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Mahalo Updates: Now a Research Engine, Want Pay? Write More Words, SEO Critical
Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis had a busy week last week. We learned of three major Mahalo updates: they are now a research engine, if you want to get paid you must write more and link less, SEO is critical for the success of the research engine.
Mahalo is no longer a search engine as it was classified upon the initial launch nearly a year ago. Calacanis is now calling his company a "research engine". While I don’t think it’s a search engine, it’s not a research engine either. The closest thing I could compare it to is a combo of delicious plus a couple paragraphs of juicy content.
When Mahalo launched, I asked Calacanis whether the site was created for the purpose of driving traffic through search engines. He noted, "Are we an SEO master? If Google wants to index us well that’s fine with us, but our model is not based on being well indexed in Google or Yahoo. Our model is in creating human curated search results that are very helpful to users."
In an email to his greenhouse workers last week, he changed his tune. "No guide notes, no google/yahoo rankings, and no traffic. No traffic, no money. No money, we all go home." With nearly 75% of Mahalo traffic coming from Google, this guide note change is important. It would be interesting to learn what percentage of traffic must leave via advert or affiliate link for Mahalo to be profitable.
Last week, Calacanis changed the policy for his large workforce by mandating a minimum of 300-400 word guide notes. These are typically the only content on a (non how-to) page. My guess is that this lengthening of the guide notes is a direct response to Aaron Wall’s post that Mahalo is Spam.
In case you are interested in where the search engine traffic is coming from, I ran a paid report on Compete for the 50 most popular terms sending traffic from Google to Mahalo:
mahalo, how to play guitar, big brother 9 spoilers, halo 3 skulls, 2 girls 1 cup, best computer speakers, halo 3 armor, ashley dupree, gene simmons sex tape, bridget mccain, how to write a resume, guitar hero 3 cream, christopher allport, how to make mash potatoes, abby, mcgrew, tax rebate 2008, how to make sushi, vicki iseman, guitar hero cheats, lindsay lohan new york magazine, guitar hero 3 cheats, guitar hero 3 song list, super smash bros brawl secret characters, brawl secret stages, guitar hero iii cheats, pokemon crater, amy fisher video, sarah larson, big brother 9 spoiler, is new york pregnant, cloverfield monster pictures, how to speak french, flat belly diet, wikipedia ashlee simpson, guitar hero 3 wii cheats, parkville maryland bethany, bush tax rebate, wwe smackdown v.s. raw 2008 online guide, lil romeo 50 million, daisy de la hoya, flavorofloveworld, youtube heavy metal don felder, dorothy hamill skating timeline, net gun, dmc4 secret achievements, lost odyssey game guide, nfl tour review, blazing angels 2 cheats, silver skulls in halo 3, halo 3 armor unlock
I believe we will continue to see a shift with Mahalo which will push unpaid people to create, edit and maintain the content on Mahalo. Guide notes have already been opened for editing if you have more than one published item and links are already provided by the community. Though as Dunan Riley noted yesterday about another site similar to Mahalo which also works perfectly here, "With no revenue sharing model there’s no obvious reason why someone would contribute to the Wiki (after all there’s no for the good of humanity angle like Wikipedia)".
Later this week we will look at why Calacanis is pretty smart.