'Answers' Can Now Be Found on Yahoo Search page

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Yahoo officially launched its Answers search service yesterday and added an Answers shortcut to its main search page.

Yahoo Answers, which has been in beta for five months, allows people to ask questions and see answers from a database of 10 million answers that individuals have submitted.

"We are integrating this human knowledge into the Web search experience," said Tim Mayer, director of product management, Yahoo Search.

Yahoo and other search engines continue to stress the value of community and social networking through services like Answers, which allows individuals to share questions and answers with one another and connect by Yahoo Mail, Yahoo 360 and other services.

Last week, Google launched Google Co-op beta, a similar service in which organizations and individuals can label Web pages relevant to their areas of expertise or create specialized links that users can subscribe to.

People are rewarded for their quality and relevant answers when using the service. Users regularly voted as providing the "best answer" build a reputation and more points. As they get more points, they can ask, answer, vote and rate more frequently.

While the Answers service is not currently linked to advertising, in the future, users' questions could easily lead to providing relevant answers from experts and companies.

Sample questions include, "What is the best dog for an apartment?" and "Need advice on Canon camera," which will include a Yahoo shortcut with a link to all search results in Yahoo Answers on Canon cameras.

If a commercial entity does provide answers in the future, Yahoo would "want to let people know that the person came from a certain company...for transparency and credibility," Mr. Mayer said.

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