I know it is good to share the love, but how does answering (or even asking) questions help hubbers in the answers feature?
I suspect the principal benefit of Answers is to create more activity on HubPages - and the more active the site, the better Google will like it.
The original intention was so Hubbers could get an idea what people were asking, so they could spot "hot" subjects to write a Hub about. It's now so overwhelmed with rubbish, that would take more patience than it's worth!
I will occasionally do a quick search to see if there are any questions I can answer with a link to an existing Hub, but that's all.
I agree Marisa - activity is important for any website. Google likes to see websites as living, breathing beings. However, if this is the case, and we are answering questions unconditionally, surely in the true tradition of the mystic, karma should be bestowed upon our good will?
Hubpages seem to be putting a lot of emphasis on this these days - they are posting links to (what they believe) are relevant questions to our accounts. Maybe if we are helping the cause of HubPages, we, as individuals should be rewarded for being active participants in this activity.
Answering a question gives you a new hub. That's the only benefit that I know of.
Okay, this may be a bit of a stretch, but I'll give a couple of ideas.
One - for hubbers who have the time, energy and inclination to write, but who don't have the ideas, these questions (can) help to provide ideas for hubs. That is, this is true if the questions are any good and if the hubber either has the necessary knowledge or can do the research about them.
Two - IF this section is used properly (and I realize that is a major "stretch" because it really hasn't been at all), it can serve as one informal window to the same kind of information that long-tail keyword research could provide, i.e. a window into what people really want to know and what they are trying to find answers for. For those hubbers who haven't learned much about keyword research, that could be helpful - but I believe the keyword tool on our hubs is much more helpful; however, that tool is limited to the keywords related to a specific hub. - And, since the question/answer section has been so seriously abused and misused, this "helpfulness" is severely limited.
Third - the benefit I have found most is that I discover and learn about other hubbers, and they learn about me, when we are reading the answers to a question that interests us. It helps to provide exposure and more information about one another, sometimes even more helpful than in the forums, and for me that is a big deal.
Wondered about this myself! I frequently answer questions which seem to originate from one of my hubs. The question asked may already be answered in another of my hubs, so I wondered if it wouldn't be easier to just post a link to the proper article.
Otherwise, I have to waste time repeating the same info in the response to the question. So how does this help me or HP? Anyone?
1. Asking a question you get an answer to your question.
2. Answering a question you help someone get an answer to his/her question
3. You can use Q&A to weigh what people want before making a hub
4. That Q&A is the most entertaining section on Hubpages
5. At least people there are asking good questions than they asks Google search box
Of course if they are asking via search engines, there is a good chance of Hubpages offering an answer when that keyword is searched in the rankings. That has to be a benefit.
Maybe that is it? Maybe, Hubpages are trying to compete and be like Yahoo answers, only Google's version?
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