Quora do not want search engines to publish their content: its robots.txt blocks all indexable URLs, for instance http://www.quora.com/SEO.
It is not a surprise that a growing upstart tries to stand alone without the tail wind that Google provides. Its very selling point to investors is the fact that its uptake of adoption by users is by the social media experience itself.
An interesting paradox of Quora is that it is a social media site posing as a search engine. Its founder believes that “more than 90% of the information people want to know is still not available on the web in a format that’s easy for them to quickly understand”.
Also common to search engines is the focus on dealing with the challenge of duplicated content. Central to Quora is its ability to merge questions to keep uniqueness of the content over time and across topics.
Since SEO is really about efficiently rotate the inventory of content in any database, a fascinating challenge for Quora itself would be to optimize content with the active contribution of its users.