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http://answers.google.com/answers/

That URL will soon lose its usefulness for answering your questions. Google is now going to abandon its Google Answers service at the end of this week, which it launched 4 years ago.

Google is not entirely clear on why they are quitting it, other than "[it] was a great experiment which provided us with a lot of material for developing future products to serve our users."

People would ask a question, and a real person from the Google team would actually answer, unlike the search engine which uses an algorithm to provide results. There were more than 800 people that answered questions since they launched this service.

Although they will stop accepting new questions, it appears that the old questions and answers will be left for other users to search and read through.

Yahoo currently has a similar service which is even more popular than Google Answers, and currently has no plans of shutting down.

Personally, I've never used either service, although I've heard of at least one of them. It seems odd the way Google is giving up in an area where it could have possibly dominated, and taken market share away from Yahoo.

Of course, Google is rapidly expanding, and if they do not keep control of their business, it would spiral out of control. There is a limit to which a company can go. And the amount of traffic Google Answers generated as compared to the rest of Google was very insignificant, and dropping this will allow Google to focus on more important services.

Is Google finally forced to surrender to Yahoo? Finally, something that Google cannot dominate.

At least it keeps them humble.

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