Quora rolls out full-text-search: can it finally become a valuable tool for travel brands?NewsBy Karthick Prabu | March 25, 2013Share This article was originally published on Q&A portal Quora has rolled out the ability to search on answers, opening doors to potentially easier lead generation and better reputation management for travel brands.The $61 million funded company has not yet stepped into revenue generation, but it is apparently now busy building the backbone for it.Prior to the launch of full-text-search in Quora, users could only search for topics, questions, blogs and users.With the launch of full-text-search, users will be able to search for keywords matching in answers, also the search result is now displayed in a page allowing users to pick a result item according to their choice.What does this all mean for travel brands?As a brand owner/manager, this opens two immediate opportunities:1. Generate leadsThis is already happening. The new feature will only accelerate this process resulting in increased number of leads.With the ability to add pictures, links and rich format texts, Quora serves as a decent platform for travel companies to market their services to potential travelers.At the same time, travel brands cannot spam a question with their service offerings. Users will use the "down vote" feature for an answer to push salesy-answers to the bottom.So, while posting answers, its imperative that the user strikes a balance between marketing their service and giving useful information to the community.A quick look at few search sentences (as in screenshot below) reveals that some travel brands are starting to make use of Quora as a lead generation platform.The first question below is displayed only because of full-text-search feature, the answers contain the word "tourist", "places" and "must".Third result item in screen below works out because of the new full-text-search.2. Manage your brand's reputationFull-text-search feature gives Quora a 'Trip Advisor-touch'. As a travel brand, now you will be able to see all answers where users mention your brand name.With Quora ranked high in Google search results, it is very important for travel brands to address the negative/bad reputation that exists in Quora.This is a classic example of full-text-search. Searching for "KLM airlines" shows a page of results with the word "KLM" not present in any questions. Interestingly, all Q&As below add a positive image of KLM.Another feature that Quora launched earlier this month that has direct implication on the brand's reputation is the ability to post reviews on brand topics.Users will be able to write a review and request others to write a review.