ChaCha: 90% Pranksters

I’ve been hard on ChaCha, the new search engine that pairs users with a human guide to help them find better results (see this TechCrunch Forum thread as well). I was supposed to meet with the CEO of the company earlier this week but missed the appointment due to the flu. I really want to get their side of the story and present a balanced view of the startup. But for now, I just don’t see how human guides can ever match Google or Yahoo search.

In the meantime, negative tidbits about the company keep hitting my inbox. I came across this post by a former ChaCha guide, which claims that 90% of searches are done by pranksters.

I was also sent the screen shot to the left of a ChaCha search where the guide didn’t know what Digg was, and asked the searcher (original source seems to be here). You can’t expect the guides to know everything, since they’re paid $5 – 10/hour, but you won’t find Google asking you what Digg is when looking for a UK equivalent.