SEOmoz has a great article on how Q&A sites can boost your SEO.
First, I’d like to say this is an awesome article and I encourage you to read it through and through. Secondly, I think it’s important to point out that Pavel Israelsky classifies four different types of Q&A sites:
- Social Q&A – Includes sites like Quora, Aardvark, Formspring, and Facebook Answers.
- Standard Q&A – Yahoo! Answers, AOL Answers, and Stackexchange.
- How To Guides – eHow, Wikihow, How Stuff Works.
- Q&A Search Engines – Wolphram Alpha, True Knowledge, and Ask.com.
The reasons Pavel gives for using the Q&A sites for building links are pretty solid, at least for right now. Despite the recent farmer update where Google cracked down on sites like eHow (but didn’t include eHow), Q&A sites do offer unique opportunities for link building.
Here are Pavel’s six reasons:
- People Google more questions than generic keywords
- Q&A sites have gained in popularity in the last year
- Q&A pages rank high in the search engines
- Q&A sites can diversify your link portfolio
- People prefer to link to Q&A sites than corporate-sponsored pages
- Targeted traffic equals better conversion
It’s hard to argue with any of these six reasons, but I’d say that reason No. 2 is a temporary signal. Q&A sites may be popular now, but will they be popular next year or three years from now? No one can predict, but because no one can predict, that makes No. 4 an even better reason. Q&A sites diversify your link portfolio.
It would be hard to deny that some of those sites will remain popular over time. Not all of them, of course, but I’d suspect that some of them will be. That makes them a good bet for link building.
All in all, I think Pavel put together a very good and very thorough analysis of Q&A sites and their SEO value. So what can you do with that information for your small business website?