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Generating Traffic And $$$ Using Yahoo Answers

Discussion in 'Social Media' started by smilodon, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. smilodon

    smilodon Affiliate affiliate

    Yahoo Answers (further YA) is a site on which people ask and answers all sorts of questions. The questions (and answers) asked on YA cover pretty much any topic and any niche one can imagine.

    What makes YA so powerful for our marketing efforts are 3 things:

    - the first thing that makes YA so powerful is already mentioned - all niches are represented, and people actually come to YA when they have a problem. We all know how a marketers dream is to find people with problems we can solve; Keep in mind these are VERY targeted niche questions;

    - the second thing that makes YA powerful for marketing online is that we can leave a link in the source box field. This link is "no follow" link. Furthermore, we HAVE to link in this manner: http://cpafix.com in order for the link to be clickable, meaning we can't get anchor text from YA. Still, for SEO efforts I would use YA as another referring* site, which is of great importance to the search engines, AND we can link to inner pages of our site as well;

    *a referring site is the site that links to ours. If we have 10 links from 10 sites, it means our website is linked to from 10 different referring sites, a much stronger value for SEO than having been linked 1000 times from 1 referring site, even though in the former case we have 10 links, and in the latter 1000 links pointing to our site.

    - the third extremely powerful and important thing about YA is that answers themselves tend to rank highly in the search engines, especially in the long tail SERP results. YA are also highly regarded in the eyes of the users. They are the leaders in the Question/Answer niche. I would compare them to Facebook in this niche. Sure, there are other similar sites, more niche oriented where experts give their opinions (comparable to LinkedIn for example), or much smaller than YA (and plus, they usually don't allow a link) but YA is still the king.
    Because YA is so powerful in the eyes of the search engines, our questions can have a very long lifetime, securing us traffic over a long period of time;

    In order for our links to become clickable or active and not just text, we need our account to be level 2 or higher. In order to get to level 2, we need to acquire 250 points. We start off with 100 points just by registering to YA. For every question we answer we get 2 points, for our every answer that gets voted as the best answer we get additional 10! points, and for every vote we cast for a best answer we get 1 point.

    All links in answers we made while our account was level 1 will become live, active links retroactively, when we hit level 2.

    * to find more about points and levels, visit this link.

    So enough of the introduction, lets get to the meat of this post, and find out
    How to Make YA Work for our Purpose:

    Our main objective is to get our answer chosen as the BEST ANSWER. This is important to because the answer that is chosen as the best answer is cemented at the top, right after the question, even if our answer was posted last. It is very distinguishable from the other answers (think of it as being top on Google results).

    The topic starter can choose the best answer, the only criteria being his judgment. He is practically a host to the discussion (similar to a forum) as far as his own questions (topics) go. If the topic starter does not choose the best answer, after 4 days the question will go in voting mode, lasting a day or until the question gets the most votes if it is a tie, during which people can give one vote to an answer they liked, or give the "no best answer" vote. People get a point for voting for a best answer to any question.

    There are 2 main ways we can get our answer ranked as the best answer.

    - The first one is to get a feel for the person who asked the question and give the answer we think will likely be voted as the best answer. Keep in mind though, from my experience 80% of the questions end up resolved in voting mode. BUT this is a good thing, as we can VOTE FOR OUR OWN QUESTION, and more often than not, no one else gives a vote for a question. Now, if we have multiple accounts (with multiple IP's of course, we don't want to get banned), we can practically assure that our answer gets voted as the best answer.

    To see which of our questions are in voting mode, simply go to "My Activity -> My Answers -> More Answers", and find the questions with the text "In Voting" next to them, and vote for our answer.

    I have seen some people advise that we answer 4 questions without linking anywhere as the source, and then making one "promotional" answer, as to avoid getting reported by the community, to avoid the answer being deleted, and eventually receiving a ban. From my experience, if the answers are good, the account lasts me a very, very long time. When I get too many reports, which is bound to happen, I simply switch to another account.

    Also, I would advise that we stick to answering questions from ONE category with one account. This can lead to our account being labeled as a "top contributor", further strengthening it "power" (i.e. it will be harder for us to get banned). It is a title that stands bellow our avatar, and we all know how much titles can mean to make us seem like we know what we are talking about. I am sure we all know it is not about who actually knows what he is talking about, but rather he who looks like the biggest expert is the one that gets "best answer".

    To find the fresh questions we can answer, simply use the search box, and sort the questions by "newest".

    When we answer enough questions in one niche, it is easy to notice the pattern: many similar questions are asked. I have a default answer for such questions. I make sure it is an answer of extreme quality, often chosen as the best answer. Of course, for each answer I rewrite it in different words.

    - The second main way to get our answer to be chosen as the top answer (and we can be absolutely sure that our answer will get voted as the best one this time) is to ask AND answer the question ourselves! Of course, this would be done with 2 different accounts. We have 4 full days to vote our own answer as the top answer, so don't be hasty and vote it up in a matter of hours, or even minutes as some people do. They obviously did not think things trough, and practically label themselves as spammers. I would also advise making the answer as quality as possible, as that is the only long term solution.
    * tip: do some basic keyword research, and make sure our question AND our answer both hold the keywords in them;
    * tip: combine services such as Minuteworkers and YA;

    About our profile, answers and links:
    (tips inside!)

    - Fill our profile up a bit, add an avatar. It takes 2 minutes, and makes us seem much more legit.

    - Use one IP per account. For a free, short term alternative, I would suggest the TOR browser.

    - To guard ourselves as much as possible from the people who wish us banned, here is what to do:
    go to My activity -> Edit my preferences -> Privacy and Communications. On Sharing and network choose to "share my Q and A with -> My contacts only", choose to "Share my Answers network with: My contacts only", untick "Allow someone from Yahoo Answers to be my fan". That way the "well wishers" won't be able to search our previous questions and flag them if they wish to do so (and they do try)!

    - Treat the source box (found below the answer) just like we would treat the author bio box in the articles for guest posting or article directories. Don't just put our link there, write something to the effect of http://cpafix.com is one of the greatest forums that has users sharing ideas about performance marketing efforts.

    - Do not use link shorteners, .tk domains, or even Youtube shortened links. This way, our answers will get ghosted. What this means is that we will be able to see the answer we gave, but no one else will. To check if our answer was ghosted, simply copy and paste the link of the question in another browser where we are not logged in to YA, and if the answer is visible through another browser - then it is not ghosted.

    EDIT: I got asked this trough a PM, and realized it is a good questions and needs to be on here:
    You can do whatever you want, but I suggest not to direct link without masking the link. I use either a php redirect or iframe an offer on my domain and put those links on YA.

    I can attest to YA working well for certain products from CB, as well as being effective for CPA offers. To answer questions on YA we do not need a lot of time, but the traffic coming from it can be huge. The huge traffic can result in direct monetary gain, to visitors to our website, it can be used to build a list, so on ;)

    EDIT: Check real stats from one offer I promoted on YA for 30 days with a fresh account here:

    I hope I shed some light on how to be successful on YA. One final piece of advice I can offer is this: you should not take what I (or anyone else for that matter) write for granted. Sure, use this as a guideline for the beginning, but experiment and find what works best for you. And of course - report your findings!

    Of course, if you have any questions, suggestions or additions, please do not be afraid to voice them. I will reply to them to the best of my knowledge and ability.

    Kind Regards, and Good Luck,
  2. terraleads
  3. Parry

    Parry Affiliate affiliate

    What works best for automation?
  4. K

    K Administrator Administrator affiliate

    Great read man, whoa that came from nowhere - well done!

    Very interesting guide - id love to see some stats? How many accounts etc are you using?
  5. smilodon

    smilodon Affiliate affiliate

    @Perry, I don't like automation with YA, as it would generate too much spam for my taste. Even though I may break their TOS by being self promotional, I respect the YA community and try to offer vale with my answers. Besides, I don't think total automation is even possible.

    @K I'll mention this much: selling a gaming guide from CB has got me ~100$ per week when the interest in the game was in it's peak. Granted, that lasted for maybe 3-4 weeks, but I'm sure you realize if it is possible with a CB product, it's possible with anything ;)

    I know that is not a huge sum to many, but considering that all the work it took is between 10 and 30 minutes a day, I am satisfied. Besides, I still generate an odd sale every week or two, without being active in the niche for over a month.

    As far as accounts go, like I said, I prefer one per niche, or even offer. Yahoo accounts are easy to make. Just make sure that 2 accounts doing the promotion for different things have no connection in terms of IP, answering the same questions, voting for the same best answers, using the same .com sites etc.

    I also prefer to answer random questions that have practically no answers when I make new accounts, and then vote them up as best answers, that way with very little work I reach level 2.

    Edit: wanted to add - this may have come out of nowhere, but I like this community ;)
  6. DennisKnows

    DennisKnows Get your fix Ninja! affiliate

    Gret post. I was dabbling in YA a while back but stopped because I didn't have a system.

    I think I'm going to turn it back up after seeing this.

    Question on SEO. You say the links are no follow. So is it pretty much a waste of time to add keywords in your links; if that is even possible.

    Also, you can buy level 2 YA accounts. Didn't know about this side of affiliate marketing until K showed me.
  7. smilodon

    smilodon Affiliate affiliate

    I would disagree with this. There is a lot of discussion in SEO circles weather no-follow links really are weaker than follow links. Furthermore, as explained, you get another site referring to your site with both a follow and no-follow backlink. The number of reffering sites to a site/ page is a VERY important metric for ranking sites/ pages and strenghtening their authority.
    It's a myth that only "follow" links bring SEO value, and that we should avoid no-follow links (a link is a link, right).

    As far as keywords go, as explained - you can't add anchor text on Yahoo Answers, so you can not add your keywords. I would also like to point out that, as far as I have understood it, the Penguin update punished sites that used excessive anchor texts to a few specific phrases.

    Anyways, SEO is merely an afterthought for me when using Yahoo Answers. The important thing is driving traffic.

    Thanks for pointing this out. Personally, I like to do the work myself, it literally takes me 20 minutes per account to make it level 2, and I know what I am getting exactly.
  8. fredbaughix

    fredbaughix Affiliate affiliate

    You could also buy level 2 accounts in freelance sites or post a project for YA posting, that way you will save some time for other projects. Also, if you're doing it on your own try to answer other question posted by other users. It could be on any topic to make your account more natural.
  9. smilodon

    smilodon Affiliate affiliate

    I agree, I could outsource this, but then again, we can outsource anything. I happen to enjoy YA more than some other stuff, like SEO for example ;)

    A natural account ... well what is a natural account - that is debatable.

    I am sure at one point most of us were, or still are part of a huge forum which pretty much covers any topic imaginable. But how many boards on the forum are you a part of? I am sure you do not even look at most parts of that forum, only specific, niche areas you are interested in. Same as on some broad IM forums - some people pretty much just stay active in SEO subforum, some in the Email Marketing subforum, others in CPA etc.

    That is also how I view YA. If I start answering questions about Beauty & Makeup, Home Repair, World of Warcraft, Dogs and Cats, Food, Relationships etc... to me that seems more unnatural that sticking to just one niche - Cooking for example, and possibly having an odd answer to a random question in a random niche - sure.
  10. K

    K Administrator Administrator affiliate

    Has anyone started this method since seeing this thread and if so what results have you got so far?
  11. Shijil Kumar

    Shijil Kumar Affiliate affiliate

    Since you have a good experience in YA, how much average leads do you expect after Asking a question and then later answering it using another account?

    Will we be able to see our results soon or is this method used for a long time earning?
  12. smilodon

    smilodon Affiliate affiliate

    Results are seen very soon, yeah.

    If your answer ranks well you can expect leads every now and then - but don't expect magic. Otherwise you will get some clicks for each answer, nothing major. I think most of clicks/leads come from few questions ;)

    I also believe YA to be a short-mid term method, certainly not a long term one (well, nothing is long term except your own web property). When I say it is not long term - I mean it in a way that it will never be hands off/ automatic income generator (unless you outsource possibly, but for that you need to understand the platform yourself).

    It is however one of the ways in which you can drive a huge amount of very targeted traffic to your own site, provided you are helpful and answer relevant questions ;) I didn't try this yet, but I will very soon - to start building a mailing list using YA, so the payouts for my efforts become much more long term.
  13. K

    K Administrator Administrator affiliate

    Anyone else implemented this yet?
  14. smilodon

    smilodon Affiliate affiliate

  15. smilodon

    smilodon Affiliate affiliate

    I got asked this trough a PM, and realized it is a good questions and needs to be on here (also I editet the original post and put this in, to make it as comprehensive as possible):

    You can do whatever you want, but I suggest not to direct link without masking the link. I use either a php redirect, or iframe an offer on my domain and put those links on YA.
  16. raymond0021

    raymond0021 Affiliate affiliate

    I'm going to try this for 2 weeks and give you guys the case study :)
  17. Nat

    Nat Affiliate affiliate

    So do you use Y!A mostly for CPA or for Sales offers? If its CPA do you go for email/zips?

    No one ever gives away niches, but can you reveal some of the very general niches you've used and had success with?

    Using url shorteners is a no no, but what about less known cloakers like CPAFix.com::Link Cloaker
    I really wouldn't want to buy new domains for each offer...

    Does Peerfly allow Y!A direct linking (well, direct as in redirects to their offer straight from Y!A)
  18. smilodon

    smilodon Affiliate affiliate

    I only work in games niche. Well, 80% of it, at least. I won't go into more detail, at least not at this moment.

    I promoted some CB stuff as well as CPA offers. And yes, when I promote CPA it is mostly email/zips or shortforms.

    I don't know about link shorteners, I really don't use them. I get a generic domain and use either a .php redirect or a .html iframe. So it looks like this:


    I was told by AMs in Peerfly that they do not accept YA traffic, so I don't use this method with them ... it depends on networks.

    Oh, and even if networks would accept direct links (they might, I never asked), I wouldn't use them. It's a great way to get your YA account reported fast by the community, and thus banned.

    I hope that answers your questions ;)
  19. Nat

    Nat Affiliate affiliate

    Thanks for the great reply!
  20. damnsmiley

    damnsmiley Affiliate affiliate

    This is a very powerful guide, thanks for sharing this. Lots of new ideas flowing right now let's see which one time permits then i might start a case study soon.
  21. bkamp

    bkamp Affiliate affiliate

    Thanks for the tips great stuff! ?? you mentioned getting multiple yahoo accounts do I need to use something like wers and earn $$$!

    Hide My Ass - VPN to do this?

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