Publicly Jason claims to be ignorant about SEO because it allows him moral flexibility and makes Google less likely to torch his site (even though he is blatantly violating their search quality guidelines, and has for *years*).
But when you look at the sales material that Mahalo pitches to corporations, in the 19 page PDF reads like an à la carte menu of SEO services, rather than sales material from a company ignorant of of SEO.
It includes a slide which highlights how well Mahalo Answers questions rank in Google titled "SEO value," as well as the following statements (followed by my comments):
- Questions are imported from Partners’ Answers Community into Mahalo Answers, enabling 100% share of voice and high SEO value. (filling Google with duplicate content)
- Category Selection Based on Keyword Intelligence and Customer Goals (doing keyword research, an SEO service)
- Community seeded with high-value questions and answers (does the word "seeded" mean asking fake questions?)
- By carefully policing the site, Mahalo keeps out inappropriate content, thus increasing engagement and utility. (no mention of the half million+ pages indexed in Google which contained scraped 3rd party content?)
- We can help our partners increase their search engine rankings with these high quality pages. (that is the actual text from their slide titled "HowTo")
- Mahalo’s team of editors will find the most highly-trafficked search terms and keywords for your brand, industry or product and build corresponding high-quality pages that will rank well. (isn't that exactly what "scummy" SEO companies do Jason?)
Given that Mahalo is now branded as an SEO play (in their own words), and that they scrape millions of content listings to publish on their pages, are creating tons of other duplicate content, have actively engaged in link farming, and are not above "seeding" questions based on keyword value, why should Google trust *any* of their business practices going forward? Especially when their SEO services enterprise was launched on the back of calling SEOs scumbags.
How can the Google web spam team members look themselves in the mirror each morning hunting smaller webmasters and ignoring operations like Mahalo? It must begin to feel arbitrary at some point, no?
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