Manipulates Quora upvotes

Bitcoin Consultants, Polygamy Gurus & Affiliate Foxes: The Curious World of Quora Influencers

According to its own information, the Quora question-and-answer platform has 300 million visitors a month. With this enormous reach in hand, the platform operators have built a community including so-called top authors with reach millions. OMR researched the German and international Quora users with the highest reach. At the top of the rankings, we came across a curious mix of entrepreneurs, niche experts and adventurers whose self-interests are not always immediately apparent.

“There are many other Q&A portals. What has always set us apart at Quora was our focus on quality, "said Adam D’Angelo in an interview in July 2017. D’Angelo was Facebook's Chief Technology Officer until 2008 and founded Quora a year later. “We make sure that everyone uses their real name on the platform, that we show the questions to those people who can answer them best. And when an answer has been written, we show it to other users and let them vote on whether it is good. "

Philosophical rather than trivial

Indeed, Quora differs from other question-and-answer platforms such as Yahoo Answers or, in Germany,, primarily through its focus on users with real names. On the Holtzbrinck portal, users ask “How do you boil water?” Or ask other curious questions.

In contrast, the most popular answers to Quora, those that have been “upvoted” more than 100,000 times, include questions such as “As a dying person: what advice would you give the living?”, “What is the best mistake that Have you ever done it? "Or" Who was the most interesting person who has ever sat next to you on a plane? "

37 million questions

Crude questions can also be found on Quora, such as: “Why do you have to wipe your bum yourself?”, “I want to be a good, polite vampire - how do I start?”, “How many tons of women's breasts are there the world? ”and“ Does it turn girls off when they find out that a guy has a terribly obese cat? ”. Even such questions often receive long and detailed answers on Quora - and in these cases mostly tongue-in-cheek answers, even from well-known public figures like Andrew Chen from the renowned US VC fund Andreessen Horowitz.

More than 37 million questions between banality and highly philosophical topics are supposed to have come together on Quora by now. The content attracts, as Quora is said to have told the media, 300 million users per month on the platform. Most of these come from Google; According to estimates by the statistics tool Similarweb, search engine traffic accounts for around 80 percent of all Quora visits. The number of visitors is likely to increase: At the beginning of 2019, the Quora creators launched their platform in eight additional languages.

Quora is said to be worth $ 2 billion

The money from well-known venture capitalists may have helped Quora to expand its reach. According to Crunchbase, the company has raised a total of 226 million US dollars in four funding rounds; The partners include Benchmark Capital, the Founders Fund of star investor Peter Thiel and Y Combinator. The most recent funding round is said to have taken place in April 2017, allegedly based on a valuation of 1.8 billion US dollars. The US tech blog Recode reported in May 2019 that Quora was now worth more than two billion US dollars.

One of Quora's greatest assets (which also sets the platform apart from other Q&A products) is likely to be the lively community that the company has built up over the past few years. This apparently also includes various celebrities: Not only all the big tech CEOs (from Mark Zuckerberg to Sundar Pichai to Satya Nadella), but also many entertainment stars (musicians like Steve Aoki, directors like JJ Abrams and actors like Jackie Chan) as well Politicians (Barack Obama, Justin Trudeau, Hillary Clinton) have a Quora author profile.

A separate caste of influencers

Almost even more important for Quora, however, are the many freelance authors who answer worker bees - sometimes every day - questions on the platform. Many of them have expert knowledge, many lovingly write detailed answers with a lot of effort and supplement these in some cases with images or video material and footnotes. The company does a lot to cultivate this community: It organizes community meetings, now pays some authors as part of a partner program (on an invitation basis) for asking wide-ranging questions, and it regularly honors so-called "top authors" and for example, passes this on to well-known media as guest authors.

In the course of this, a very special caste of “influencers” has emerged on the platform: top authors with a reach of millions. Three rankings created by OMR show that the authors with the greatest reach on Quora also include some who not only want to pass on their knowledge more or less altruistically, but also use their reach to pursue their own interests (not always immediately transparent for users) : Earning money, for example, or hardly exerting controlled political influence.

The top-polling authors on

1Balaja Viswanathan343.2 million530.275
2Franklin Veaux259.6 million130.473
3Sean Kernan230.2 million210.561
4Richard Muller174.5 million302.075
5Ernest W. Adams154.6 million77.191
6Robert Frost152.4 million251.749
7Dushka Zapata141.8 million198.714
8Dan Holliday136.2 million108.390
9Awdhesh Singh134.4 million267.902
10Jon Mixon131.7 million37.191
11Gordon Miller124.5 million137.412
12Kelsey L. Hayes109.9 million59.187
13Garrick Saito94.2 million45.954
14James Altucher93.8 million250.983
15Jay Bazzinotti90.4 million45.708

Status: August 12, 2019, research by OMR | The table does not claim to be complete

On the main English-language platform of Quora, the Indian entrepreneur Balaji Viswanathan, founder of Invento Robotics, leads the ranking by a wide margin. With almost 350 million total views of his answers, he is around 90 million views ahead of the runner-up - proof of the high relevance of the platform in India. Similarweb estimates that 20 percent of Quora traffic comes from the South Asian country. The Indian market is therefore the second largest for Quora after the USA (28 percent traffic).

"Indians turn Quora into a troll festival"

In India, Quora ranks high in Google's search results, above all on political issues and ahead of the country's major media, according to an article in the Indian edition of the Huffington Post, which has the headline “After Twitter, Indians are now also transforming Quora into a troll. Fest "carries. After the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the election in India in 2014 and is the Indian government, Quora has developed into a platform in India on which political discussions to the right of the center flourish, they said responsible HuffPo editors.

An example that the two cite: On Quora, questions about the highly controversial “love jihad” legend, according to which Muslims deliberately marry Hindu Indian women in order to convert them to Islam, receive more than 100 answers with alleged evidence. Many of them were posted from anonymous profiles, some with several 100,000 views. A few clicks away, several BJP ministers are officially active on Quora with their own profiles and some of them receive access numbers in the seven-digit range.

Right-wing conservative authors with an enormous reach

In addition, there are various “independent” right-wing conservative Indian top authors with large reach: Deepak Mehta, for example, ranks 17th in our reach ranking with 85.6 million views of his responses. In June 2019, Mehta's Quora profile was temporarily blocked by the platform operators. On Twitter, Mehta himself expressed the assumption that the blocking was due to the fact that he had set up a “Quora Space” (a sub-community around a certain topic) in which acts of violence by Muslims against Hindus were to be documented. This part of his profile has now been deleted and Mehta is active again.

Balaj Viswanathan, the top author with the greatest reach with 350 million "content views" and thus probably also the most influential Indian voice on Quora, expressed his solidarity with Mehta after the account was blocked. He deactivated his own Quora account for a week as a protest against Quora's alleged bias towards legal political positions.

The Indian Prime Minister is pushing Viswanathan's product

Viswanathan himself seems moderately conservative in his Quora answers. In his most frequently requested answers on the platform, he also gives an insight into his life as an entrepreneur, but also expresses himself on social issues in India and on political and social controversies. His tone is usually balancing and forgiving; the entrepreneur also makes common with Hindu nationalist demands. For example, he suggests that in a decade-long dispute between Hindus and Muslims over a piece of building land near the city of Ayodhya, the Muslims waive their claims.

Obviously, his posts in the spirit of the BJP have not harmed his entrepreneurial career. In 2017, the Mitra robot, produced by Viswanathan's company Invento Robotics, was used with publicity at the opening of a business fair in Hyderabad. He was served by the US President's daughter Ivanka Trump and the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (here in the video).

Controversial polyamory guru with a reach of millions

The US author with the greatest reach on Quora is Franklin Veaux, an influential figure from the polyamory scene whose members have romantic relationships with several partners, with currently almost 260 million views. Veaux, who can be photographed with bunny ears on in many of his photos, has written several books, including the guidebook “More than two”, a kind of “standard work” on the scene. Veaux also writes erotic prose, appears as a speaker and has founded a “sex tech company”.

In February 2019, several women publicly accused Franklin Veaux of abusive behavior: According to the allegations, the author was alleged to have committed psychological terrorism, manipulated, financially exploited, pitted women against each other and used their mental illnesses as weapons, according to an open letter under the heading "Polyamories # metoo-Moment". Deveaux initially promised in a statement on Facebook to take part in a processing process. Apparently he did not keep this promise.

Sean Kernan: The Financial Analyst with the "Power Hack"

Sean Kernan, with 230 million views in third place, is probably the first “non-controversial” author in the ranking of the top authors with the greatest reach on Quora. Kernan is a full-time financial analyst in Florida, but mostly writes on Quora about interpersonal issues, usually with a touch of humor. Most of his followers are from India, says Kernan.

His analytical background may be less reflected in his content. Apparently he still helped Kernan become successful on Quora. Kernan explains in a video on his YouTube channel entitled "A Power Hack for Upvotes on Quora" that he had a close look at what worked well. His recommendations: Authors should delete all answers that do not have at least one "upvote" per 40 requests. Despite such tricks: Kernan is apparently valued by many members of the Quora community under the nickname "Son of Quora" he gave himself. Obviously, Quora is a pure fun project for him, from which he does not derive any further advantage - neither financially nor professionally.

The most popular German authors on

1Lukas Schwekendiek39.9 million49.074
2Marius Kramer35 million13.237
3Niklas Göke26.3 million50.480
4Christian Winter23 million8.583
5Harun Resit Aydin12.9 million9.479
6Frank Kemper11.9 million2.270
7Judith Meyer11.6 million19.044
8Jens Böttiger7.9 million4.666
8Martin Schneider7.9 million3.269
10Nick Nice7.5 million2.594
11Joachim Pense7.1 million6.851
12Tilman Ahr6.4 million2.464
13Manfred Kramer5.5 million707
14Lutz Enke3.7 million1.747
14Jan Meyer3.7 million816

Status: August 12, 2019, research by OMR | The table does not claim to be complete

In Germany, according to the two SEO tools Searchmetrics and Sistrix, Quora has been more visible in Google searches for a few weeks than Holtzbrinck's Q&A portal (which, however, is more due to the visibility crash of We also researched which German authors are successful on the main English-language platform of Quora.

In first place with almost 40 million hits: Lukas Schwekendiek, a young life coach from Hildesheim in Lower Saxony. His most popular responses on Quora include questions like “How can I improve my life in 30 days with one hour a day?”, “How can I make decisions more easily?” Or “What habits do I have successful people? ". On its website, Schwekendiek offers the booking of one-hour consultation calls at a price of 100 US dollars.

A crypto advisor serving portfolios starting at $ 600,000

Marius Kramer, in second place, with 35 million views on Quora, is the most far-reaching author on the subjects of cryptocurrencies in general and Bitcoin in particular. In his answers, he addresses questions such as: "In which currencies should I invest?" "How will Bitcoin develop?" Kramer said in his profile text who would like advice on his personal crypto portfolio can contact him report by email - if it is a portfolio with a total value of at least 600,000 US dollars.

The crypto expert recommends the “Ember Fund” app to all others via a referral link, which users can use to invest in cryptocurrencies and manage their portfolio. Users can also follow the composition of Kramer's portfolio and its development there. Kramer may have already made a little money by placing the app download link prominently in his profile: According to the Embers Fund website, those users whose referral link is used to download a download receive one percent of the amount that the Deposit recommended users - up to a sum of $ 500.

Quora Top Author and Blinkist Affiliate

Niklas Göke writes for “dreamers, doers and intrepid optimists” at Quora, as it says in his profile text. So far, the Munich-based company has generated 26.3 million views. In his profile he is currently promoting a subscription to his “Empty your cup” newsletter, with which he wants to help readers lead a more balanced life.

In addition, Göke runs (and advertises on Quora) his page “Four Minute Books”, on which he has posted abstracts of more than 500 non-fiction books. In various places on the website - on the home page, in the navigation and in every book summary - Göke has integrated references and affiliate links to the Blinkist platform. Blinkist (founder Holger Seim here in the OMR Podcast) has more than 3,000 book summaries in text and audio form available for paying users from 80 euros per year. According to Göke, almost 24,000 recipients have subscribed to the Four Minute Books newsletter. According to estimates by the statistics tool Similarweb, recently recorded an impressive 190,000 unique users per month.

The top-polling authors on

Status: August 12, 2019, research by OMR | The table does not claim to be complete

Since July 2017, Quora has also existed in a purely German-language version under the subdomain. With currently five million hits, Jonas Karwoth is the author of the German Quora version with the greatest reach. According to his profile, Karwoth is 22 years old and is in the last semester of his studies. Karwoth apparently almost exclusively translates popular answers from the English-language main platform into German. The practice is wanted by Quora; the answers are marked accordingly as translated and the original answer is linked. Nevertheless, Karwoth's wide-reaching success is not only well received by the German Quora community.

How a German student earns money with Quora

It is very likely that Karwoth's main goal is to make money with his Quora account as part of the platform's partner program. Participation in the program is only possible at the invitation of Quora. It is the task of the participating users to post new questions on the platform. If they get answers that are read by a large number of users, the questioners get paid for it.

Obviously, it is also permissible for the questioners to post their own answers.Karwoth does this very consistently: According to his profile, the student has already asked more than 1,000 questions. All other top authors in the top 10 have so far asked no more than a double-digit number of questions. Karwoth posts his own questions to Quora, gives answers that have already been successful on the main platform, and earns money in this way - how much cannot be traced from the outside. On Quora's main English-language platform, authors report that they have earned up to the mid three-digit figure per month with their participation in the partner program.

Seven-digit views with the US perspective of Germany

With 2.6 million hits, John Grantham ranks second among the authors of the German-language Quora with the greatest reach. The American has lived in Germany for 25 years, worked as a graphic designer, but has now retired for health reasons. Most of the responses that he receives revolve around historical issues or the relationship between the United States and Germany. The Monty Python fan writes informatively and humorously about what he cannot get used to as a foreigner in Germany, why Germans refuse to buy US cars and what one should definitely not do when visiting the US.

With similar topics, only from a reversed perspective, Grantham has so far been able to generate a total of 7.6 million views on Quora's main English-language platform. Grantham drums over both profiles for his Patreon profile (Patreon was already the subject of the OMR briefing), through which followers of his texts can support him financially. So far, Grantham has only had two subscribers there.

With a dry joke to 1.6 million views

With 1.6 million hits, Thomas Kossatz is in third place in terms of reach in the German-language version of Quora. Kossatz calls himself a "free thinker interested in politics". It answers (usually comparatively briefly and succinctly) general knowledge questions, but also comments on political and social events, mostly from a more left-wing liberal perspective. Many of the answers most frequently requested by Kossatz häufigsten come from the past two months.

A few words about the methodology: We used several keyword combinations to search Google for the Quora profiles with the greatest reach. At the same time, we went through the lists of those authors that Quora has recognized as top authors so far. Have we overlooked a high-reach profile that belongs in the ranking? Feel free to write us a message and we'll add to the list.