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ANSWERED on Sat 10 Nov 2007 - 12:13 am UTC by David Sarokin

Question: Google Answers statistics

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 9 Nov 2007 21:23 UTCFri 9 Nov 2007 - 9:23 pm UTC 

When was the first question posted to Google Answers? When was the last question posted to Google Answers?

Approximately how many questions were posted to Google Answers? Approximately how many of those were answered?


David Sarokin 


 10 Nov 2007 00:13 UTCSat 10 Nov 2007 - 12:13 am UTC 

Hello ribuck.  Happy anniversary...or something along those lines.  Let's get to it.

When was the first question posted to Google Answers?

The very first question posted to Google Answers on April 9, 2002:

Why is the sky blue?

and as far as I know, was a test question posted to get the ball rolling.  You can see that the question was asked by "birdie" who appears to be the only user name at GA without a -ga extension. 

When was the last question posted to Google Answers?

GA's final day for posting questions was November 30, 2006, and the very last question posted was:

Unable to process request. Please try again later

Researcher's had a month after the final posting to answer any remaining questions.  The very last answer posted is mongolia-ga's:

And now the end is near

Approximately how many questions were posted to Google Answers?

Tbis one's tricky.  I once estimated, for an article I was writing, 71,000 questions, but I can't recreate that estimate with the current stored version of the Google Answers site.

Using the currently available tools at the GA site, I was able to determine the following:

about 2748 in Arts and Entertainment 

about 8639 in Business and Money

about 4373 in Computers

about 1172 in Family and Home

about 2398 in Health

about 3119 in Reference, Education and News

about 851 in Relationships and Society

about 1624 in Science

about 1096 in Sports and Recreation

about 27067 in Miscellaneous

The grand total for the individual categories is 53,087 questions.

Approximately how many of those were answered?

By adding the "num" parameter to any of the above URLs, it is possible to display all the questions in the category on a single page.  For instance, here's the Family and Home category:

Showing questions 1 - 1172 of about 1172 in Family and Home

Using this strategy, I counted the number of answered questions in a few categories.  The results consistently come in at 43-44% of questions answered.

Arts and Entertainment
1186/2748= 0.43158661

Family and Home

Reference, Education and News

I hope that information meets your needs.  But as always, if there's anything more I can do for you, just let me know.





 10 Nov 2007 01:19 UTCSat 10 Nov 2007 - 1:19 am UTC 

This report says that 77,675 questions were asked on GA (37,971 of which were answered) during the period from June 2002 through October 2004:



David Sarokin 


 10 Nov 2007 02:33 UTCSat 10 Nov 2007 - 2:33 am UTC 

I wonder if we can collectively solve the mystery of the missing Q&A's? 

The numbers that pinkfreud cited seem right to me, in my heart of hearts, but try as I might, I could only come up with the 50,000-plus questions that I identified in my answer.

The report also shows about 49% of the questions getting answered at GA...higher than the 44% I came up with, but certainly in the same ballpark.

ribuck, what do you think of all this?



David Sarokin 


 10 Nov 2007 04:08 UTCSat 10 Nov 2007 - 4:08 am UTC 

On the other hand, 77,000 questions in a little over two years implies almost 100 questions a day.  I don't think GA was cranking at quite that rate (though it would have been nice!).  But 77,000 or thereabouts over the course of the entire GA lifespan does seem a reasonable number to me.





 10 Nov 2007 04:59 UTCSat 10 Nov 2007 - 4:59 am UTC 

This report found more than 40,000 questions in the GA database as of November 2003:





 10 Nov 2007 06:24 UTCSat 10 Nov 2007 - 6:24 am UTC 

David wrote:

1: The very first question posted to Google Answers on April 9, 2002

2: GA's final day for posting questions was November 30, 2006

3: 77,000 questions in a little over two years implies almost 100 questions a day.

Time sure goes fast when you are having fun.

Worried of Hove




 10 Nov 2007 08:15 UTCSat 10 Nov 2007 - 8:15 am UTC 

A search for Space brings up about 420,000 Results; while a search for ga brings up about 467,000.

Obviously, the Question Numbers themselves (up to 787,272) are unhelpful but I would have thought that 400,000 plus was possible.

Am I missing something?





 10 Nov 2007 12:27 UTCSat 10 Nov 2007 - 12:27 pm UTC 





 10 Nov 2007 13:06 UTCSat 10 Nov 2007 - 1:06 pm UTC 

The graph further down on Pink's first link does show the number of questions per month for the period to Dec 2004, well over 2000 on average, which does seem high, but we may have blotted out recollection of all the "dfddf" type questions and the ca. 20,000 the report says received neither an answer nor comment.

What happened to questions that were cancelled or removed by the Editor?
Could they have dropped out of David's statistics from the currently available data for the categories?




 13 Nov 2007 07:46 UTCTue 13 Nov 2007 - 7:46 am UTC 

A lot of questions have been deleted.  They started disappearing right after the closing.  Present count is definitely low.



David Sarokin 


 13 Nov 2007 12:56 UTCTue 13 Nov 2007 - 12:56 pm UTC 

Tryx wrote:  "A lot of questions have been deleted.  They started disappearing right after the closing."

Did this really happen?  I've never noticed any of my own Q&A's disappearing, but then again, there's lots of things I never notice.

I know there's been a lot of speculation about disappearing questions, but to the best of my recollection, no one's ever actually confirmed a disappeared Q&A, other than the occasional repulsive question that was deleted for obvious reasons.

Wondering what others think?

As for the numbers, 50-70 thousand in the space of 4 1/2 years (I don't know why I said 2 years, above) seems reasonable to me.  This comes out to 1 or 2 questions an hour, which feels about right, No?



Roger Browne 


 13 Nov 2007 14:09 UTCTue 13 Nov 2007 - 2:09 pm UTC 

David: the reason you said "2 years" above is because you were referring to the report cited by Pinkfreud which counted "77,675 questions ... (37,971 of which were answered) ... from June 2002 through October 2004".

I just checked the Google Answers site, and all of my 199 answers are still online:



Roger Browne 


 13 Nov 2007 14:12 UTCTue 13 Nov 2007 - 2:12 pm UTC 

My fuzzy recollection is that for most of the time, questions ran about 6 per hour for most of the day, dropping to one per hour or less in the early hours of the US morning.


David Sarokin 


 13 Nov 2007 14:26 UTCTue 13 Nov 2007 - 2:26 pm UTC 

>>David: the reason you said "2 years" above is because you were referring to the report cited by Pinkfreud <<

Like I said, there are a lot of things I never notice...!




 13 Nov 2007 16:18 UTCTue 13 Nov 2007 - 4:18 pm UTC 

Here's a thread from another forum that I posted on Dec 2, 2006:

When I reported earlier that some Questions had been axed, I was
reporting my own experience which was really bizarre because just one
of my many questions had been removed and that was an oldie which, I
reckon, was over 3 years old.

This is all that was left:

Your question: BKWSU (Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University) was
removed from Google Answers. The Google Answers editors have sent you
an email to provide further details on this removal. If you have you
have any concerns about this, please e-mail us at
answers-supp...@google.com. Include the Question ID: 206345 and your
Google Answers Nickname in any correspondence.

Moreover, the Editors never did send me the promised email 'to provide
further details on this removal'.

However, I did not have any 'concerns' because I had saved a copy of
the Answer as a Word Doc. It runs to 8 pages so I won't post it here.

Anyway, here is a snippet:

1. "Brahma Kumaris" cult

(a) "On Thursday 8 January 1998, the Spanish police in Santa Cruz on
the tourist island of Tenerife announced that they had only just
prevented a mass suicide planned for that day  A Berlin psychologist,
Ms Heide Fittkau-Garthe... was the leader, the 'World Mother', of the
Atma Center (Isis Holistic Center); the cult involved in this....
Apparently, Fittkau-Garthe had been the leader of the Hamburg branch
of the Brahma Kumaris religious group (founded in the 1930s in India;
headquarters at Mt. Abu). She retained its doctrine of an elite of
'golden souls', destined to reincarnate to rule the world in a new
world era, and its belief in "Shiv Baba" (or "Brahma Baba") as supreme

My interest arose because one of my 'pro bono' clients was having a run
in with a guy who was a member of this cult. I eventually met him and
he truly believed that they were dstined to rule the world. He even
tried to recruit me!

Maybe if he had suceeded the Cult would now be ruling the world?
However, when they failed to win me over, they then went for GA? (Only

Worried of Hove

Note: The Question was posted 20 May 2003 08:37 PDT and the Researcher was Tehuti-ga.


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 13 Nov 2007 16:42 UTCTue 13 Nov 2007 - 4:42 pm UTC 

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 13 Nov 2007 17:00 UTCTue 13 Nov 2007 - 5:00 pm UTC 

Hi Bryan,

I suspect that Google was getting some feedback from someone about you presentation and wanted to a void a possible legal fight  - maybe in your interest.

Hmm, if Google holds the copyright, does that absolved the author from responsibility for the contents?



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