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Yahoo! Answers and policy on posting links

April 23, 2010

Many of you may be aware that Yahoo has a specific policy about posting links as answers in Yahoo! Answers (Y!A) in order to direct “commercial activity” away from Y!A.

This Y!A post gives a detailed description here

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Special attention to the part that says:

NO COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY: You may not post URLs for the purpose of directing commercial activity to a non-Yahoo! site.
NO REPEATED POSTINGS: You may not post similar or identical postings. This also applies if you are including the same commercial URL on all of your postings for the purpose of directing commercial activity to a non-Yahoo! site. Multiple identical postings, even if legitimate, may be considered spam.

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After reading this, some of you may be hesitant about whether your Q&A – Answer submissions are getting on Y!A’s nerves and risking action from Y!A’s moderators.

  1. Let’s look at this rationally. Y!A is first and foremost a question & answer site (Q&A site). People post questions hoping that a nice person will answer it. The end.
  2. Let’s look at this realistically. Y!A is a public online forum allowing virtually anyone to ask/answer virtually any kind of question.  Some people post questions just to see if they get an answer, regardless if it helps them or not. Others post answers and questions for ethical and unethical objectives – finding a movie they can’t remember the name of, or ask how many cows can a person cow-tip in 10 minutes.
  3. You might also notice the Yahoo’s policy is similar to our Team’s policy regarding to making the community an enriching place

Now, what is Aeria doing on Y!A anyway?  Simply put, we want to increase our online presence in one of the most visited Q&A sites there is.  We wouldn’t (and couldn’t) be doing it for this long if we had Team members spam the homepage link and a sentence fragment for every games related question.

We want to ask and answer meaningful questions that add value to the online community (specifically, the online gaming interest group).  That is the kind of value we want to add, with the side effect being, people may become interested in our company and pay a visit by using the attached hyperlink or URL.

The fact that many of our Team members’ answers are very similar in content and context is due to the fact they are in response to very arbitrary and vaguely worded questions.

Speaking theoretically, the same side effect occurs if the person exits Y!A, googles “aeria” or “grand fantasia” after looking at a Y!A answer or opens up a new window or tab and copy-pasting the url directly into their browser address bar.  This takes the user away from Yahoo just as equally as clicking a link to a different site.  Therefore given that this potential disturbance to Y!A’s internal traffic exists, would not Yahoo be inclined to regulate it’s Y!A site to disallow any mentioning of any company, product, person, place or thing? Unfortunately that’s impossible and would defeat the purpose of visiting Y!A at all.

We do not condone the bending or breaking of Y!A rules for the sake of increasing online brand awareness.

All we ask of our Team members: relevant, rational, realistic and respectable questions and answers are all you need.  A dash of creativity wouldn’t hurt either!

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