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Quora vs. eHow: Where’s the Better Quality?

Google Certainly Likes eHow Better

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Ok, the title is a trick question. There’s no concrete answer to this. You’ll find a mix of quality across both Quora and eHow. Furthermore, these sites are two different animals, but there is some overlap. Both sites have more than just how-to content, but both sites also have a great deal of how-to content.

Have you had a better experience with content on Quora or on eHow? Let us know.

It is this realization that led me to this piece to begin with. Browsing Quora, looking for some interesting conversations, I came across this one for, “How should you wash clothes?” Yes, that’s Quora, not eHow. The thread has actually been open since June of last year.

Quora gets a lot of press for content about companies – people with direct knowledge of situations answering questions about said situations. Apparently it’s also a how-to site. Do a Quora search for “how to” and you will be inundated with search results. Among those, you’ll find some of the kinds of content Quora is more well-known for, but you’ll also find things like “How can I learn to love salads?”, “How do you learn to love yourself?”, “How is sunscreen thought to cause cancer?”, etc.

Quora How To Results better than eHow?

We’ve called out Google in the past for ranking apparently non-authoritative content from eHow for cancer related queries, so it seems only fair to address that last Quora example as well. Quora is not ranking high in Google’s results for that, and I have to wonder whether or not it was before the Panda update. That would be interesting to know.

The top answer itself comes from someone who is following medical and cancer topics on Quora, but her bio does not appear to be present. It would be helpful for these types of answers to know something about the person who is answering. Is this person a doctor, for example? We don’t know. We just know that other Quora users (including co-founder Charlie Cheever in this case) liked the answer enough to vote it up. I wonder if Quora might be more useful with required bios. Of course, then the whole online anonymity debate comes into play.

One interesting thing about Quora is that it had a feedback system built-in from the get go – something eHow has just implemented with its new redesign.

eHow Helpful button - curation layer

Quora answers are voted up or down by users, and there are links for “thank” and “not helpful”.

Someone posted the question on Quora, “Is Quora trying to copy eHow?” but it has not been answered at this point. Seems like a good place for Quora’s founders to jump in.

Your Quora experience is what you make of it. You choose the people and topics to follow, so if you’re a user, you can keep it at least somewhat relevant to your needs. We talked before about how Quora’s experience is about the content more than it is about the service itself. A lot of high profile people have had plenty of interesting things to say on Quora. The same could be said for Twitter and other services.

In fact, the same can actually even be said for eHow, as it continues to make more partnerships to bring authoritative (or at least celebrity) voices to its content. It’s a different format, but again, there is some overlap.

I find it interesting that Quora users seem to be churning out more and more of the kind of content that usually gets associated with content farms and alleged content farms – “how-to” stuff in particular.

In some ways, one might even consider Quora a direct competitor to a site like eHow, but Quora isn’t dominating the search results the way eHow does. Of course, Quora’s model is not to create content based on what people are searching for. Quora starts with questions, and people answer those questions (some likely hoping to be found in search results as a result – not to get traffic per se, but at least to be viewed as an authority on a given subject).

As far as who has the better quality, it depends on the topic, and it depends on your opinion. Google is certainly holding eHow in higher regard for the examples I’ve seen. Searching for “How should you wash clothes?” I see wikiHow ranking at the top, followed by eHow, and this is the exact title of the Quora piece, mind you (it’s not for wikiHow or eHow). The Quora result doesn’t even appear in the first ten pages.

Should Quora results appear more for Google searches? Less? Tell us what you think.

Quora vs. eHow: Where’s the Better Quality?
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  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    I gave up on Quora after my first hour there. It’s a low quality site built on a low quality concept.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      I think there is quality there if you know where to look. Although, that might be largely because of the industry I work in.

  • http://www.Stromlaw.com Pete Strom

    I also gave up on Quora. eHow has more consistant higher quality content.

  • vybixa

    I should stop reading your articles because I seem to disagree with your analysis most of the time. In general, google may SEEM to favour eHow, and your examples go a long way in cementing that, however all webmasters know that even for very similar content, the on-page SEO effort CAN make a huge difference. Couple this with a touch of off-page SEO / SEM plus social network integration and the difference in ranking / result page can be massive. Back to the topic at hand, eHow could be ranking higher than Quora (even for quora’s chosen long tails) simply due to the design of eHow in terms of SEO and not for the big G simply liking it over quora.

  • http://www.livingfrontiersnow.com Cheryl Hanson

    Not to change the subject, but how has squidoo and hub been affected by the change? I think that they have some pretty good content, and do a fairly good job at monitoring spam, and letting their users push to better and better content.

    It could be a good analysis when you compare the two above.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      HubPages was hit pretty hard.

  • Adsense Publisher

    While I applaud sites for putting quality buttons where people can vote their mind, that’s just it, it’s people still voting. Google can’t deliver quality without a vote. Why is that? Because it can’t think like a human can that’s why (and thank God for that). In the case of before the Panda update it was simply having certain words on a page and then linking from other sites using certain words and doing it on such a large scale it would appear that the internet was voting for one site over another when it was all inflated by spamming sites with links just so you could rank higher than the next site. Content farms proved those rule still applied and forced Google to make drastic changes. What content farms are betting on now is word count. The larger the word count on the page the more it might rank higher, but it still needs links to the pages. Well that’s where social networking comes in. No better way than to have little bots acting like people and tweeting more spam links and Google sucking it all up. MMMM yummie! So these so called signals that Google is using are flawed as they can all be manipulated as we see them being done time and time again. This last one may have caught the content farms off guard for now, but they’re not going down without a fight.

  • http://ratanjha.com Ratan Jha

    eHow is undoubtedly better. But still, that is my opinion.

  • Dave

    One simple disadvantage that I quickly noticed was that to learn ANYTHING about Quora and its contents I must first log in.

    As a casual internet surfer why would anyone do that to an unknown site?
    I would not.
    Not safe.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      I’ve seen many similar complaints, though the endorsement of some high profile techies has gone a long way to help its reputation.

  • Georgia Page

    I find eHow to be very disappointing. When I am searching for specific instructions on how to do something, I will get eHow results in the top several places when searching on Google.

    I find eHow to include very basic, simplistic information that is obviously written just to rank well — and does not include helpful instructions or insights.

    It’s a ripoff, and I’m sorry that Google has fallen for this.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      Have you used the feedback button? You raise an interesting point. I wonder how many who find the quality to be bad will even bother to leave feedback.

  • http://www.millestanze.it siti internet

    I like more eHow. I think is more direct and simple.

  • http://www.bargainhomeuk.com hugh williams

    i havn’t really used Quora much but i thin eHow is great