Is Rewarder The Heir Of Google Answers?

search-social-featured There have been a range of "answer engines" or "help engines" (Q&A sites) that have come and gone over the years. Some of them might be considered "social search." Yahoo Answers, (more recently focused on Q&A),, Askville (Amazon), ChaCha, Keen, JustAnswer/Pearl are among those that remain and still exist. Verticals with Q&A angles are also seeing success because of their more focused content. Pearl, mentioned above, is a paid service that is reportedly doing very well focused on professional advice. But most of the other Q&A sites are struggling. Quor [...]

Is Lowe’s The First Brand To Adopt Jelly?

lowes-logo-300px A new social network or online community comes along and every brand has to answer one basic question: Should we be active in this channel? No matter whether you're among the world's biggest brands, or a small home-based business, that's a question you have to wrestle with. Lowe's, the home improvement retailer, appears to have wrestled with that question and answered "yes" when it comes to Jelly, the new social search/Q&A app that just launched last week. Jelly invites users to post questions with a photo attached. From what I've seen during the first week, a lot of questions have b [...]

Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone Launches New Social Search App Jelly

JellyLogo-WhiteOnTeal Building on the concept, "If you have a questions, there's somebody out there that knows the answer," Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and former Twitter colleague Ben Finkel have launched Jelly, a social search app that uses your social networks to deliver results. According to  the announcement today on the company's blog "Jelly is designed to search the group mind of your social networks -- and what goes, around comes around. You may find yourself answering questions as well as asking." Claiming to be a "new way to search," the app can be downloaded from iTunes or Google Play. Users subm [...]

Future SEO: Understanding Entity Search

data_humans_machines Last month, I asked you to imagine the future of SEO with a focus on Entity Optimization as I interviewed veteran semantic strategist Barbara Starr. We discussed an "answer engine" that uses relevant, machine-recognizable "entities" on Web pages to answer specific, well-refined queries. The Hummingbird Update On September 26, Google took another step toward becoming that answer engine with its Hummingbird update. In Danny Sullivan's live blog about the Hummingbird algorithm, he explains how Google is rapidly adopting semantic Web technology while still retaining parts of its old algorithm. T [...]

Yahoo Updates Answers For Social And SEO Value

yahoo-answers-questions-featured It's amazing to me that it took Yahoo so long to update its Answers property. Once a thriving Q&A network and social search site, Yahoo really let Answers go to seed. However the company announced yesterday that it was rolling out a new user-experience including mobile optimization. Even in its dilapidated state, Yahoo Answers is the most successful "help engine" or Q&A site on the web (don't tell me it's Quora). Answers was the site that long ago vanquished Google's paid answers property. But the years of product and management turmoil at Yahoo caused tremendous neglect of Answe [...]

Yahoo Answers Hits 300 Million Questions, But Q&A Activity Is Declining

yahoo-answers-icon Against what could be considered great odds, Yahoo Answers has reached a pretty stunning milestone: 300 million questions have been asked since the service launched in 2005. But despite that figure, activity on Yahoo Answers is on the decline. The company's announcement today includes these additional statistics: On average, 2 questions are being asked and 6 answered per second. So this means there’s an astonishing 7,000 questions and an incredible 21,000 answers per hour. That's a total of 28,000 questions and answers being posted every hour. But about two years ago, when Y [...] Acquired For $127 Million

The popular questions and answers site, has announced they have been acquired by AFCV Holdings, LLC. for $127 million. AFCV Holdings is paying $10.50 per share for the outstanding shares. "This is a great outcome for our shareholders," said Bob Rosenschein, Founder, Chairman and CEO. "After an exciting six years as a public company, we are very pleased to achieve considerable value for our investors. The acquisition price of $10.50 per share represents a significant cash premium of approximately 33% over our 90-day volume-weighted average closing stock price." Mr. Rosenschei [...]

If Google Played Jeopardy: Smartest Search Engine, But It’s No Ken Jennings

Google: Go to the head of the class. Wikipedia: You stay after school for extra tutoring. That seems to be one of the conclusions you can draw from a fun blog post today by Wolfram|Alpha founder Stephen Wolfram. Writing about the Jeopardy battle between past champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter and IBM's Watson computer (the computer won a dry run earlier this month), Wolfram decided to see how several search engines would fare when asked to answer Jeopardy clues. The results? Google scored highest in both having the answer show up anywhere on the first page of search results and ha [...]

Wolfram Alpha Redesigns For 2011

Next time you visit Wolfram Alpha, you'll be greeted by a shiny, new, colorful home page -- that's just one of a few design tweaks the site has announced on its blog. There are also some interesting tweaks to the results pages. One is the addition of linked data inside the search results, which you can see on this screenshot. I did a search for "space needle," and in the data that Wolfram Alpha returns, the words "Seattle," "Washington," and "United States" are all links that run searches on each term. The data sets also now have dog-ear reveals that can be used to get access to [...]

Quora Co-Founder Outlines Plans To Deal With Growing Pains

Quora, a relatively new question-and-answer search engine that's become a darling of the tech community, is suffering through growing pains caused by exponential growth in the past two weeks. And co-founder Charlie Cheever has outlined some of the company's plans to deal with those growing pains. In a post today on Quora, Cheever admits that it's been "a big challenge" to maintain Quora's character while the site has been flooded with new users. How much growth has the site seen? Quora engineer Albert Sheu shared a chart showing two recent spikes -- one right after Christmas and another rig [...]

ChaCha Answers Its Billionth Question, Hits Other Milestones

ChaCha has announced that its Q&A engine has reached several milestones -- the most notable perhaps being that the Q&A engine answered its billionth question. The question, which I believe can be seen here, was asked on Saturday by a 14-year-old Minnesota boy, and answered by Kenny and Spencer, two ChaCha guides: Q: How do you say friend in Elvish according to the Lord of the Rings? A: Mellon is the Elvish word for 'friend' in 'Lord of the Rings. ChaCha! Ironically, the guide cites this question/answer on WikiAnswers -- a ChaCha competitor -- as the source of his reply. ChaCha s [...]

Hunch: Traffic Down, Registrations Way Up & We’re Smarter

Even though its traffic is down, Hunch says new user registrations have risen dramatically recently. And as more users register, Hunch says its recommendation engine keeps getting smarter. Barely more than two months ago, Hunch began requiring visitors to register/login to use the site. In doing so, all Hunch visitors were required to answer the site's "Teach Hunch About You" (THAY) questions -- the information that Hunch relies on to make more accurate recommendations. To date, Hunch says its users have answered more than 50 million THAY questions. At the time of that June announcement, Hu [...]

Swingly: New Search Engine Reveals Just The Facts

The days of search engines merely being a middle man are over. Search isn't about sending users to the right web page, it's about getting them the information they want as soon as possible -- sometimes it's a web page, but it might also be a sports score, movie showtimes, election information, or some other piece of information. The latter -- factual pieces of information -- is where Swingly comes in. The site, which has been tested by a couple hundred beta users so far, is now going into its public beta phase and invites are being shared more liberally. (In fact, we have some to gi [...]

Hunch Tweaks Home Page, Focuses On Recommendations

Hunch has announced what it calls a "streamlined and simplified" home page, but the changes really reflect a slight change in focus, too. When the site launched last year, we referred to Hunch as a "personal decision maker;" Hunch itself used the term "decision engine." The new home page, though, presents a change of emphasis; logged-in users are immediately presented with a group of recommendations. The previous home page was more of an activity stream that seemed geared toward funneling users into existing decision topics. The difference between decision-making and recommending [...]

The One Thing That Could Doom Facebook Questions

Launched last week, Facebook Questions has a great opportunity to become the most popular question-and-answer destination on the web. With a built-in audience of 500 million users worldwide, Facebook could surpass Yahoo Answers and its 200+ million users in relatively quick order. But for all of its interesting features (see my article, Up Close With Facebook Questions, for details), there's a spanner in the works that could doom Facebook Questions to failure. In a word: search. Simply put, Facebook Questions doesn't have a traditional keyword-based search tool that people can use [...]

Facebook: No Plans To Give Search Engines Access To Facebook Questions

That's one of the big questions people are asking after yesterday's launch of Facebook Questions. While many have assumed the answer would be "yes," a Facebook spokesperson tells us that assumption is wrong. Currently, search engines cannot access questions and answers through our Questions product. That may be something we consider for the future but have no current plans to allow it. Facebook is blocking search engines by only showing Questions to logged-in users. Sure enough, a search on Google shows only a handful of results, none of which are actuall [...]

Up Close With Facebook Questions

Facebook Questions is the latest in a long line of question-and-answer services online but, as Danny Sullivan mentioned in his news article earlier, it's the only one with a community of 500 million users behind it. For comparison's sake, Yahoo Answers, the recognized leader in the Q&A space, announced in late 2009 that it had reached 200 million users worldwide. It remains to be seen what percentage of Facebook members will use Questions, but it's obvious that the service could surpass Yahoo Answers in due time. Facebook Questions will likely succeed by default to some degree thanks to hav [...]

Facebook Questions Opens To Limited Public Release

Long expected, Facebook's new Facebook Questions service is now being offered. It allows Facebook users to specifically ask question to and get answers from others in Facebook's now 500 million strong community. The service just went live at 1pm Pacific Time today, and we're working on a detailed look at all the features (this is now live, see Up Close With Facebook Questions). That will be posted shortly and linked to from this article. Facebook has a short blog post about the service now, highlighting: All questions are made public to anyone, not just to your friends Questions [...]

Wolfram|Alpha Query Widget Builder

Wolfram|Alpha, the fact engine has released a neat new feature today. Wolfram|Alpha is allowing anyone to build query driven widgets that can be embedded on any web page. The purpose is to enable publishers, bloggers, professors, teachers and so on to easily build quick widgets to add to their content and materials. You can build widgets based off of Wolfram|Alpha's large database of scientific information and data. Widget creation is all based off the initial query, which then can be made into a simple form that can be used by anyone. I'll explain this in more detail below. First, [...]

The New A Little Bit Search, A Little Bit Answers

As we (and others) hinted a couple weeks ago, is re-launching as a cross between a traditional search engine and the question-and-answer service that it was back in the site's heyday. NOTE: SEE OUR FOLLOW-UP PIECE, Ask Comes Full Circle With "Q&A" Offering The new homepage represents a pretty dramatic change. Search is still front and center, but in order to focus on the Q&A aspect, Ask says all users will now see the "Question of the Day" feature; a section of "Popular Questions" is also featured prominently on the home page. The look-and-feel changes are [...]

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