Yahoo Answers adds targeted questions

Filed in Social Media by Matt McGee on March 20, 2009 8 Comments

One of the challenges of using Yahoo Answers for sharing your expertise is finding the right questions to answer. Until now, you’ve basically had two ways:

  1. Browse through Yahoo Answers’ navigation to find the right category(ies)
  2. Set up an RSS feed for your search term(s) of choice and dig through the results that come in

Neither option is perfect; the site navigation may not include categories that match your expertise, or your expertise may be spread out over several categories. Or, you may have too many search terms to monitor via RSS, or those terms may produce too many results. Either way, finding good questions to answer has been difficult at best.

But today Yahoo has announced Suggested Questions, a new module that will show up on the YA home page when you’re logged in. It looks like this:

suggested questions

Yahoo says the new module will only show up for active users “with a significant amount of activity around a topic.” I can’t get the module to show up because I haven’t been as active on YA as I usually am. In other words, the more active you are, and the more focused you are with your activity, the more likely you’ll get rewarded with targeted questions given to you right on the Yahoo Answers home page.

Maybe best of all, Yahoo Answers lets you opt-out of this if you don’t like it. If you do like it, YA lets you choose to show 3, 5, or 7 suggested questions. Nice touch, YA.

Comments (8)

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  1. Jeet says:

    That’s a good feature for Yahoo Answers. It’s not showing up for me either and that’s probably because I go there once in a month :) I subscribe to RSS feeds for some of categories but not all questions are interesting enough to answer :p

  2. Chris Lee says:

    YA are pretty late to the party on this one, Yedda has had a primitive suggestion tool for years.

    At Blurtit.com we added a “my topics” tool a few months back, it shows members a selection of questions based on their previous activity on the site.

    Our tool also has a setup wizard for new users and is fully customizable to make sure we don’t keep showing you stuff you don’t want to answer; Just because i answered a few questions on Maths for example, does not mean that I want to answer those questions all the time.

    If YA are serious about these kinds of features they will need to add at least some basic customization pretty quickly.

  3. JustinSMV says:

    This is a great new feature for YA. I always loved Yahoo Answers as they are the best in SERP and most of the time answers my burning questions.

  4. Jack Clarke says:

    I have not used YA anywhere near as much as I should. I think there is a tool or program that automates the process.

  5. Anne H says:

    I like the concept but I wonder what qualifies for “significant amount of activity”. I pretty much stay within a tight area and I’m not seeing the feature. But, my activity has also dropped off because I was finding it too time consuming to find relevant questions to answer.

  6. Matt McGee says:

    It’s a good question, Anne. They won’t give any specifics, of course. But how’s this: on Friday when I was answering about 5-6 questions after a long layoff, I didn’t even see the Suggested Questions box on the home page. Went back yesterday and the box was there — no suggested questions in it, but at least the box was there. Makes me think they know I was active on Friday, but not active enough yet to get good, related questions.

  7. Anne H says:

    That sounds logical. If you want, I’ll pose a question in a topic you frequent so you can see if it flows through. Just let me know which topic. (hopefully, it’s one I can think of a good question)

  8. Matt McGee says:

    That’s correct. Yahoo Answers has been around a few years now, and it’s the #2 reference site on the web — behind Wikipedia. Poke around this blog a bit for some more stats about YA’s growth and success.

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