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  (Redirected from Mahalo Answers)
Jump to navigation Jump to search Incorporated
MahaloAlpha SiteLogo.png
Type of businessInternet
Type of site
Search Engine
Available inEnglish
HeadquartersSanta Monica, California, U.S.
Founder(s)Jason Calacanis
Key peopleJason Calacanis, Founding CEO
Elliot C.R. Cook, COO
Bundy Kim, CTO
RevenueUnknown, Startup May 2007
Employees20 (defunct)
AdvertisingGoogle AdSense
LaunchedMay 30, 2007
Current statusBeta was a web directory (or human search engine) and Internet-based knowledge exchange (question and answer site) launched in May 2007 by Jason Calacanis. It differentiated itself from algorithmic search engines like Google and, as well as other directory sites like DMOZ and Yahoo! by tracking and building hand-crafted result sets for many of the currently popular search terms.[1][2] President Jason Rapp exited the company in September, 2012.[3]

In 2014, Calacanis announced that Mahalo would be sunset as he moved his focus towards an app called Inside.[4] He was quoted by TechCrunch saying "it makes 7 figures so we’re not shutting it off but we are not investing in it". Mahalo's website has since shut down.

Directory[edit] contracted human editors to review websites and write search engine results pages that include text listings, as well as other media, such as photos and video. Each Mahalo search results page included links to the top seven sites, as well as other categorized information, and additional web pages from Google.[2] The company also paid freelancers to create pages for piecework compensation.[5][6] also offered "how to" guides

Mahalo Answers[edit]

On December 15, 2008, Mahalo launched a new service called Mahalo Answers,[7] similar to Yahoo! Answers. A key difference was that Mahalo Answers allowed questioners to give a monetary reward (called a "tip") to the user who provided the most helpful response.[8]

Mobile applications[edit]

The company developed mobile apps, such as Learn Guitar.[9]


At the SMX Conference in June 2007, Google software engineer Matt Cutts explained that while he supports different approaches to search it is untrue that humans have nothing to do with Google's search results. Cutts has categorized as spam. He used the terms "cookie cutter", "no value" and "no original content" to describe the website and described Jason Calacanis as " baiting people" in the context of running .[10]

Corporate details[edit]

Ownership and funding[edit]

Lead investors in included Sequoia Capital's Michael Moritz; Elon Musk, founder of PayPal; and News Corporation.[11][12] Other disclosed investors include Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and AOL chairman Ted Leonsis[13] Jason Calacanis said in 2008 that he has enough funding to run Mahalo for four or five years without making a profit.[1]

Traffic and growth[edit] traffic had increased from roughly ten thousand visitors a month in July 2007, to two million visitors a month in January 2008.[14]

On March 1, 2011, Calacanis and company president, Jason Rapp, announced via email that the recent changes in the Google search algorithm had significantly reduced traffic, resulting in the need to lay off about 10% of Mahalo employees.[15] According to software firm Sistrix, Mahalo's Google generated search traffic declined by over 75% after these changes were made.[16] In 2014, Jason Calacanis stated that these Google Panda updates had been "killing" Mahalo, which once had $10 million in yearly advertising revenue, that he had to lay off 80 full-time remote workers as a result, and that he desired "revenge" against Google and their web spam expert Matt Cutts.[17]


  1. ^ a b Liedtke, Michael (May 30, 2007). "People Power Fuels New Search Engine". USA Today. Retrieved March 13, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Delaney, Kevin J. (May 31, 2007). "Start-Up Adds a Human Touch". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2007-06-04.
  3. ^ "Mahalo President Jason Rapp Exits". Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  4. ^ Ha, Anthony. "Jason Calacanis' Mahalo Is Reborn As Mobile News App Inside". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-02-18.
  5. ^ CommsDay | The Home of the CommsDay Family of Newsletters and Events
  6. ^ Mahalo Greenhouse Archived 2007-08-09 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Needleman, Rafe (2008-12-15). "Mahalo expands human-powered search with paid Answers service". CNET. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
  8. ^ Snyder, Chris (2008-12-15). "Mahalo Answers Pays Cash for Your Two Cents". ABC News. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
  9. ^ , Stuart (April 2, 2012). "Apps Rush: Marvel AR, Guitar Vision, Bubbly Voice Blogging, McAfee Secure Container, MAD Magazine and more". The Guardian. Retrieved April 11, 2012.
  10. ^ "You&A With Matt Cutts". Search Engine Roundtable. June 4, 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-04.
  11. ^ "Mahalo Press Release". (primary source). May 30, 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-30.
  12. ^ "Adios Magellan, Looksmart, Mahalo, whatever your name is". May 31, 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-04.
  13. ^ "Human power at heart of new search site". Retrieved 2007-06-04.
  14. ^ SnapShot of Retrieved on 2008-02-23.
  15. ^ - Mahalo Reduces Headcount by 10% After Google Algo Change Archived 2011-03-09 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2011-3-10
  16. ^ - Websites to Google: 'You're killing our business!' Retrieved on 2011-3-10
  17. ^ Schwartz, Barry (July 3, 2014). "Jason Calacanis: Google's Matt Cutts Killed Mahalo & Wants Revenge". Search Engine Roundtable. Retrieved Jul 23, 2014.

External links[edit]