The smart money says that Mahalo’s solid traffic gains – from nothing to AT LEAST 2 million uniques – is the result of very good SEO techniques. As I’ve discussed before, they fill a good niche which Wikipedia doesn’t necessarily cover (link-heavy “around the web” content for a particular topic, vetted by a human), especially for newsy content. Here is my previous article: https://bitbubble.wordpress.com/2008/03/28/hats-off-to-mahalo/
So just how good is their SEO? I guess the only way to find out would be take a random sample of keywords within a vertical and find out what percentage they rank for in the top 10 results? Any other ideas?
Stay tuned 🙂
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!
Could I have been wrong all along? There have been many skeptics of Mahalo, the lame people-powered Frankenstein of links/videos/blah that’s geared towards head terms organized in a page that looks like an Ask.com results page. It ain’t really search, it ain’t really a directory of links since they hand-embed Youtube videos and other shit into the page.
All the news I’ve read so far have been short on Mahalo and how its having a terribly hard time gaining any traffic.
Could they have been wrong? Look at this graph from Compete. Where is this traffic coming from? The most hilarious thing would be if this were SEO traffic.