Who has the Best Answers?

The battle for traffic among Q&A websites in 2015 has totally changed. Websites that once led in organic search traffic are now in decline, and traffic is down to the industry as a whole in down significantly since the start of 2015. One website, however, has shown impressive growth in traffic and that is largely due to their SEO strategy.

For this study, SimilarWeb data was used to examine 3 of the top Q&A sites: Ask.comAnswers.com, and Quora.com. In terms of traffic, Ask.com is the clear leader when looking at combined desktop and mobile visits, and even though their traffic went down in 2015, Ask.com still closed out the year with over 1.1 billion total visits. Quora, on the other hand, is on an upward trend and passed Answers.com in July to end the year with an 88% increase in visits. How is Quora improving while other Q&A sites falter? The answer is in the search traffic.

Who has the Best Answers?


In June this year, Google released the “Phantom” update which focused on weeding out weak ‘how-to’ websites. As a result, many ‘how-to’ sites lost a significant amount of traffic, beginning around May, when the update took hold. Quora, however, radically improved their search traffic, and improved from 34,000,000 organic search visits in January 2015 to 75,000,000 in December, a 120% increase.

organic search


This search traffic is critical for Quora to deploy their digital strategy as the site lives mostly off of organic search traffic. Ask.com, on the other hand, has been in the industry for almost 20 years and relies heavily on its name recognition and familiarity. The Q&A giant received a whopping 86% of its desktop traffic from people typing in, or visiting the URL directly. Meanwhile, Answers.com also leans strongly on organic search traffic, and is a major player on social media, where it received 28% of their 2015 desktop traffic.



In addition to their website, Quora also utilizes an app which has shown significant growth over the last 6 months. In the U.S., the app is installed on just over 0.25% of Android devices, up from 0.12% in August. Meanwhile, the Answers app is down on current installs, and dropped from 0.06% in August to 0.03% in January 2016.

qa apps current installsw


In addition to Quora’s improved install rate, the app also has a much better rank based on ‘Active App Users’, which refers to users who already have the app installed that used the app on a specific day, in the selected country, in this case- the United States. In January 2016, an average of 11% of Quora users used the Q&A app, compared to 9% in August.

active app users


So why does Google love Quora so much? There are 3 main factors:

  1. Real people asking and answering real questions: Real people like Ashton Kutcher, Mark Zuckerberg, and Justin Trudeau have accounts and occasionally answer relevant questions by Quora users. More famous personalities on Quora can be found here.
  2. Relevant and specific topics: Quora is full of great relevant topics such as SEO, Computer Programming, Mathematics, and more. These topics are supported by industry experts, some of whom answers hundreds of questions on a subject.
  3. People vote for the best answer: Quora answers are voted on by actual people, meaning users are more engaged



To find out more on how Quora and other Q&A sites can be used for your SEO strategy, contact us here.

About the Author -

A pioneer in the field of SEO from a young age, Roy Hinkis currently serves as the Head of SEO & Digital Marketing Evangelist for SimilarWeb. He has over 10 years of experience in online marketing, with specific expertise in affiliate marketing, social media, and of course, SEO.

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