How do sites like Stack Overflow and Quora make money?


Stack Overflow and all its sites are great, but how do they make money? There is just one ad on a page in the best case on Stack Overflow, and none on Quora or Am I missing something, or do these sites hardly make any money at all?


asked Oct 4 '11 at 18:23
1,821 points
  • There really isn't a great answer there except large volume of ads and job postings. Those monetize pretty poorly. It must be sad to have such an amazing site that doesn't monetize a whole lot. – Genadinik 12 years ago
  • Stack Overflow is high-volume site, it has lots and lots of impressions. They can drive ad prices up easily (unlike general blogs). SaaS solutions have much much lower traffic, but they earn much more from user on average. – Romaninsh 12 years ago

3 Answers


In the case of Stack Overflow, users under 200 rep (and by extension anyone not logged in) sees more adverts. SO gets a huge number of page views from search engines and the majority of those will be new, unregistered users.

With the traffic SO gets, it's incredibly easy to make a lot of money, even via Google Adsense. But SO makes more money by selling its ad space directly. Jeff Atwood has a great post on the matter.

SO also makes money through its careers service and job postings.

answered Dec 1 '11 at 22:04
Disgruntled Goat
246 points
  • As far as I know, stackexchange does not make money from its ads. – Manoochehr 12 years ago
  • @Mano do you have a source? – Disgruntled Goat 12 years ago
  • I think you should provide us source for saying stackexchange earns from from ads! – Manoochehr 12 years ago
  • @Manoochehr why? *You* are the one countering an established fact that a web site showing adverts means you are making money from them. – Disgruntled Goat 12 years ago
  • I'm not opposing the fact, I'm just telling it's not true about stackexchange. It's revenue model is not making money from ads (up to now). That's all and that's what I'm telling you can not provide any sources for what you say. – Manoochehr 12 years ago
  • @Manoochehr Like I said, you made the claim so *the burden is on you* to provide a source. If I said an elephant's tusks were made of candy not ivory, you would expect me to back that up, not for you to prove they are made of ivory. Anyway, I already provided my source - the fact that SE *still displays ads* is proof that they make some money. So either provide a source for your claim or stop trolling. – Disgruntled Goat 12 years ago
  • Do you see any ads? If you noticed any ads on SE you won't ask me to provide sources for you! I think this is the best proof! – Manoochehr 12 years ago
  • . Try phoning them up, they will tell you the pricing for ads and tag sponsorship. – David Benson 11 years ago


Here is a site that shows how various sites make money, very nice visualization

answered Jun 27 '13 at 04:58
274 points


Everyone has a different pricing model. Websites like Quora, Twitter, and Stack Overflow starts as free websites and get funded from donations or venture capitalists or some are present there for promote the parent company.

You can take the example of ShareThis sharing buttons which is made only for promothing the parent company. Similary, is used to promote Google. Delicious to Yahoo, Bebo to AOL and lots more.

answered Nov 30 '11 at 09:07
Hemendra Kumar Saini
41 points

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics: