Google Answers

Not that I’m obsessed with Google, but they’re doing something really cool called “Google Answers“. People submit a question and pay for it to be answered by one of the researchers. Who are the researchers? They’re just people who want to pick up a few bucks doing research. Anyone can apply to be one. 75% of the price goes to the researcher. The other 25% goes to Google of course. I’ve always wondered how this company was going to make money. They started selling ads and licensing their technology to companies, but I don’t know if this is paying the bills. Is this a brilliant idea to take advantage of their vast traffic resources, or are they just desperate to monetize their audience?
One thing I noticed when checking out the questions people have been asking: There’s a reason they’re willing to pay to have these answered. If the questions were easy you could just type them into Google and see what you get.
The interesting thing to see (assuming this thing takes off) will be to see how Google incorporates the new content (the answers I mean) into their search. They could copy the Ask Jeeves question and answer concept but do it much better because their ability to answer the questions is so scaleable. (There’s no reason why a million people couldn’t be “researchers” they only get paid when someone is willing to pay. Google spends no money except to maintain the infrastructure.)