Is it better to answer the newest questions on Quora?

At the start of July, I fixed myself the goal to reach 10k views on Quora.

Is it better to answer the newest questions on Quora?

I decided to consistently writing 2 to 4 answers per day for a month, and I reached my goal of 10k views.

The Research

I used this as an opportunity to experiment different ways of finding relevant questions. I tried to answer:

  • Questions recommended by QApop (obviously)
  • New questions on the topic I follow
  • Question I got requested to answer
  • Question shared in Quora spaces

There weren’t many questions in the quora space I follow, so I answered less questions of the type. My number of answers was evenly distributed among the 3 other types of questions.

After a month, I check my top 45 most views answer:

Question type Number of answer
New questions on the topic I follow 20
Questions recommended by QApop 19
Question shared in Quora spaces 4
Question I got requested to answer 2

So answering new questions is the best, isn’t it? No, it isn’t. The table above is missing one important statistic : views. Let’s put things in perspective by adding views and views per question:

Type of question In top 45 Total views Views/answer
Question I got request to answer 2 566 283
Questions recommended by QApop 19 2229 117
New questions on the topic I follow 20 1731 87
Question share in Quora space 4 313 78

Looking at the table, the highest number of views per question is for “questions I got a request to answer”. However I mentioned that my answers were evenly distributed between groups (with exception of the Quora space that I will address later). Only 2 questions I got a request to answer ended up in my top 45. That means that those questions have high variance in their number of views.

Actually if I dig even further. Only one of the questions I got requested to answer generated 366 views, which is 2 third of views from the answer group. So answering this type of question is quite a lottery. Some questions might give you amazing results, others will be a waste of your time.

Answering new questions generates quite a lot of views overall but the number of views per answer is quite low. So if you are aiming for efficiency that is not the type of question to target.

Furthermore, I noticed a pattern with the view from the new question. Views chart of a new questions typically looks like this:

You will get a surge of views on the 1st day (potentially second), then the views flatern. When I’m answering questions recommended by QApop the parternis slightly different. There is still a surge of views on the first few days (as followers get notification about the answer) but the tail is much wider. As QApop is ranking question based on traffic, if you answer those question you will keep on getting views over time.

I have almost not answer any question in August, but I’m still getting 150 views per day in a consistent manner:

I’m assuming that most of the 1st day views when you answer a recent question, are from other people considering to answer the question too. Therefore those views are useless, beside the fact of boosting your total number of views.

So answering recent questions only matters if you want to boost your number of views in a short amount of time. This is mainly a vanity metrics and won’t help your business. If your goal is to create equity on Quora and consistently get views, answering questions recommended by QApop is better. Even if those questions are old.

This is quite clear if I compare source of my views in last 30 days vs all time:

Share of views in last 30 days:

Share of views for all time:

What about the question from space?

As I mentioned previously I wasn’t able to answer many questions from spaces, as they are less frequent. Also most of the spaces I’m following are quite niche and do not have that big follower base. As a result I think that my experiment with Quora space is inconclusive.

I joined some wider Quora space so I will try to run some new experiments and share my results later (You can sign up to our newsletter to stay tuned).

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