Yahoo Answers for Traffic Generation

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yahoo-answers-logoYahoo Answers (YA) does drive targeted, free traffic and if you do things correctly and are committed to seeing it through, it has the potential to drive it at a fairly high volume.

I never messed with YA, not seriously anyway, until several months ago, when we started Alpha testing some software (that may or may not be released in the future) which helps to semi-automate answering questions there.

We still have a few things to work out with that software, so at this point it is still very much a work in progress and may or may not end up being a public product that we launch, but in dealing with it I have learned quite a bit about Yahoo Answers for traffic and today I’m going to pass that on to you.

There are several things you need to know:

1. The Point System. You need 250 points before links that you add to the “Source” become active and clickable. You get 100 points just for participating in YA, 2 points for every question you answer, 3 for choosing a best answer for any given question that is in voting, 10 when your answer is selected as best answer, 1 if you vote for an answer and  1 for receiving a “thumbs-up” for a best answer that you wrote. You LOSE 5 points if you ask a question! So don’t ask questions. You also lose 10 points if you get a violation (more on that in a minute). You used to get extra points for saving two searches, but I’m not sure if they still give those points or not.

2. Limits. You can only answer 20 questions while you’re level one. It goes up to 40 for level two, 60 for level three and 80 for level four and beyond. So if you’re going to be hardcore and give this a solid go, you should create multiple accounts. There is more than one reason to create multiple accounts though (see #4 below).

3. Self-vote! You can safely vote your own answers as “Best Answer” and you DEFINITELY need to be doing this! Each question has a certain period of time that it is “Open” and able to receive answers. Then it goes into a period of time when no more answers are accepted, but voting is open. Once voting is open, you need to be going in and voting your answers as the best answer! Best answers are the ones that receive the most traffic and just about all of the “power” users at YA self vote. One person told me that Yahoo stopped allowing self-voting for a short period of time, but when they did the number of best answers dropped significantly, so they started allowing it again.

4. Search for Open Questions. To find questions to answer, be sure to filter by “open” questions so you don’t have to sift through a bunch of old questions that are not even open to answers. Create saved searches so you can easily come back and find new questions each day.

5. Accounts get banned alot! This is the biggest, and really only, issue we’ve faced. There are others who are there to generate traffic to their sites, so especially in the competitive niches, there are people who are out to find people like you and I (who have links in the source field) so they can report them in hopes of getting their account banned! Long-term you just have to realize that this is going to happen eventually. The good thing is that your previous answers stay there and stay active!

In some niches it is less common than others though. We just work with multiple accounts so we don’t have all of our eggs in the same basket, as they say. Two things we do that help lower (but not prevent completely) the prevalence of answers being reported are: 1. Change the settings (click the little wrench when logged in) for the “Sharing & Network” to “whom I follow” (see below). And  2. don’t add a link to the source for EVERY answer. We try to do every other one, but in some niches it doesn’t help much and in some niches it doesn’t matter either way.

sharingsettings

By changing these settings you’re preventing other users from seeing all the questions that you’ve answered! This is big because if you have them all displayed, they can go through each and every one, reporting them all.

6. Create laser-targeted landing pages. This is more of a general tip, but YA provides a great source of laser targeted traffic to really specific niche markets, so whatever it is you’re promoting, be sure to send this traffic to something as laser targeted as possible!

In our testing, we’ve been able to generate over 1,000 unique visitors and a decent percentage of that is repeat traffic. The sites we’re promoting are receiving regular traffic with no other promotion. It definitely works! It does take alot of answers though, normally, to generate decent traffic, so it is something that requires a time investment. The conversions and traffic volume vary depending on the niche and other factors as well.

At the very least, it is a traffic source that should be considered as part of your overall traffic generation strategy.

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