Most outsiders who comment on the closure of Google Answers spin it along the lines of “Yahoo Answers has won the battle”. Those of us who were researchers know that this is as bogus as saying that “McDonalds has won the battle against the fine restaurant next door”. Each has its own turf, with only a small overlap. It doesn’t have to be “one or the other”; they can co-exist.
Google employee Matt Cutts, on his blog, has a quite different take on the closure. He describes the axing of GA as if it were pruning dead wood or throwing out stagnant water. That’s not how most researchers view it, of course. We think of it as throwing out a cherished but neglected item instead of refurbishing and improving it.
There are some insightful comments to Matt’s post.
(Matt is head of the Webspam team at Google, and the image above is from his blog. It’s supposed to represent a sword slicing through spam, but just at the moment it evokes something different…)