The internet is a vast source of free information and over the years a real emphasis on questions and answers has emerged – with Ask Jeeves initially leading the way by providing a search engine specifically geared towards recognising and answering questions.
Things have moved on quite a bit since then, and numerous specific websites and communities have sprung up to deal with this constant need for answers. Yahoo Answers and Metafilter are two established websites that harness the knowledge of internet users to help other users, and now Facebook has taken its next logical step (after building a huge community of users) and launched a beta of something they are calling ‘Questions’.
You can find the Questions function explained on the Facebook blog here: http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=411795942130
Effectively it allows any user to publish a question visible to all users and to anyone online, suggesting these pages are also visible to the search engines. Questions can be tagged with a specific topic, making searching for questions you can answer easier.
Although it remains to be seen how well this works and what quality of questions are asked, this could be an excellent way of businesses raising their profile on Facebook, and also in the search engines given that your answers may show up in results pages.
Here at WNW Design, we have used Yahoo Answers in the past to raise the profile of websites as part of our client’s SEO and will be closely monitoring the Facebook Questions product to get a good idea of how useful this could be. Answering questions that are posed from potential clients could be an excellent way to build on your Social Media and SEO campaigns.
If you are on Facebook already you should take a look at the Questions area and watch its development. If you’re not on Facebook, you probably should be. And if you are a client, we may well be talking to you about facebook Questions in the future.