Posted July 11, 2007 8:48 pm by with 8 comments

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This blogstorm’s been building for a while, as Danny points out on Search Engine Land. Mahalo vs. Squidoo: the thrilla in spamilla? Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Sticking to the news.

Mahalo and Squidoo should be friends. After all, they’re both about creating hand-crafted pages with the best content in the web. They’re both brain children of sweethearts of the Internet (okay, sort of). And there’s plenty of marketshare in that arena to go around, right?

Apparently Jason Calacanis doesn’t think so. He has been insisting that Squidoo is polluting the SERPs with their lenses. (Why can’t we just call a page a page?)

Did he get Squidoo confused with Wikipedia? I don’t know about you, but pretty much everybody’s acknowledging that Squidoo hasn’t exactly begun dominating the SERPs. I haven’t seen a Squidoo lens for every letter of the alphabet except T in the top 10.

But you know how touchy Google is about these things. Well, except for when it’s the entire search community railing against Wikipedia. As of Monday, Squidoo apparently e-mailed their lensmasters to report a fall in Google rankings.

But really, Danny cut to the heart of the matter. If Jason is the champion of pure web search, his Mahalo should prevent search engines from spidering their results pages, since that’s against Google’s quality guidelines.

But let’s be clear. Despite all of Jason’s slams against SEO (see From My Inbox: More Defense Of SEO and Why The SEO Folks Were Mad At You, Jason), Mahalo itself is a massive SEO play, hoping to draw major traffic from the search engines. Maybe it’s not a dark back alley as he accused Squidoo of being. But if not, he’s only going to prove that SEO does not equal bad junk, as he often has argued.

What would it take to get Calacanis to say something about Wikipedia?

  • rick gregory

    It’s things like this that make me lose faith in Google. Squidoo has been out there for a long time now. But they take action once a competitor whines er, talks about it? Please….

  • I like the concept of personal publishing platforms like Squidoo… I mean, I did co-found Weblogs, Inc. which built blogs and I’m doing Mahalo which is human powered.

    However, Squidoo left themselves open to massive spam attacks and blackhat SEOs and spammers were using it as a safe harbor to launch attacks from.

    Squidoo knew about the problem for a year and they did nothing. Now they have done three blog posts in a week addressing it.

    It really has nothing to do with Mahalo and Wikipedia which both do a great job in fighting spam. had the same problem two or three years ago and we all came out against them. This really isn’t about SEO–it’s about spamming and enabling spammers.

    Mahalo for the feedback,


  • Once again, Calacanis takes off on some sort of crusade to generate media interest around whatever cause he’s pushing today. And surprise, surprise, this time it’s in the interest of an organisation he has a stake in.

    At the end of the day Mahalo suffers from exactly the same fundamental failing of all user-generated content systems. It’s all down to the community to govern itself and in the long run won’t be able to scale it’s quality control policies to encompass all it’s human components. The only reason it might have less spam on it than it’s counterparts is that it’s current much smaller than it’s competitors and hasn’t really attracted the attention of people trying to take advantage of it.

  • I liked Mahalo the first time around when it was called the Open Directory Project. Of course, we all know how well an over paranoid of spammers editorship and site submission review process worked out for them. They ended up with not enough editors and a total lack of any recent content being added.

    Jason needs to realize that SEOs are the people who have the time and motivation to get good content in front of the people who’d like to view it most. We make a living out of matching quality content with it’s target audience, that generates the best results for the content provider and viewer both. By assuming SEO=spam and throwing the baby out with the bath water you have alienated the people who are actively wanting to do exactly what it is you are attempting with Mahalo.

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  • Squidoo DID e-mail their ‘lensmasters’ (how nice to be called master!) how do I know? Because I received it. How many lensmasters do they have? 100,000 apparently, I would have thought it was more. I like to think all this hooha was caused by MY post about Squidoo on my blog on 26th June – but I’m probably slightly biased !

  • “they’re both about creating hand-crafted pages with the best content in the web.”

    Hahahaha. That statement is the definition of irony 😉

  • There have been a lot of comments and questions on what really happened with Google & Squidoo

    I interviewed Seth Godin on the “Squidoo Slap”