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Friday, August 29, 2008

Yahoo Answers Search Results Tips & Tricks

Google, the tool you love to hate.

* Not because it is not valuable.
* Not because it is not helpful.
* Not because it is not resourceful.

No, only because it reminds you of your childhood. Remember the days of ole when you used to ask people how to spell “antidisestablishmentarianism” or such only to hear the classic response “look it up.” How were you supposed to “look it up” if you didn’t know how to spell it? What they weren’t telling you is that they were both clueless and embarrassed. Both their problems were solved by putting the burden back on your plate like a double portion of broccoli.

Today, it is no different with Google.

All you have to do is type in the right search phrase. But what if you can’t figure out what the correct word combination should be? Enter stage right “yahoo answers search results”.

Did you know Yahoo solved this problem by creating All you have to do is post a question that others consider relevant, sit back and wait for your answers to come pouring in.

It really is sweet.

But Yahoo Answers has a couple of problems too.

(1) Along with high quality relevant answers you are forced to wade through other E-mails you receive in response to your question.
(2) Trying to find out if someone else has already asked your exact question can be a tad cumbersome.

Perhaps that is why Yahoo created

This is a database tied to the results of Yahoo Answers that you can query in any of a number of ways including but not limited to…

* Open questions
* Resolved questions
* Undecided questions

I personally like using the “open questions” option as it lets me know what people are asking and consequently what I can respond to. Given the high PR rating of Yahoo, I try to post a new answer at least once a day. However, your particular needs are likely different from mine and as a result you will choose different options from the tool.

You can also sort your results by…

* date
* relevancy
* age of item

It really is quite a useful tool. So next time Google stumps you rush over to search results for useful targeted helpful responses from people directly interested in your niche topic. You’ll be glad you did.