One of the few triumphs Yahoo has had over Google in the past few years is Yahoo Answers, which is one of Yahoo’s fastest-growing properties. Meanwhile, the more academic (and lumbering) Google Answers was shut down in 2006 when Google figured out that nobody wants to pay “researchers” to do Google searches for them. Some of those researchers went on to start UClue. But now the Google Operating System blog has uncovered some evidence suggesting that Google itself is going to revive Google Answers as a new service called Google Q&A. Excerpt:
Google intends to relaunch the question-answering service Google Answers, which was closed last year. . . . Google Q&A, code-named Confucius, no longer has paid experts and works in a similar way with Yahoo Answers. Google Q&A was launched in Russia in June and in China, two months later.
The way the service in Russia works is that you get points based on how good your answers are. So instead of paying with money, you pay with reputation points. No official word from Google as to whether or not this relaunch is actually happening in the U.S. But AOL is also getting into the game with its recent acquisition of Yedda. Still, Yahoo answers already has so much traction that Google really has to come up with something new to move the ball forward. Maybe it should just launch a service where Larry and Sergey answer all your questions.