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

yahoo-answers-iconAgainst 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 Yahoo Answers announced that it had a combination of more than a billion questions and answers, the company said it was seeing more than 34,000 questions and answers per hour.

That’s a decline in the neighborhood of 17 to 18 percent.

Yahoo Answers has, for years, been considered the largest answer search engine on the web — and despite that decline, it almost certainly still is. But it’s difficult to compare apples to apples if you include sites like ChaCha, which includes voice-generated questions requesting phone numbers among its Q&A database, or, which remains something of a hybrid between a Q&A site and a search engine.

Still, Yahoo Answers outlasted Google Answers, which closed its doors less than a year after Yahoo Answers launched. Facebook Questions launched about two years ago, but that doesn’t appear to have taken off like some expected it would.

Quora has become a Q&A darling over the past year or so, and certainly has a lot of momentum in its favor. The company hasn’t indicated how many questions it has, but users have tried figuring it out themselves, using a “QID” code that’s visible in the site’s code. If that’s an accurate way to count questions, my quick digging suggests that the site has a little more than 700,000 questions at the moment.

Earlier this year, former Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson promised to shut down up to 50 Yahoo properties. No one knows if current CEO Ross Levinsohn will follow through on that, but for now, Yahoo Answers keeps beating the odds and chugging along … albeit a little more slowly than it did a couple years ago.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Search Engines: Answer Search Engines | Top News | Yahoo: Answers


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • David Iwanow

    I think part of the issue is that it’s answers struggle to remain current, run a few sample searches and you will find a majority of the top results showing are often posted from several years ago.  The freshness part causes a problem and you are less likely to return if there is not engagement on any questions you ask or all the initial questions are out of date.

    Compare this to instant feedback you can get from Twitter, Facebook or Google+ the I want it now mentality has obviously caused part of the decline.  I’m not sure if the growth of platforms such as Quora have slowed but they do a great job of pushing fresh questions/responses.

  • Praveen Sharma

    Yahoo Answers has lost it quality several months ago. Nowadays it has become a marketing activity of online marketers, where you will find tons of questions with URLs to promote their brand/service. 

    People come, ask questions related to their own service and someone (or questioner uses different account) replies by suggesting brand’s name. That’s all they do.

    And Yahoo has not taken any effective step to stop this spam which hurts the motto of Q&A.

  • BIrwin1

    I think the core need and desirability of the product has waned and the market is onto something fresh in Quora

  • 9seos

    Yahoo answer facing bad times, internet marketers asking hundreds of  questions but not get proper reply with of answer. 

  • Ajay Prasad

    Yes, Promoting your site on Yahoo Answers also violates the Answers TOS

  • Barney @ Bridgend SEO

    Totally Agree Yahoo Answers has become quite spammy, But 300 millions questions is an incredible amount , and in the past i have found it very useful. These days any questions I have I tend to put a shout out on twitter.

  • Josef Holm

    I would not be surprised if half of these questions are bot generated spam.

  • Dust Bunnies

    I remember when Yahoo Answers was a good resource. Now it’s just kind of a joke, starting to fall off the maps.


    It’s a shame Yahoo! Answers has declined however it has reached a great milestone no doubt.

  • Kishor Kumar

    Yes, i Agree these day there is many spammers are active for getting backlinks for their website from yahoo QA.

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