- WEB STARTUPS
- WEB JOBS
- ALL TOPICS
Mahalo Review – Now a Questions and Answers Site Filled With Ads
Update: Jason has sorta replied to the SEO question… check out his reply
So let’s get right to it. Earlier today, TechCrunch posted an exclusive about a new search engine founded by his conference partner, the Silicon Valley Superstar Jason Calacanis. I have spent the last 30 minutes using it and here are my findings.
Called Mahalo, meaning “Thank you”, this is a “human-powered search engine” says Arrington. Mahalo states their objective as, “Mahalo’s goal is to hand-write the top 10,000 search terms.” It seems most of the “top tech bloggers” made it in, they must be somewhere in the top 10k, I learned something new today. Actually, their technology page shows a lot more completed pages. So from what I can tell, it might be top 10k plus other “hot” names. Which got me thinking… see below.
So I guess CenterNetworks will never have a page! And neither will the other 24 billion web sites and search terms. We just get the same-ole Google results. Though there are no ads (I guess for now?) so that’s a good thing.
It appears to use a Wiki engine for the technology which will help to keep costs down along with (what I assume) a network of very low paid offshore staff to make the pages.
Item #1 – Human Search or Human Directory?
I am not sure I get why this is a “human search” when it really is more of a “human directory” – right? Or am I missing something? Either way, maintaining those pages will be an ultra-bitch. What happens when new “gossip” needs to be added about someone, how will those pages stay up-to-date?
Item #2 – Mahalo vs. AboutUs
Now let’s get back to my title. First, what’s the difference between Mahalo and AboutUs.com? Both Wikis. Mahalo looks better. AboutUs allows me to edit my page. I don’t see much else that’s different honestly. As much as I bashed AboutUs when it launched, Ray will never have the pull that Jason will so eventually Mahalo will overtake AboutUs even though I prefer the ability to edit my own page.
Item #3 – Sustainability
Will it be possible to create a “live” search engine from this? I doubt it. Maintaining 10,000 (2008-25k) will be nearly impossible without hiring every available content person in most of the world. Another reason this is a directory, not a search engine.
Item #4 - Gaming the real search engines
More importantly, I have the same concern with Mahalo as I did with AboutUs. This is the ultimate way to “game” Google/Yahoo/etc. Create a page that highlights x person, get Mahalo up to a high page rank (with links like the one I just provided) and now traffic is sent to Mahalo instead of to the person/company web site. These type of web sites should not have a pagerank nor should be listed within the search engines. It is interesting to me that after all of Jason’s talk about SEO being dead, he launches the master SEO play.
Will this get some play? Sure, it’s like if Apple put out a half-baked iPod. Would it still sell millions? Yep. I just don’t see the value here. And while this might get to be the “answer” for the Silicon Valley/San Francisco crowd, I can’t picture my mother using this with her mahjong friends over Googling-it.
WatchMojo has a good writeup about the service and why it may or may not work.