Google is the most-frequently used site for Q&A by a wide margin, according to data from Ask.com and the Q1 2011 GMI Brand Image Monitor. Almost three-quarters (73%) of online adults using a search engine at least weekly said they used Google to ask, look for or answer a question in the past month.
Ask.com, Bing, Yahoo Follow Google
Ask.com ranked second is usage for Q&A activities among search engine users, with 34% saying they have utilized Ask.com in the past month. This means more than twice as many search engine users turn to Google, rather than Ask.com, for Q&A needs. Other search/Q&A providers used by a relatively high number of respondents include Yahoo Search (30%), Bing (26%), and Yahoo Answers (24%). The only other provider to receive a double-digit usage rate is Answers.com/WikiAnswers (19%).
Ask.com Has Highest Q&A Awareness
Interestingly, although Google is used most often for online Q&A, when survey participants were asked to name Q&A sites, the highest percentage (53%) named Ask.com or AskJeeves.com (its previous name). Google ranked second with 44% awareness, followed by Yahoo Search (28%), Bing (21%) and Wikipedia (11%).
8 in 10 Search Engine Users See Q&A as Relevant
A combined eight in 10 (82%) search engine users see at least some degree of relevance to Q&A sites. The largest percent (41%) say they are somewhat relevant. Of the remaining 18%, most (15%) say Q&A sites are not very relevant, with only 3% saying they are not at all relevant.
Sizable Minorities See Q&A as Addressing Some Search Shortcomings
Sizable minorities of search engine users strongly agree that Q&A sites can help address certain shortcomings of traditional search engines. For example, 37% say that some questions they ask online might be better answered by a person (which is an option on Q&A sites but not most search engines), 32% say it is increasingly necessary to dig through search engine results to find relevant data, and 25% say it is increasingly necessary to use more than one search engine to find a good answer.
- 39% of search engine users are increasingly using Q&A sites instead of search engines.
- 32% of search engine users are increasingly using Q&A sites in addition to search engines.
- When aided with visual company logos, 81% of respondents identified Ask.com as a Q&A site and 80% identified Google as a Q&A site.
Compete: Ask Gains Visitors, Queries
Ask.com experienced substantial gains in year-over-year search query volume between March 2010 and March 2011, growing about 33% from 388 million to 606 million, according to Compete. In addition, Ask increased its unique visitor total about 18% from March 2010, growing from 71 million to 91 million.
About the Data: The Q1 2011 Brand Image Monitor survey was conducted in March 2011. Respondents include 1,255 individuals from GMI’s national panel, ages 18 – 65, who use a search engine at least weekly.