Everyone eventually has a question they’re looking to have answered – and there’s no shortage of experts, informed and otherwise, on the Internet. Quora is a social network dedicated entirely to that dynamic. It’s a marvelously simple idea.
And it’s also one with some huge applications for search engine optimization if you can believe it.
There are a few reasons behind that. First and foremost is the fact that voice search is gradually gaining ground – one estimate claims searches made via AI assistants will reach around 50% by 2020. Mind you, that number’s probably a bit higher than the actual figure (to say nothing of the fact that it’s been sort of misapplied; the figure refers to both voice and image search).
All the same, searches made via assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa are on the rise. As for what that has to do with sites like Quora, that’s easy. Most voice searches are phrased as questions, which means that as voice search continues to gain ground, it’s likely that Quora will naturally rise higher on the SERP.
At least, that’s the theory anyway.
At this point, you’re probably of the mind that this lets you use Quora as an SEO tool. You’re not exactly wrong, but there are a few important caveats to bear in mind in that regard. First and foremost, Quora’s got some pretty strong guidelines in terms of making answers too self-promotional.
What that means is that if you’re going to promote your brand by answering a question, you need to make a sincere effort to actually provide an answer. If you promote your brand at all, it should only be as part of your answers. I’d honestly recommend avoiding direct links to your site anywhere but your profile in most cases – better safe than sorry, at the end of the day.
Another reason Quora’s not exactly great for ranking is that its links are all automatically NoFollow. That means any visits that originate from the website don’t increase the target’s ranking in search. You’ll still get more traffic and you may end up getting more conversions, but none of that will have any bearing on SEO.
All the above undercuts where quora’s real SEO value lies, anyway: brand research. By searching on Quora, you can get a very good idea of what people in your target demographic are asking, about what questions people in your industry want to see answered. This can go a long way towards informing both your content marketing efforts as well as how you relate with your target audience.
Quora can be a powerful addition to any search engine marketer’s arsenal. It’s an incredible tool for brand research, a great way to raise awareness of your organization, and an excellent place to inform yourself of anything you might want to know. I’d recommend everyone should at least check it every now and then – after all, what do you have to lose by doing so?