SEOs Mock Mahalo in Google AdWords

Jun 22, 2007 • 7:14 am | comments (4) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdWords

A search in Google on mahalo recently but not currently brought up Google AdWords ads that pretty much mocked the new Mahalo search engine, by Jason Calacanis.

The ads read:

It’s seriously just
Only worse.

That’s Hawaiian for 8 visitors a

12 reasons this is the worst idea
ever and won’t make money.

When relevancy is this poor
why show any results at all?

Now, I believe that these sites that were advertised were not listing these ads on Google themselves. In fact, they all wrote negative posts on Mahalo and someone thought it would be funny to bid on the term Mahalo and place ads pointing to those articles.

The question is who did that?

In any event, Jason Calacanis interviewed four SEOs that specifically did not like Mahalo and posted the podcast at CalacanisCast beta 29. It makes for a very interesting listening to (no need to watch it, unless you want to see Jason's reaction to some of the answers given to him.

Forum discussion on fun ads at DigitalPoint Forums.

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Steve L

06/22/2007 03:25 pm

Of course SEOs don't like Mahalo or the idea behind it - a human based engine isn't good for companies that spend a lot of time fixing up sites so spiders can figure out what they're important to.

jeremy mayes

06/22/2007 07:01 pm

It was me and I'm not an "seo". The mahalo ad trial was part of a larger test centered on using ugc in conjucntion with brand terms for driving traffic. And for the record, I could care less about mahalo until it has enough traffic to make it a viable source of promotion. Until then it's just another site.

Barry Schwartz

06/22/2007 07:34 pm

Can you be more specific about why you did it? Jeremy, thanks for letting me know - sorry for missing it in the comments.

jeremy mayes

06/22/2007 07:54 pm

No worries, I think I was at least a few days behind noticing that anyone noticed in the first place:-) I can't share every detail but the basic idea was to test how users (searchers)react to various ad copy created from ugc when searching for a "branded" term. There were a number of sites/ads involved in this test. Mahalo just happened to be one of them. There was also a series of "positive" ads for Mahalo that no one noticed...or at least no one commented on. Maybe this is no suprise to anyone else - but ads with a "negative" tone outperformed ads with a "positive" tone by over 55%. In this segment of the test performance is defined as CTR as I had no control over the destination pages and could not analyze what happened after people arrived at the site. Other segments of the test were done on sites I control in order to gauge the ad copy's impact on the conversion process. VERY interesting results in that segment. Think people arriving at your site via a "negative" ad won't convert?

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