I know Jason Calacanis has only just launched Mahalo, but you would have though he would have taken care to ensure that everything was 100% “above board” on the day the site would be under the spotlight.
Ah well… as the saying goes, start as you mean to go on!
1. Keyword Stuff Your Meta Keywords
Real cute 1990s SEO… on your home page
Stuff your meta keywords with terms unrelated to the content of the page
<meta name="keywords" content="Main Page,50 Cent,Air Conditioner,Al Gore,American Idol,Apple,Asthma,Beer,Bill Gates,Britney Spears,Cadillac Escalade" />
The words do often appear on the page, but it is hardly content. If Mahalo is a search engine, it should use keywords link “malhalo, search, search engine”
2. Suspicious Terms and Conditions
This might be something totally legitimate, but it certainly looks suspicious to me.
I ran the Terms and conditions of Mahalo through Copyscape. It seems they were written by the same lawyers as Etsy…
They are even more similar to the terms of service for Odeo
Those are both New York based startups, so there is a good chance they are using the same legal team.
Mahalo is based in California as I believe Jason has been for some time (he did originate from New York), and though he could be using the same legal team, you would expect him to have someone draw up custom legal paperwork.
Damn That Is Only 2 Negative Points, Surely I can Find More?
Actually no, not really…
I could criticise it for just being just quickly edited scraped results from another search engine, but having spent a few hours digging around on the pages of lots of search results, I know for a fact that the researchers have really been doing some homework to come up with some of the results.
I could criticise it for the SEO, because the site is clearly intended to in the future rank highly in the search engines, but I couldn’t possibly because I make sites for that purpose daily.
I think I might be slightly better on internal site structure than Jason’s guys, after all, it isn’t that smart to stick nofollow on all the links on a page that is effectively your sitemap.
Mahalo Is Better Than Wikipedia (or will be)
- Mahalo is linking to sites without a Nofollow Tag
- When you search on Mahalo, you will still have to visit other sites if you are searching for information – Wikipedia takes other people’s ideas and research, rewrites it, and doesn’t even give a search engine followable link.
- Mahalo currently seems to have impartial editors – seriously I don’t think Jason and his views on a particular subject are taken into consideration at all. As an example you would think the advertorial page would be heavily weighted towards Jason’s point of view. The researcher has actually taken a lot of time and even included one of my pages that doesn’t rank for advertorial in Google.
- Mahalo has qualified researchers – these documents aren’t being written by students who think it is fun to impersonate university professors. They seem to be using real names, and you can search for them in Google and check their history.
I can see some of the search links being monetized in the future for products with the various engines, but a few I checked currently didn’t seem to be with affiliate links.
Overall – Actually I am impressed
A lot of the concerns website owners have with Wikipedia have been addressed. They are not attempting to write content, just provide relevant links.
It is early days yet, Wikipedia started out relatively harmless too, but I think a lot of the fundamentals are good, I am not worried about Mahalo taking up first position in the SERPS for information gathering.
Oh, but Mahalo will only have No2 for product search, because I definitely intend to have number one slot ahead of Jason.
It is alpha, I started off with a couple of teething problems in this first look, but overall it is looking very solid.
I wonder if Jason is staying with ThisNext, he will be competing against them for search results.
Yep, and here is a link to Mahalo – I don’t mind linking to them occasionally, even without a nofollow, unlike Wikipedia.