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Basically every search result for any kind of vague or general question will include at least one Quora thread as a result. According to Ahrefs, this fucking site ranks in the top 100 positions for over 68 million keywords and brings in an estimated 100 million monthly clicks from search engines; probably more, since these values are generally underestimates.

Why does this piece of shit site get so much traffic? And how can you use this traffic to market your brand, products, or services? Conveniently, this guide is going to help you find out.

Pros and Cons of Using Quora for Marketing

Pros

  • Residual traffic. While in general social media marketing results in bursts of traffic for 24-48 hours, which quickly falls down to almost nothing, Quora's traffic mainly comes from users searching for longtail keywords in search engines. A strong answer in a thread can result in long-term residual traffic from users (of course, this genearlly comes at the expense of not having bursts of traffic in the short term).
  • Relaxed moderation. Many social media platforms are strict about moderation. Self-promotional content is often removed, even where relevant. Quora's moderation team appears to consist of low-effort labor outsourced for countries with low costs of labor, which means that there is a fair amount of flexibility in what is able to be posted.
  • Easy content repurposing. Quora has an obscene amount of very specific questions asked. Do you have an article about how to buy milk in Quebec? There's probably a question explicitly about that topic.
  • Access to long-term followers. Similarly to sites like Twitter, Mastodon, and so on, users can follow each other on Quora. This allows for users who have built up audiences to get easy visibility from their followers.

Weaknesses of Quora Marketing

  • Low quality traffic. Have you ever visited Quora on purpose? Probably not, unless you're a marketer or whatever. Quora's user and traffic stats are both impacted by a fairly large chunk of users who see the site occassionally from search engine results, but who are not necessarily actively engaged with or even reading the site's content.
  • Time to profit is longer. Since much of Quora's traffic is residual, and since it can take a while to build up followers, the time that it takes before a Quora campaign becomes "worth it" can be much longer than many other platforms.

An Overview of Quora’s Traffic

Longtail Search Engine Traffic

The structure of Quora.com is set up to encourage users to ask questions. In regards to search engine traffic, specific questions are generally easier to rank for than more general terms. While there may be many webpages that discuss “glasses,” there are likely very few about a specific question like “is it possible to wear glasses inside?”

Sign Ups

Unless you spoof your user agent as Googlebot, users are only able to view one page (the page the land on; a “landing page,” as they say) without logging in. This is done to encourage users to create an account by email or by connecting with Google+ or FaceBook, which has resulted in a large number of created accounts.

Once users have created accounts, similar strategies are used to encourage users to answer questions and otherwise contribute to the site. Quora encourages users to answer questions through a number of methods. Notably, users are able to “request answers” from a list of suggested users. Additionally, users are given occasional notices about posts performing well to encourage additional contributions.

Direct Traffic

Because of the sign-up process discussed above, Quora has been able to gain a huge number of users, some of whom then over time begin to visit the site repeatedly. According to Ahrefs, there are approximately 442,000 monthly searches for the term “Quora.”

Quora Questions

Questions on Quora consist of two main parts: The actual quesiton and an optional link for context.

The Question

The question itself can be basically anything. Barring the most completely unreadable, incoherent questions in the world, anything can be asked. Users can choose whether to include their username with these questions or whether the question should be asked anonymously.

When users create questions, they are prompted to include an optional link for context. There is a huge amount of flexibility in what this can be, whether it is a link to a specific page that the question is about, or even a vaguely related article close to the topic of the question. Notably, while links in answers, answer wikis, and elsewhere on Quora are nofollow, the context link for questions is a dofollow link.

Editing

Any user (as well as the Quora moderation staff) can edit both questions and context links at any time, unless the question has been locked from edits by the Quora moderation staff. While this sounds like it is not true, it is in fact true. You can literally go and edit the phrasing of any user's question, as well as edit in any arbitrary link for context. Of course, while these edits do go live immediately, they are generally reviewed within a day or so by the Quora moderation staff, which means that if, for example, irrelevant spam links are added, they will generally be removed.

Replying to Quora Question Threads

Answers

Answers are the most basic type of reply to questions on Quora. When posted, they're thrown into the pool of other answers, which are then shown in an order determined by Quora's algorithm, which uses a variety of factors to determine sort order. Additionally, answers will often be hidden if they are suspected to be low quality, which fairly often occurs even with useful answers if those answers are short or otherwise caught by the filter regardless.

Replies to Answers

Existing answers can be replied to by other users. While the top answer will be read more than replies to the top answer, replying to highly-visible answers is a useful approach to gaining visibility. A reply to a top answer can gain more visibility than a new answer that may be burried in a thread that already has 100+ answers.

Comments

In addition to answers, users can also comment on questions in a somewhat-hidden section for comments.

Holy shit, I did not know there was a separate comments section on Quora

- Literally Everyone

Yeah, well, there's your problem. While it may be easy to be one of the only comments in a given question's thread, few people look at this section. 

The Answer Wiki

Hell yeah. If you’re looking for easy traffic, creating answer wikis is generally the easiest method. Answer wikis are shown at the top of the thread above all answers to the question.

Additionally, they are very easy to get approved. In previous tests of these wikis in even spammy niches, I’ve seen many terrible, inaccurate, and clearly self-promotional wiki creations and edits get approved. You can basically post anything you want.

However, the one reason why answer wikis do get rejected is if too many similar wiki submissions are made in a row. If you submit many answer wikis to many questions, they'll generally all get approved (or rejected) within a few minutes of each other within the next 24 hours or so. This suggests that they are likely all being reviewed by the same reviewer. Because of this, if there is a trend of spamming answer wikis within that set, they are generally all rejected. However, even spammy answers are generally approved when spaced out with 1-3 being submitted per day.

Quora Profiles

Like basically any social media platform, users on Quora can set profiles. While the general utility of these is obvious, Quora's user profiles are unique in that when you reply to questions, your user details will appear next to your post to provide context as to your background. This allows for essentially free advertising by, for example, mentioning the type of company or services that you run. Multiple clients have contacted previous businesses that I have promoted through Quora purely because they became aware of our brand through the Quora user biography.

Additionally, Quora profiles can be useful for branding. When users are deciding whether to buy from or otherwise trust a brand, they often search for the brand's name to find more information. When a brand has social profiles that take up some of the real estate below the brand's main page, this helps establish a brand as trustworthy, as well as providing users with an additional sources to familiarize themselves with the brand. Further, taking up additional real estate on the first page of search engine results for your brand name helps prevent other companies from attempting to parasite off of your brand.

In addition to questions, users can also create their own blogs on quora and can share arbitrary links. While these features are less developed and utilized than similar features on other platforms, they are a solid option for promoting content to followers.

Analyzing Quora Thread Marketing Potential

Of course, it’s important to note that a massive amount of the questions on Quora are fucking bullshit. Many of them are spam and many of them are just terrible questions. When deciding what threads to reply to, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Number of Answers

The more answers a thread has, the more difficult it is to get an answer that is visible at the top of the thread. Since the vast majority of all views go to the very top answer and to a lesser extent the few below it, threads with high answer counts can be difficult to gain visibility from (at least through the creation of direct answers).

Question Lock Status

Some questions will be locked by moderators. While these questions can still be replied to with new answers, edits to answer wikis, to question phrasing, and to context links are disallowed. If you're looking to work with any of these components, make sure to note whether questions are available for editing.

View Count

One of the main statistics that can be used to analyse a post is the view count value. To find this value, visit the “View Stats and Log” page.

This value can also be used in combination with the answer count; questions with a high view count relative to the number of answers can be good opportunities for creating responses that have high levels of visibility.

Number of (Public) Followers

Users are able to follow questions to be notified about updates and replies to those threads. This is useful both in estimating the overall visibility of a question, but also in determining whether older questions are still worth replying too. Further, the follower count can also be useful when attempting to determine whether a question is “real” or whether it is essentially or literally spam.

Edit History

Also under the "View Stats and Log" section is edit history. This section can be used to determine whether a page has a history of being used for spam, as well as whether there are currently any ongoing moderation wars related to, for example, the answer wiki.

Search Engine Position

Another metric that can be used is to examine a site's position in search results. One easy way to do this is to search for any obvious keywords that the page might rank for. For example, "where can I buy gold" might rank for "where can I buy gold." Additionally, tools like Ahrefs can be used to examine individual URLs to determine keywords that the page ranks for. This data is useful in that it can determine the type of and quality of traffic to a target page.

Types of Marketing Possible with Quora

In addition to using Quora for social media marketing in general, there are a number of more specific techniques that can be used for marketing.

Building an Audience of Quora Followers

Social media platforms can broadly be categorized as either being content aggregators (where the success of posts is based primarily on user engagement) or being follower-based (where the success of posts is based more on the number of users who follow the account who made the post). Quora does both, which allows for brands to be built up over time through content posting. The utility of this is fairly self-explanatory.

Using Quora’s Paid Advertising Platform

As with most social media platforms, Quora includes options for paid advertisements. Because Quora is a fairly casual platform (as are most social media platforms), these are generally more effective as a branding tool than for the purpose of driving direct sales.

Additionally, for niches that profit off of bulk traffic with low value-per-view (e.g., news sites that make money off of advertisements), this type of Quora marketing can be effective.

Additionally, Quora segments its questions in various categories, which users can then subscribe to. For example, the “Personal Legal Advice” category has 21 followers.

It is generally more advantageous to reach 100 people 10 times than to be seen by 1000 people once. Picking specific categories and answering many or all of the questions with those tags can be a good way to get the best return-on-investment for a specific target demographic.

Using Quora for Branding

In addition to using Quora accounts, profiles, and replies for branding, it is also possible to create arbitrary topic pages for your business. Ahrefs, for example, has a topic with 3.3k followers. By creating, curating, and monitoring a category about your brand, you can easily gather more traffic and brand awareness from interested niche-related users.

As discussed in the ultimate guide to link building methods, social media links are still links. While Quora links are nofollow (except for the context links), they are still links and have utility the same as any other link.

Using Quora for “Parasite SEO”

Quora can also be used to promote and rank content that either is designed to lead to your brand or site, or that is designed to convert off of Quora, which is commonly referred to as parasite SEO. If your goal is primarily to have a context link and/or answer wiki, one way to improve the performance of a parsite-type post is by requesting answers to threads, which helps build content in that thread to help it gain more traffic.

In Conclusion

Overall, Quora is a solid platform to use for marketing, being flexible for use in any niche. While marketing through the platform can take a while to yield results relative to other shorter-term options, it is useful for gaining longer-term residual traffic, as well as for building a userbase of followers over time.

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Posted by August R. Garcia 4 months ago

Edit History

• [2019-06-04 10:05 PDT] August R. Garcia (4 months ago)
• [2019-06-04 10:05 PDT] August R. Garcia (4 months ago)
🕓 Posted at 04 June, 2019 10:05 AM PDT

Profile Photo - August R. Garcia August R. Garcia LARPing as a Sysadmi... Portland, OR
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Site Owner

Grahew Mattham

August Garcia is some guy who used to sell Viagra on the Internet. He made this website to LARP as a sysadmin while posting about garbage like user-agent spoofing, spintax, the only good keyboard, virtual assitants from Pakistan, links with the rel="nofollow" attributeproxiessin, the developer console, literally every link building method, and other junk.

Available at arg@256kilobytes.com, via Twitter, or arg.256kilobytes.com. Open to business inquiries based on availability.


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