I have been fascinated watching the rise and fall of “question” sites, in which users pay for answers to their questions. When I've looked at these sites I've asked myself, “Who would pay for that? How is this a viable business?” Google's decision doesn't surprise me here.

First, I can't imagine sitting at my computer as a freelance question answerer looking for questions. The pay doesn't seem really high (a couple dollars per question is what I've seen commonly). With some questions going for more, the real question becomes “How much can the market bear? How much is someone willing to pay for an answer?”

The article makes a very valid point: if someone looks hard enough they'll find the answer for free online. I just don't see a need for this kind of business.