Google Blogoscoped


Knowledge Search: Google Answers for Russia  (View post)

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

Friday, June 29, 2007
15 years ago8,445 views

BTW, I just asked:

<< Does anyone here speak English?

If so, we'd be grateful if you would leave your comments in the Google Blogoscoped forum to let us know what you think of this new Question and Answers site from Google:

Many thanks! >>

I'm offering 50 points and giving them 2 days to respond:

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

And I'm getting lots of 500 errors on that site. Perhaps Google released this site to Russia first because they weren't sure how well the code would scale... ;-)

3ABXO3 [PersonRank 1]

15 years ago #

That's a very nice service in many aspects.
1) it can be really useful (people are trying to give their best ideas, and if they know what they are talking about – that's great then)
2) it can be really fun (people are often jokes instead of giving real answers, but that gives a feel of suprise
3) I like to be first user (even beta-tester on a site with log of bugs) for some google service. that's cool :)

Keep up!

Anna Chernova [PersonRank 1]

15 years ago #

I think Otvety is a service of a huge potential and with a very challenging relationship between the content and ultimate efficiency/interestingness.
It would be nice if they grow into a place extending beyond Wikipedia where you can find hints and answers to "How..." and "Why..." questions, or to questions for which the "average-temperature-in-the-hospital" type answers do not work, but which are still of interest for a significant fraction of the (internet) population.

3ABXO3 [PersonRank 1]

15 years ago #

2Anna – No chance.. :) Even interface and not to speak about whole idea which are totally different – Otvety is more about "random question – instant answer" idea. That would be difficult to expect "encyclopedic" anwers here...

Anna Chernova [PersonRank 1]

15 years ago #

1. One doesn't expect "encyclopedic" answers there, and this is what I meant by "extending beyond". The whole point is to be able to ask what do -pedias not know and what is not easily googlable. Otherwise, what's the point :) So it's not a entirely random question, but a pre-selected random.
2. There is a mechanism for evaluation of answers and for clustering of similar questions, so it's not just the instantness of reply which is important.
3. Given 1. and 2. think aside about the Google self-proclaimed mission on information storage and retrieval. I think (without extensive explanations) that this can be a fine-tuned tool which is neither a search engine, nor a hierarchical archive, but something functioning on a different time scale.
4. I choose to be consistent at looking at potential of the thingy and ignoring the bugs and some of the features in this discussion :)

3ABXO3 [PersonRank 1]

15 years ago #

I vote for 4.
agreed :)

Oleg Semenov [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

Just a guess why Google might have created this: Google's position in teh Russian-speaking interweb is rather weak compared to local services (Yandex, Mail ru, etc). They really need new interesting Russian-only products to get into this market.

I have some friends working at Google Russia, should ask them about the background of this stuff.

Missy [PersonRank 4]

15 years ago #

<i>So, why has Google decided to release this in Russia rather than the United States?</i>

Because the Google Answers Researchers who were so unceremoniously dumped out of their jobs would WALK out to Mountain View and EAT THEM RAW?

Just a guess, of course. But I know I'm still a little bitter, after all of the hard work I put in over nearly five years, and I'd be first in line with the ponzu sauce.

Maksim [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

I love this service. I don't understand why Google take out this service in English version. I guess it was not worth to run it.

So far I enjoy this service. I really miss this service in English version. I know I can use Yahoo Answers, but for me it's better to support Google.

I did not have any problems with Google Answers but if I have, I'll let you know about that.

Those people who got 500 errors probably have it because they are not in USA, but I live in San Francisco area and this service runs great for me.

Thank again,


Alex Pakka [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

Great service, good implementation, it might fill certain niche that other traditionally russian services didn't think of.

Artem [PersonRank 4]

15 years ago #

Nice service as and all other Google's services...

Haochi [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

This site has more on the new service...

<<Google encourages users to visit often. It is quite curious that Google’s reward for a visit is higher than for posting an answer. This seems counterintuitive to me and unique among similar services. Points are also assigned based on results of human evaluation>>

The post includes how many points you get, and what are the min. limit of reaching different levels.

Wozik [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

russian seldom gime useful answers. i is a kind of lifestyle. in a 3-4 pages diskussion only few ansers may be normal and others are just jokes (but mostly funny jokes :))

sometimes they grow in a massive epidemy like this

Alex [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

There's another yahoo-answers clone by local Internet giant Mail-dot-RU: http://otvety.mail-dot-ru It is very popular.

(somehow literal "dot-ru" character combination is banned in these comments. weird)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

> Do you think an English version of this site could be more
> popular than Yahoo! Answers?

Yahoo vigorously pushes Yahoo Answers through billboard advertisements, localized versions of the site, and getting celebrities to ask questions on their system. I saw *none* of this being done by Google back then with Google Answers, and I'm doubtful they smarten up for this version. (Google Answers never failed the market test, IMO, because it wasn't *pushed* to the market by its own makers – no press release, no frontpage link, no ad campaigns --... I still believe there's at least a niche for paid answers [perhaps a niche not big enough for Google, I don't know], and I'm not just saying that as an ex-GA Researcher, but also because I use the "Google Answers 2" all the time to ask questions, and it works really well.)

But maybe it's one of Google's new strategies: long tail first (surround the enemy territory before attacking, a popular war strategy...).

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

More from Haochi mentions – the points reward system:

<<Action Points
Registration +100
Visit +5
Posting a question -Bonus
Posting an answer +2
Posting an evaluation +1


Evaluation Points
Best answer +Bonus
Excellent evaluation (5 stars) +10x
Good evaluation (4 stars) +5x
OK evaluation (3 stars) +1x
Bad evaluation (2 stars) -3x
Awful evaluation (1 stars) -5x>>


Why the following separation into ages/ professions, does anyone understand?

<<Here x is a log base 10 of the number of evaluations. The system of levels is quite google style:

Level Score
Newborn 0 ~ 28
Child 28+1 ~ 29
Elementary school student 29+1 ~ 210
Middle school student 210+1 ~ 211
Freshman 211+1 ~ 212
Senior 212+1 ~ 213
Graduate 213+1 ~ 214
Professor 214+1 ~ 215
Department head 215+1 ~ infinity>>


Some more on the tagging aspect:

<<Google uses automatic question tagging and search box on top in order to help users find quesitons. (...)

There are three main navigation buttons: Ask, Find, and Tags. Below them there is a list of open quesitons (with no answers shown). On the right side there is a list of popular tags and a list of top users. There is also tabs for "closed questions" and "all questions.">>

Richard [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

With the thing of the points people (kids) will start asking stupid question and make of it a bad service like "yahoo! answers".

I know yahoo is a flufly second-hand looking site and google has got some more serious graphics and people that Y!, but kids are on everywhere on internet.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

<< Google uses automatic question tagging and search box on top in order to help users find quesitons. >>

Not sure this is true. I had to enter my own tags when I asked my question.

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

This turned out pretty similar to the rumours, except that I had heard other countries mentioned.

As for it being launched in Russia, I think we're going to see a lot more of this. Google is hiring around the world, and there's no reason for them to use the "push it out from the USA" model for every new service.

The generous points offered per visit may enable Google to gain traffic without the heavy advertising conducted by Yahoo for their service. After all, lots of visitors is exactly what you need for a free service, to click on the ads and to be exposed to other Google services.

"Chat with smart people"! Now that's an interesting one. Google must have noticed that one of the drawcards of Google Answers was the ability to "chat with smart people". Even behind the scenes at the unofficial GA researchers' forums, the researchers enjoy chatting with each other. But how will Google attract and retain "smart people" at the new service? Maybe avoiding advertising it on every billboard isn't such a bad idea after all.

Cynthia [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

I think Google released it in Russia to work out the bugs in the code, who knows what the Big Dog is thinking, maybe the programmer is Russian. In any event, I bet they will roll it out slowly, like everything else. The secrecy is no news either, it's their M.O., I expected no less.

There is something to be said for what they are doing. As distasteful as it is, the community that develops around a free Q&A site can generate enoumous web site traffic, and in the end of the day, it's advertising revenue that pays the rent.

I bet in less than 2 years, they will have it everywhere GA is.

till [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

the whole strange procedure of the shutdown showed the ugly face of google. they didn´t care at all about google answers in the last years of it´s existence. and the reserachers were treated as useful and cheap idiots.

and now russia ... maybe the people at montain view thought no one would realise the new service as it´s in russian. ;-)
anyway, i don´t care – but missy: i will be on your side when you walk to the googlies to have a nice BBQ. with garlic sauce...

till (ex GAR)

Richard [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

lol at Cynthia "who knows what the Big Dog is thinking, maybe the programmer is Russian"

2 years is too soon for google, it is very slowly on everything, maybe 4. Others would do it in 3 months.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

I got this error when trying to load an inexistent file: File name: default_err.cs
Paths searched: [ '/export/hda3/borgletdata/dirs/

[Anonymous] [PersonRank 4]

15 years ago #

One of the things I have noticed about Yahoo Answers, is what a goldmine it is for a spammy PR/SEO campaign. You can spam there cleverly in a disguise of an answer, and as long that it is not a brutal "visit" answer, you'll get your visitors and your PR (or recognition by Google) will raise.

Why am I noting this? Because I wonder if Google's now turning its Q&A service to a spam heaven. If there are live links, a clever PR/SEO expert could insert any message (there were no live links for non-researchers on Google Answers).

In addition, this model was tried before, I think by expert-exchange. They had a points and "honour" system

Boris Mordkovich [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

In case you guys are interested, here's the translation:


1) If you have a question that you can't find an answer to, press the "Ask" button.

2) When you type in your question, we will try to match it up with any similar questions that may already be in the database.

3) Make sure to tag your question carefully so that others could find it easily.

4) Your question will be shown to those that are interested in this subject matter.


1) While people are answering your question, you can take a look at the existing "tags" and select themes that may interest you.

2) Let us know if you can answer questions of any specific theme by tagging yourself to that theme? *Not sure how that functions*

3) When you click on a tag, it will only show you the questions that you may be interested in.


1) If you found a question that you can fully answer, press the button "Answer".

2) In the answer, you can include links to other pages that may be helpful to whoever asked the question.

3) Try to give answers that other users will rate as "5 Stars"!


Hope this gives you a rough idea of how that works. Sometimes it is actually pretty useful to know other languages. :)


Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

When the English-language version of Knowledge Search is launched, I wonder whether Google will move the existing archived Google Answers data across to the new service as its seed content.

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