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A Challenge for the Google Ph.D.’s : Explain THIS!

I agree personalization and alternative energy and Internet TV are important challenges, but when all those Ph.D.s at Google get done with those problems maybe they can get to work trying to explain this. I can’t, and it’s really bugging me so I could use some help from the Internet Brain Trust.

I checked today, which I do about once a week or so, and saw something about Robert Scoble getting dumped by Facebook. I quit Facebook two weeks after I started with it, because it was so obviously a bad idea to hand over real data to that company. So I was interested in the Techmeme article. I clicked thru, and read some comments, and then saw a link drop in the comments from a Mahaloo fan boy. I hate to admit it, but I clicked it. Wait! Let me explain! It was research! Seriously.. I would never go to Maholoo, but since this was obviously a spam grab I had to look and see just what those guys were up to now, “covering” breaking news.

And I did indeed see. It’s a search results page, but also an RSS feed aggregator-like page. It’s a mashup, but more like an automated one than an edited one. It tries to look like an authority page, but is more of a link farm than an authority reference, because it could be built by just about anyone with an embedded feed reader (like, say the one in Flock). So, I’m thinking, Mahelo is finally devolved to a full-bore MFA scraper site. That didn’t take long.

Then, like the SEO I am, I checked Google. Sure enough, it ranks #3 for it’s target search query “Robert Scoble blocked by Facebook”. What??

So… we have a project that claimed at one point to intend to compete with Google, which then became a Google partner, and then a wiki-like substance, and now an obvious scraper site, and it ranks at the top of Google almost as well as wikipedia does? Dang that has GOT to be causing hurt over in the wikipedia camp. Lots and lots of cash coming in for garbage content, as a reward from Google for polluting the SERPs. Ouch.

Google, when you get some free time, please answer me this: how could this content pass your quality filters? How could it rank? And perhaps the hardest question of all…. how could you allow it to continue to rank?

I’d submit this to Google Answers but I think I’m too late for that. I’d submit it to Yahoo! answers but I suspect Mahaola staff already ninja market the YA! site cause, well, doesn’t every spammer start there?


  1. sean percival wrote:

    Thanks for the feedback, while I certainly use there still was a lot of human time and thought put into that page. For example tracking the story via twitter and Scoble’s blog and updating the page as new relevant posts come online.

    As far as being a fanboy I am actually an employee of Mahalo. :)

    Hope you’ll consider using Mahalo again in the future for technology related topics. Please let us know how we can improve that page by recommending links on the page.

    Take care,


    Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 6:41 pm | Permalink
  2. john andrews wrote:

    Shameless. But then, as a professional marketer, I suppose that’s a desirable quality.

    Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 7:04 pm | Permalink
  3. Pony wrote:


    Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 10:28 pm | Permalink
  4. Hobo wrote:


    Friday, January 4, 2008 at 11:54 am | Permalink
  5. ny seo wrote:

    they had good intentions to start with….

    and they would need thousands of monkeys with typewriters working 24/7 to populate those pages with real information….

    so i hope eventually they can fill the maholes with real content…

    and if not, we will just get someone else to kill Google

    Friday, January 4, 2008 at 4:05 pm | Permalink
  6. Google ph wrote:

    There are lots of sites that shouldn’t be ranked in the google search engine. I usually submit those links on Webmaster Tools. :)

    Monday, January 19, 2009 at 9:56 am | Permalink
  7. Diamondstar wrote:

    Reminds of a frog that chokes a bird as he is being gobbled up

    Friday, February 6, 2009 at 10:46 am | Permalink
  8. hitechit wrote:

    It ranks because shit loads of other sites rank for the same stuff, see business directories, news sites and other article sites. Algos will then just rank whatever it thinks is reasonable, worthy, whatever signals it wants to use to rank that document.

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 12:22 pm | Permalink