Mobile and Tablet Marketing

Is ChaCha Smarter than Google?

Like many folks, I underestimated the power of ChaCha. A lot of people thought that ChaCha has been a crazy experiment. People have joked about the ChaCha guides just looking stuff up on Google and responding with it.

Working closely with Scott Jones and ChaCha has been quick-paced, challenging, fun… and rewarding. ChaCha is turning a corner… and people are starting to take notice. The next month at ChaCha will be even more exciting than the last… this I promise you!

What ChaCha has amassed is one of the fastest and most complete question and answer databases on the Internet. Some questions have been asked hundreds or thousands of times… and ChaCha no longer has to verify the request, they can simply provide it.

The numbers are pretty amazing… over a million requests answered a day. Over 4.5 million Chuck Norris joke requests alone! It’s not all fun and games, though. ChaCha has real-time answers on what’s happening in Haiti, how big is the universe, or practical answers like how to get gum out of your hair or the address or phone number for a company.

ChaCha.com continues to grow in traffic as well – not just from direct requests but from the search engines themselves. Even Google has noticed how good ChaCha’s answers are – search engine growth continues to rise. The site is now the largest Indiana website for traffic and has surpassed many social media darlings in Silicon Valley.

Ask ChaCha a trivia question and you’ll probably get a pretty good response, as well! Try it yourself by texting a question to 242242 or calling 1-800-224-2242 (242242 spells ChaCha). Or you can test out a new widget I built in my sidebar. (Note: There’s still some clean-up to do on it – like figuring out why IE sometimes doesn’t like it!).

While Google has amassed a well-indexed database of where to find answers on the Internet, ChaCha has actually found the answers. That’s no easy feat. As the database gets larger and the number of users of the system grows, you’ll notice the quality of responses is growing as well. It’s not perfect – but ChaCha is a tool that, when used correctly, can be quite an asset to have!

ChaCha also has insight into trends (to the left is a dashboard I’ve also built). Twitter trends is what people are talking about, Google trends is what people are trying to find… and ChaCha has the exact questions that people are asking. That’s pretty valuable information – something that ChaCha is also beginning to realize. Of course it was probably something that Jones et Investors understood all along.

Full disclosure: ChaCha is a key client of mine.

4 Comments

  1. 1

    I definitely underestimated Cha-Cha when they first started. However, that being said, they’ve got a ways to go. I understand that they’ve got a huge # of questions asked that they can just pull from, but the problem I’ve encountered is sometimes it’s just not the right answer and it’s no longer a conversation with a real person. They just give you what they think is the best answer even though it’s not what you asked.

    Example:
    Q: Does more rain hit your windshield if you’re driving faster or slower:
    A from ChaCha: Driving faster would increase the velocity of the rain droplets against your vehicle and would have greater force to remove dirt.

    Not exactly what I asked, and it doesn’t seem to keep any context of a conversation so follow up questions to this didn’t have any context.

    Regardless though, they’re doing a good job overall, they just have some work to do on their algorithms and may need to bring back some human touch to it.

  2. 2

    Thanks for the comments Blake!

    ChaCha continues to work with Guides and recognize that human interaction is still necessary in the equation. Often, the examples I see where ChaCha hasn’t provided quality answers aren’t really quality questions. No offense to you, of course, but is that really a question you’d ask ChaCha? Or would you simply observe while you’re driving. *DONT_KNOW*

    Did you ask Google the same question? I see results with How to avoid a Moose in a collision! At least ChaCha was close!

    I believe ChaCha’s sweet spot is questions with finite answers that we can’t find in a search engine.

  3. 3

    “The numbers are pretty amazing? over a million requests answered a day. Over 4.5 million Chuck Norris joke requests alone!”

    4.5 million overall or is that 4.5 million of the 1 million per day? 😉

  4. 4

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