The gentlemen`s agreement Answers.com was a pivotal moment in the history of the internet. It essentially led to the birth of the question-and-answer (Q&A) format that has become so popular on the web today.

In the early days of the internet, there were many sites that tried to answer users` questions. However, most of these sites were cumbersome and difficult to navigate. Moreover, there was no way to ensure that the answers provided were accurate or trustworthy.

That`s where Answers.com came in. Founded in 1999, the site aimed to be a comprehensive resource for answering any question that a user might have. The key to their success was their Q&A format, which allowed users to pose questions and receive answers from a community of experts.

However, there was a problem. Answers.com quickly realized that it was difficult to attract experts to their site. After all, there was no real incentive for these experts to spend time answering questions on the site.

To solve this problem, Answers.com came up with the gentlemen`s agreement. Under this agreement, experts who answered questions on the site would receive a link back to their own sites. This link would help boost their own search engine rankings. In other words, by answering questions on Answers.com, experts could promote their own sites and improve their online visibility.

The gentlemen`s agreement proved to be a win-win for both Answers.com and the experts who participated. Answers.com was able to attract a community of knowledgeable experts, which helped to establish the site as a reliable source of information. Meanwhile, the experts who participated were able to promote their own sites, which helped to boost their own search engine rankings. And of course, users benefited from the high-quality answers that were provided on the site.

Today, the Q&A format remains one of the most popular formats on the internet. Sites like Quora and Yahoo! Answers continue to thrive, and the gentlemen`s agreement remains an important part of the history of online Q&A. It`s a reminder that sometimes, the most successful innovations come from simple, mutually beneficial agreements.