Is it bad to ask questions on Quora which could be easily answered?

Quora Policies and Guidelines: Is it bad to ask questions on Quora which could be easily answered on Google?

No. These questions are encouraged as they fit into our mission to share and grow the world's knowledge.

Here's some more of our rationale behind this policy. I'll call questions to which the answer can be found easily via a search engine "easy questions".

  1. When someone has a question, they often don't know whether it's an easy question or not without doing a search. We wouldn't want everyone to have to preemptively search Google before posting a question on Quora.
  2. Even if that individual person might have been better off using a search engine for that question than asking on Quora in the short run, their question adds to the collection, and once we get a good answer to it, anyone who has that question in the future will be able to get straight to that. Additionally, the question will be browsable in whatever topics it's added to, it will show up in related questions, and others will be able to reference it from their own answers to different questions.
  3. Often the ideal answer we can provide for an easy question is better than what could be quickly found via a search engine. The answer could come from an expert who is well known to be authoritative on the subject, it could explain the reasons why the answer is correct, and it could give a reader more confidence in the answer than a search engine result page.
  4. There are a smaller number of easy questions than hard questions, and we should be able to tackle most of them and accumulate a set of great answers to them, so the ongoing burden on the community of answering easy questions should be limited.
  5. Easy questions are often the way someone new to Quora will test out the system. Getting a response like "go Google it" or getting ignored will turn them away and make Quora less valuable for everyone.

The one exception to this is easy questions that are not reusable. We wouldn't want to have every possible sum of three digit numbers like "what is 432+458" and "what is 432+459" and "what is 432+460", etc., in the system. But it would be fine for us to have "what is the capital of X" for every country X, since those questions are useful to others.


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