It is quite likely that such basic questions have been already asked and answered - so I might be able to find it by searching on that site or I might be directed by Google to a question on some Stack Exchange site. Since I have enough reputation (thanks to the association bonus), I will also upvote the question and probably some of the answers - after all, they have been useful to me. However, from the viewpoint of people familiar the given area, the answers are very likely quite trivial. (I looked up the question mainly because I am new to this area.)
In several discussions about HNQs and upvotes on the HNQs1, a frequent complaint was that upvotes coming from users unfamiliar with the site distort the score as a measure of the quality of the questions/answers. Various measures to prevent this were suggested.
Question: Don't the questions which are often asked (or searched) by beginners have the same problem as HNQs? (Or, more generally, questions which gain many views because people are often interested in that particular topic for whatever reason.) And if this is considered a problem, should something be done about that?
On one hand, one could see this as positive thing: The questions which are useful to "general public" get a lot of upvotes. This makes them a bit more noticeable and they serve as some kind of "showcase" where the site displays how good answers the community can give to the topic which are frequently asked. On the other hand, the objection raised in the discussions about HNQs (a lot of reputation points for a trivial answer) might be applicable also here.
I should probably stress a bit that I am asking this partly in relation with the ongoing discussion about HNQs. (There are several discussions related to this aspect HNQs both here and on per-site-metas.)
These questions are somewhat similar to HNQs in the sense that many views (and some of the votes) might come from people who come from other sites. Of course, this effect is more prominent in HNQs, since people who visit a question from the HNQ list are already coming from some Stack Exchange site. (Unlike people who found some frequently question, for example, from Google.)
I have searched a bit for related questions posted on this site in the past. This seems (to some extent) related: The bikeshed problem and Stack Exchange and Diminishing returns / non-linear reputation from “great” answers.
Easy questions have also been discussed in connection with the FGITW problem. However, in discussions about FGITW the concern seems to be more about the reputation gained by users who are first to answer.
1HNQ stands for hot network questions. Some examples of past discussions related to them: The association bonus should not enable users to vote on every site and Prevent questions on Hot List from being upvoted by casual visitors (only rep is from association bonus).