The closure of Google Answers could be a big mistake ..

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As Google answers has closed, most of the industry has concurred that it was a simple case of Yahoo had a better service by far .

This is true.

However …

While I have been a fan of Google in general, I think that the closure of Google answers was a HUGE mistake.

That’s because when it comes to mobile (and most would agree that this is now a battleground right at our doorstep) – the ‘answers’ model is very powerful

This is not idle speculation

As far as I know – there is only one market where Google has taken a beating when it comes to search. And that is from a company in South Korea called Naver .

And what’s special about Naver?

Here is a clue …

The business week article NHN: The Little Search Engine That Could says ..

What he’s talking about is a three-year-old initiative called “Knowledge-In.” The program lets users ask and answer questions on anything from recipes for kimchi to the composition of rocket fuel. Readers judge the responses, and the millions of folks who have answered questions are ranked as “ordinary,” “knowledgeable,” “highly knowledgeable,” “supernatural,” or — for 22 truly prolific answerers — “gods.” “Naver is great because you get all sorts of detailed information in very specific questions and answers,” says Song Han Sil, a 25-year-old pianist in Seoul. “Many of my friends don’t even know that Google offers Korean-language service.” The database now has some 37 million questions and answers that can get returned with search results.

That sounds very much like the ‘answers’ model to me …

That means Yahoo could have a huge competitive advantage here when it comes to Mobile search.

Thus the closure of Google answers may have been premature and may have a wider impact than first thought …

Am I the only one who feels that’s the case?

Of course the existence of answers does not mean that they will be optimised for the Mobile device.

Google could of course leverage its huge strengths on the Web .. but to me .. the closure of Google Answers was a premature step ..

Thoughts?

Comments

  1. I thought you might be interested in this post on Compete.com, which clears up the Google Answers/Yahoo Answers battle with some numbers. Here is the link… http://blog.compete.com/2006/12/05/google-answers-yahoo-answers/