help Engines | Search Engines: Social Search Engines


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.

Comments are closed.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide