SEO Marketing

Quora SEO: How to Use Quora if You're an SEO

By Tom Demers March 24, 2011 Posted In: SEO Marketing Comments: 9

If you're not familiar with it, Quora is a relatively new question and answer site. It's much-hyped and has a huge following within the tech/startup community, and features participation from well-known entreprenuers, angel investors, and venture capitalists. There's some debate about how scalable the site is, how useful and interesting it is to people outside this initial niche, etc.

We won't focus on any of that or on the basic mechanics of asking a question on Quora here -- what I want to talk about is two interesting ways an SEO can use Quora.

1. Find Content Topic Ideas for Tech-Oriented Content

This is really true of any Q and A site, but if you can find a niche with some activity, Quora is a great way to find content topic ideas. Let's say I'm looking to build out an editorial calendar for the WordStream blog so that everyone can drive Elisa crazy missing their deadlines and ignoring the proposed topics. I can go to Quora and find some interesting content ideas:

quora-adwords

Just by starting a search for AdWords in the omnipresent search bar on the site we get some interesting ideas. "How many people advertise on AdWords" is a particularly interesting query. We can take things a step further, though, and drill down into the Google AdWords topic to get at some even richer content.

Once I click through, I can take a look at all of the "open questions":

quora-open-questions-seo

This is interesting because these are questions that people are asking, but that no one has produced a good answer for: demand without supply = opportunity. I can take a peak at this list (here we see 44 unanswered questions) and pull together all the questions that myself or anyone else authoring content for the blog could answer. We also see the handy related sections such as Google, Pay Per Click, etc. These are good opportunities to find more open questions and add them to our content plan. 

Once we've finalized on topics, we'll want to add a layer of research to our topic selection: keyword research. Having found some questions that we know people are looking for that we know we can answer, we now want to make sure we're connecting with as many of the people looking for this answer as possible. Find the right keywords using your favorite keyword research tool and apply them to your title tag to draw in the maximum amount of traffic available.

2. Follow Google Engineers (And Former Google Engineers!)

Everyone in the search marketing community hangs on Matt Cutts' every word, but he works for Google and is effectively a PR representative for them. One of the unique things about Quora that's interesting to an SEO is that it attracts a lot of engineers and early adopters -- some of whom currently or used to work for Google. 

During the whole Bing Google who copied who controversy there was a great thread that Edmund Lau, a former Google Search engineer, participated in and he shared some very interesting information. Following Google engineers and, better yet, former Google engineers who worked on various search products on Quora lets you see how they answer questions around search results. This gives you a more diverse (and less experienced/polished) set of voices around what Google is doing, thinking, and where the search product is going. It's actually rather difficult to find people you aren't connected with via FaceBook or Twitter on Quora at the moment, but you can find a nice list of Google employees on Quora within a very comprehensive "unofficial directory" of tech people on Quora.

By leveraging Quora to get content ideas and learn more about how people at Google think about their search product, you can get some actual SEO value out of Quora even if they no-follow your external links. 

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Comments

Thursday March 24, 2011

Maneet Puri (not verified) Said:

I haven't read about Quora before. Found it really an interesting piece.

Thursday March 24, 2011

Tom Demers Said:

 Thanks Maneet!

Tom

Wednesday April 20, 2011

Phil (not verified) Said:

Right, this is interesting. This is the first time I've heard of Quora. I'll surely be trying this one out. Thanks Tom!

Monday May 16, 2011

Tom Aikins (not verified) Said:

I've heard of Quora before but never realized it cold be useful in this way. I'll be checking it out.

Monday May 16, 2011

Tom Aikins (not verified) Said:

How are you supposed to get on Quora when it says you need an invitation to join? The article that you link to in the second paragraph says you can join Quora just like you do Facebook but that's bullshit. I get a screen that says this: Sorry, you must have an invitation to create an account on Quora.

Saturday September 29, 2012

Scott D (not verified) Said:

Does the linking in Quore carry any link juice? Does Quora allow the google spiders to crawl its website? As of late I have seen many Quora listings appearing on top of the searches. Does it really carry that much weight?

Wednesday May 22, 2013

carlal0o (not verified) Said:

This links cannot be crawled because they are set to "no follow" but at some point it can be a citation. If it consist of enough information and enticing to the ones who read it, then it can be valuable to your website. :)

Wednesday November 07, 2012

Andrew Newey (not verified) Said:

Hi Tom, this is exactly why I love Quora and Yahoo Answers.

  • Keeping your finger on the pulse of your market needs
  • creating good relevant content; and
  • interracting with your target market

I do this for my new Kick Speed business and my other ones that I won't bore you with for now... laugh

Friday January 25, 2013

Samantha (not verified) Said:

I love using quora. There are always great questions with great answers from others. You can find out a lot about what different markets.

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