Monday, May 15, 2006

Stats on Yahoo Answers

The Yahoo Answers team posts on the Yahoo Search blog that over 10M answers have been submitted on the site in five months.

It is hard to know what to know what to make of that number. On the one hand, it shows a lot of traffic and activity on the site. On the other hand, it is unclear how many of those answers are useful answers to interesting questions.

I thought more data might help here, so I tried to gather some additional statistics. Here is what I seemed to have been able to find. As of this morning:
  • 1,294,389 questions have been asked on Yahoo Answers.
  • 1,038,040 questions are "resolved", meaning a "best" answer was picked.
  • 356,455 questions were resolved with a 80-100% "thumbs up" rating.
  • 103,795 questions have been asked in the last 7 days.
Interesting data. It appears the average question may get about ten answers. Surprisingly high.

On the last number, it might indicate very strong growth (10% of the questions in the system asked in the last week), but I suspect the "last 7 days" number includes questions that are Yahoo will delete (due to lack of an answer), so it probably is not correct to come to that conclusion.

Before I started digging into these stats, I was guessing that about 1-2% of the 10M answers were useful. Given that 356k questions were resolved with 80-100% approval on the final answer, it appears the quality might be better than I thought. By one measure, at least 3-4% of 10M answers seem to be useful, probably more.

None of this directly answers the question about how useful Yahoo Answers will be, but this initial usage data is interesting and surprisingly positive.

For my much more pessimistic views on Yahoo Answers, see my earlier posts, "Yahoo Answers and wisdom of the crowd", "Summing collective ignorance", and "MSN Answers coming?".

1 comment:

jeff.dalton said...

Once again Greg, reading your article led me to write a reply that was becoming too long for a comment!

My "comment" to your post:
Yahoo Answers, Naver, and the future of search