Answers.com sold this week for $127m. This coupled with the growing buzz around Quora, highlights the fact that Q&A sites are the poster-boy targets on the web. Added to that firestorm is Mahalo giving up on human powered search and pivoting to answers. Although it looks like they’re going for ‘how to’ queries more than actual answers to live questions.
We’ve seen plenty of mediocrity from Yahoo! Answers but are question sites about to get good answers? Aardvark, Stack Overflow and others argue that quality is possible if you ask the right community. A specialist community. But doesn’t that take us down a narrow forum-type road rather than the broad majority who only use the top search engines?
Monetising Q&A doesn’t look overly simple – banner ads would likely score awful click through rates. And I can’t help but feel it’s a bit like fighting over the crumbs left over from Google’s table. What happens when Google wants to clear house? That’s my question.