Home > 1 > On Mahalo’s revenues, SEO and pageviews

On Mahalo’s revenues, SEO and pageviews

Okay, Valleywag has a pretty retarded post about Mahalo and its profitability (or lack thereof), and I feel compelled to call them out on it. Here it is: http://valleywag.com/376042/tipster-mahalo-revenues-are-around-9000-a-month

First, Valleywag calls out Mahalo for being a 4 million monthly visit spam operation. This is a stupid assertion – SEO is NOT spam. Mahalo’s current strategy – with 80% of traffic coming from search – may be hypocritical given Calacanis’ well-documented rants against SEO, but that doesn’t make it a bad play. Trash Mahalo and About.com all you want, but if they’ve figured out an SEO model that allows them to scale, more power to them. As I’ve said earlier, Mahalo fills in an interesting niche which Wikipedia, news organizations and Google don’t effectively exploit. Good for them, end of story.

Then there’s the complaining about Mahalo pageviews per session being at a paltry 2. Well, at its heart, Mahalo isn’t a content site at all. Its a bunch of hand-culled links. So expecting anything more than 2 pageviews is immature. In fact – if Mahalo is doing 5 or 6 pageviews per session, they’ve probably got a scam in the works. Users should NOT have to hit the back button 5 times before they find the result or content they’re looking for!!!

There is something to be said about the monetization capabilities of a search site that relies upon AdSense. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are actually having trouble monetizing their pages. But Valleywag attacked the wrong things.

Okay, I’m off to have a few beers. Good weekend!

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  1. April 5, 2008 at 6:53 am

    Thanks for the post.

    Valleywag gets exactly 50% wrong each day, and while they may have our traffic numbers correct (which I am transparent about), they got everything else wrong in this story.

    Also, as we both know search traffic is highly targeted and those folks click on ads. But, let’s keep it between me, you, and About.com for now ok. 🙂

    best jason

  2. April 5, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Thanks for checking in, Jason. Are you worried about your pageview numbers, or do you agree that a low PV number is reasonable with the current model?

    I’ll keep the ad click story secret for now 🙂

    –S

  3. Tom O'Keefe
    June 12, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    At first glance Mahalo has a lot of celebrity gossip topics. These keywords & celebrities account for a lot of internet searches, however they aren’t very valuable for advertisers. People searching for Britney Spears and Paris Hilton tend to be young, clickaholics, and don’t pay for anything online. If one of them does click on the ads then Mahalo is lucky if they make a penny – thus the possible reason for only $9,000 in revs.

    http://tomokeefe.com/2008/06/11/mahalos-poor-google-adsense-earnings/

  4. June 12, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Tom,

    Nice post. Agreed, Mahalo.com is not just celebrity based, but more importantly, topicality based! When the Eliot Spitzer scandal, an Ashley Dupre search for Mahalo ranked them in the top 3 results. Good for traffic, terrible for AdSense! AFAIK, there isn’t a large advertising marketplace demand for a young hooker from NYC.

    They could start to experiment with display advertising and remnant networks but their pageviews are bound to be low given the nature of their site.

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