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Jason Calacanis continued his one-man crusade against SEO this week with the launch of his Search Engine [sic], Mahalo. Well it’s safe to say I was less than impressed with this project. I won’t go into the many reasons but for background read any of the following:

Lime, Rice, and Matt Cutts: Introducing Mahalo

Mahalo: That’s Hawaiian for 8 Visitors A Month
Mahalo: Old Is New Again, But Bad Is Still Bad
Mahalo Is Hawaiian for Useless
How Sequoia Venture Capital Will Pop the Bubble of Web 2.0 – Mahalo or MFAhollow?

Personally I’m in awe of the guy. Think about it, he managed to walk into VC meetings with AOL’s Ted Leonsis and News Corp and secure 5 years of funding for a…drum roll please…Directory. Not only that, but he would get round the problems of scalability and link-rot that plague DMOZ by using 99.95% less editors.

Wait a minute, Ted at AOL, didn’t he already notice they bought this idea already? If anyone should have known how few searches DMOZ get per day in their Search Engine [sic] – it’s him. If there was ever a sign of the Bubble, this is it.

On the bright side this launch has generated some of the funniest commentary I have read in a long time. Brian’s scathing assessment has shone through but you keep running into coffee-spiting moments in user comments across the net:

Yahoo called. They want their 1995 search strategy back.

Jason is far from unrepentant though, posting this response to (another) critical Mahalo review on CenterNetworks:

you’re kidding right? the SEO slimebuckets are going crazy saying this will never work (I wonder why… :-)

My point about seo is that it is gaming the system and done by weak people who have sites that shouldn’t rank high. We are not trying to seo–we are trying to help people avoid bad sites and find good ones.

We hope seo dies–quickly. I’m afraid it will be slow however.

Seo means making your sites better for search engines. Mahalo fights against that–we reward people who optimize their sites for humans. :)

Seo will be a footnote in the history of searxh in five years. Jimmy wales and his team, and the team at will end this nonsense in short order.

Ah well, this old SEO slimebucket better start looking for another job then soon. With VC money flowing so easily at the moment, maybe I can get some funding for a back burner project of mine. It’s an online fashion e-commerce portal made entirely in Flash. Hey how can that fail!

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Lead SEO, Group Optimisation at Vodafone. Founder at E3 Business Incubator, a consultancy group helping enterprises and start-ups. Digital strategist and veteran SEO/SEM. Views are my own and not representative of my employer (more).

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