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Tuesday
Sep132011

Learn Final Cut Pro X

Here at Mahalo, we’re incredibly lucky to have an in-house team of software and technology specialists. These guys could tell you about any program from Safari to Photoshop to Pro Tools, and if they are unfamiliar with a particular software program, they’ll find a way to quickly become an expert. Our goal with these courses is not just to walk you through the program but to leave you confident enough to list it as a skill on your resume.

For our most recent software project, one of my writers joined up with Justin Zagri to develop a Final Cut Pro X course. Final Cut Pro is a non-linear video editing program that supports several video tracks composited simultaneously. Mahalo’s course takes you step by step through the process of starting a new project; adding titles, effects, sounds and exporting to email, Facebook or YouTube.

And Justin is the perfect host to guide you through this program. He earned his bachelor’s degree in cinema and television and has over a decade of experience editing short films, demo reels and feature films. Initially self-taught, Justin learned the multiple facets of Final Cut, AVID and Adobe After Effects to create design work for himself and clients. He takes pride in passing on what he knows about Final Cut and other video editing software, as he knows first-hand the value of having those skills of your resume.

So take a look over this course and give us your feedback. Stuck on a particular task? Did we skip a feature you're dying to learn about? Or perhaps you want to know how to use a different software program? Send us an email with your comments, questions and suggestions at requests@mahalo.com and let us know!

Happy learning!

Thursday
Sep082011

How Search Stacks up in a Post-Panda World: Part III

Mahalo has some of the best instructors anywhere online. Our chefs run successful restaurants, our yoga experts lead classes in their own studios, and our math teachers film how-to videos in addition to their busy schedules working as professors and tutors. The expertise and experience of our qualified instructors guides the creation of every how-to video and article we produce.

This week we’d again like to outline some examples where Google is allowing far inferior content to outrank many of these expert-driven articles, specifically within the verticals of dance and beauty. Our dance instructors have choregoraphed numerous routines and music videos, and one of our hair stylists owns a trendy salon in Los Angeles. Yet somehow low-quality, irrelevant or stolen content continues to dominate the entire front page for many of these search results. Mahalo is often lucky to make the first page at all.

We hope examples and posts like these can help Google refine their algorithm to allow more original, high-quality content to rise to the top of search results. Constructive feedback and personal examples are welcome in the comments below.


=================

Search Term: “How to Do a Shuffle Hop”

Mahalo’s Google Rank: #6
http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-tap-dance-shuffle-hop-step
I. Expert host with bio
II. HD in-house video with expert
III. Well-written/accurate content
IV. Original images
V. Thorough information and instruction (video, picture, and text instructions)
VI. Additional information (offers variations of the move, as well as related steps)

Page Quality Score: 9/10

 

Google Result #1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tap_dance_technique
I. Unknown/non-credentialed authors
II. No helpful pictures or videos
III. Poor instruction (doesn’t give proper directions on doing a shuffle hop)

Page Quality Score: 1/10


Google Result #3
http://www.xydo.com/articles/26015305-how-to-tap-dance-hop-shuffle-step
I. No original content (only a link to Mahalo’s article)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #4
http://www.theatredance.com/tapterm3.html
I. No pictures or videos
II. Poor instruction (no steps outlined for doing the dance)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #5
http://www.tapdancesyllabus.com/
I. No pictures or videos
II. No instructions/how-to given

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #6
http://mp3searchy.com/mp3_download/nZ-CGUjSiLM/How+to+Do+a+Shuffle+Hop+Step+in+Tap+Dance.html
I. No content or instruction on page
II. Webspam (serves scraped audio files from YouTube videos, excessive advertising)

Page Quality Score: 0/10

Insights: Just like last week, here we see examples of simple definitions dominating the top ranking spots for searches with the word "how to." Those searchers aren't looking for Webster's take on the topic, they want to know how to do something. Naturally, Mahalo videos on other sites also trumped us in the rankings.


Another instance where thousand-word Wikipedia pages, scraped Mahalo content, and term definitions outrank Mahalo's high-quality article. 


===============
Search Term: “How to Toe Drop Tap Dance”
Mahalo’s Google Rank: #10
http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-tap-dance-toe-drop/
I. Expert host with bio
II. HD in-house video with expert
III. Well-written/accurate content
IV. Original images
V. Thorough information and instruction (video, picture, and text instructions)
VI. Additional information (suggests helpful practice routines)

Page Quality Score: 9/10



Google Result #2
http://learner.in/videos/viewvideo/135688/how-to/how-to-tap-dance-toe-drop-0000
I. No original content (only Mahalo’s video)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #3
http://www.theatredance.com/tapterm5.html
I. Poor instruction (only a definition, no steps given)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #4
http://www.officiallearnguitar.com/2011/07/24/how_to_tap_dance_-_toe_drop/
I. No original content (only Mahalo’s video)

Page Quality Score: 0/10

 

Insights: Two of the top four search results were pages featuring nothing but Mahalo videos, and one was nothing but a definition for the search term.

I'm so glad Google has decided to give Mahalo's dance pro some search traffic for her expertise and effort. It's just too bad they're sending the traffic to other sites.

 
====================
Search Term: “How to Do Feather Hair Extensions”
Mahalo’s Google Rank: #100+
http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-do-feather-hair-extensions
I. Expert host with bio
II. HD in-house video with expert
III. Well-written/accurate content
IV. Original images
V. Thorough information and instruction (video, picture, and text instructions)
VI. Additional information (popular celebrity looks, closeups, and tips)

Page Quality Score: 9/10



Google Result #2
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110830124341AA46Z4e
I. Poor search result (Q&A thread about price of feathers, not how to use them)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #5
http://www.finefeatherheads.com/
I. Poor search result (page for a product, not a process)
Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #6
http://www.dohairextensions.com/feather-extensions.html
I. Poor search result (page for a product, not a process)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #7
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/feather-hair-extensions-killing-roosters.html
I. Poor search result (irrelevant news article)

Page Quality Score: 0/10

 

Insights: These top results were all either selling a product or not related to learning how to use hair feathers. It's unfortunate to send web searchers to product pages when they're looking for how to do something, as these pages are often just concerned with selling instead of teaching.

I don't think killing roosters and shopping carts are what people were looking for with this query.


================
Search Term: “How to Do the Volkswagen Dance”
Mahalo’s Google Rank: #9
http://www.mahalo.com/fundamentals-of-locking-the-volkswagen
I. Expert host with bio
II. HD in-house video with expert
III. Well-written/accurate content
IV. Original images
V. Thorough information and instruction (video, picture and text instructions)
VI. Additional information (is part of a complete “locking” dance curriculum)

Page Quality Score: 9/10



Google Result #2
http://kottke.org/05/02/golf-gti-commercial-and-elsewhere
I. Poor search result (car site w/o dance subject or instruction)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #3
http://www.vwwatercooled.org.au/forums/f112/vcds-vag-com-settings-make-gti-needles-dance-upon-ignition-40556.html
I. Poor search result (car site w/o dance subject or instruction)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #4
http://inthedoghouse.hubpages.com/hub/VW-Bugs--Green-Machines-By-Volkswagen
I. Poor search result (car site w/o dance subject or instruction)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #5
http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/hatchbacks/112_0906_2010_volkswagen_gti_first_drive/viewall.html
I. Poor search result (car site w/o dance subject or instruction)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #6
http://hajos-kontrapunkte.blogspot.com/2011/07/q-can-vw-bus-really-dance.html
I. Poor search result (car site w/o dance subject or instruction)

Page Quality Score: 0/10

 

Insights: I included the word "dance" in this query on purpose, with hopes that keyword would whittle out results related to the car manufacturer. Unfortunately six of the top seven results had nothing to do with dancing.

Unless this Beetle is going to get up and start showing me how to dance, I think that almost the entire front page of search results was a pretty solid #fail.

 
===========
Search Term: “How to Do the Cat Daddy Dance”
Mahalo’s Google Rank: #47
http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-dance-hip-hop-cat-daddy/
I. Expert host with bio
II. HD in-house video with expert
III. Well-written/accurate content
IV. Original images
V. Thorough information and instruction (video, picture, and text instructions)
VI. Additional information (background of dance, related moves, and original music video)

Page Quality Score: 9/10



Google Result #1
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110126235924AAtynQp
I. Poor Search Result (article about a dance in a video game)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #2
http://www.atldancesource.com/home/2011/2/7/do-the-cat-daddy.html
I. Poor Search Result (no instruction, original music video only)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #3
http://www.collegedj.net/2011/01/21/hip-hop/the-rej3ctz-cat-daddy-music-video-mtv-jam-week-reject/
I. Poor Search Result (no instruction, original music video only)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #4
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=cat%20daddy
I. Poor Search Result (user-submitted definition of the dance)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #5
http://www.lyricsmania.com/cat_daddy_lyrics_rej3ctz_the.html
I. Poor Search Result (no instruction, song lyrics only)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #6
http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/Cat-Daddy-lyrics-The-Rej3ctz/6B2A45685BE130C748257811003A6590
I. Poor Search Result (no instruction, song lyrics only)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #8
http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/rej3ctz/catdaddy.html
I. Poor Search Result (no instruction, song lyrics only)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #9
http://www.hiphopup.com/video/1716/the_rej3ctz_cat_daddy_ft_chris_brown/
I. Poor Search Result (no instruction, original music video only)

Page Quality Score: 0/10

 

Insights: I'm still surprised that including the word "how to" doesn't return more results that actually show you how to do something. The above examples are a perfect sample of poor search results, as they merely contain the music video or lyrics for the song but no instruction as sought in the search term.

Lyrics and music videos do not a how-to make.

 
=============================
Search Term: “How to Do the Big Girl Dance”
Mahalo’s Google Rank: #38
http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-dance-hip-hop-do-da-big-girl/
I. Expert host with bio
II. HD in-house video with expert
III. Well-written/accurate content
IV. Original images
V. Thorough information and instruction (video, picture, and text instructions)
VI. Additional information (links to related dance moves)

Page Quality Score: 9/10



Google Result #1
http://www.myspace.com/high323/music/songs/do-da-big-girl-dance-7392019
I. Poor Search Result (no instruction, song lyrics only)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #2
http://www.lyricsdepot.com/digital-underground/the-humpty-dance.html
I. Poor Search Result (no instruction, song lyrics only)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #3
http://www.weddingvendors.com/music/lyrics/e/eu/da-butt/
I. Poor Search Result (no instruction, song lyrics only)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #4
http://www.songlyrics.com/mike-epps/big-girls-lyrics/
I. Poor Search Result (no instruction, song lyrics only)

Page Quality Score: 0/10

 

Insights: The top four results contained nothing but lyrics, which seems to be a common trend when I was searching for how to do a particular dance move from a song.

If I wanted to sing this song I'd be in great shape, but that's not the case in this situation.

 

=======
Search Term: “How to Create Volume in Your Hair”
Mahalo’s Google Rank: #100+
http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-create-volume-in-your-hair/
I. Expert host with bio
II. HD in-house video with expert
III. Well-written/accurate content
IV. Original images
V. Thorough information and instruction (video, picture, and text instructions)
VI. Additional information (part of an entire hair curriculum/variations and tips)

Page Quality Score: 9/10



Google Result #1
http://www.wikihow.com/Create-Volume-in-Your-ctHair
I. Unknown/possible non-credentialed authors (wiki)
II. Limited instruction
III. No pictures or video

Page Quality Score: 4/10


Google Result #5
http://callhart.com/crazy/2011/01/how-to-create-quick-volume-to-your-hair-my-hair-pictures/
I. Non-credentialed author
II. No text on page
III. No helpful pictures
IV. Low-quality/webcam video

Page Quality Score: 3/10


Google Result #7
http://www.studiodnasalon.com/07/08/2011/how-to-create-volume-in-your-hair
I. No original content (only Mahalo’s video)

Page Quality Score: 0/10

 

Insights: It's always upsetting to see weak, low-quality, or stolen content outrank our great articles, which is exactly the case in this situation.

Can somebody please explain how webcam videos, sparse pages and stolen content make their way to the top of Google's search results? Please?


=================
Search Term: “How to Style Short Wet Hair”
Mahalo’s Google Rank: #21
http://www.mahalo.com/courses/how-to-style-short-hair/styling-basics/style-short-wet-hair/
I. Expert host with bio
II. HD in-house video with expert
III. Well-written/accurate content
IV. Original images
V. Thorough information and instruction (video, picture, and text instructions)
VI. Additional information (part of an entire hair curriculum/variations and tips)

Page Quality Score: 9/10



Google Result #1
http://www.redbookmag.com/beauty-fashion/tips-advice/short-hair-how-to-hairstyles
I. Poor search result (celebrity hairstyles, but no short/wet instructions)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #2
http://www.marieclaire.com/hair-beauty/trends/african-american-hair-how-to-hairstyle
I. Poor search result (re: African American hair, not short/wet)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #4
http://www.xydo.com/articles/25873183-how-to-style-short-wet-hair
I. No original content (only Mahalo’s video)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #5
http://researchanalyst.hubpages.com/hub/Black-Hair-Going-Natural
I. Poor search result (re: African American hair, not short/wet)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #6
http://www.wikihow.com/Style-Your-Hair-(Male)
I. Poor search result (re: men’s hairstyles, not short/wet)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #7
http://hairstyles.ghdhair.com/ask-the-experts
I. Poor search result (product forum, no instruction given)

Page Quality Score: 0/10

 

Insights: Six of the top seven results shed absolutely no light on how to do what was asked in the search query. Instead, and again, we see product pages and Mahalo's own videos unfairly sitting at the top of the results.

 Nothing like seeing your content wrapped inside another site outranking your own (same) page by leaps and bounds.

Wednesday
Sep072011

Announcing Mahalo's New iPad App

Last Monday, Mahalo hit a huge milestone—we launched our first iPad app! This week, we're ranked number nine in the music section of the app store. If you haven't already, you can buy our “Learn Guitar” app for only $0.99. Such a steal considering that private lessons cost significantly more. The great thing is that this app feels like you’re getting private lessons from Mahalo’s guitar expert Jen Trani.



For those who don’t know Jen, here’s a bit of her bio: She was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, and has been playing guitar in all styles since the age of 13.  After earning her bachelor's degree in music performance from the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, Jen began teaching private guitar lessons and playing lead guitar with several bands. She also appeared in the Shirelles-inspired '60s musical Baby It's You and is the composer for an online series of video shorts.

So what can you expect from the app? Well, you’ll start with the basics of how to hold the guitar and all its different parts then advance on to how to read guitar tablature and how to tune your instrument. Finally, you’ll finish up by learning how to play your first few chords and how to put them together into a song.



You'll cover all the basics in our 27-video series. Start to finish, the course runs about an hour long, but you should expect to spend three hours running through it at a slow, steady pace, adding in time for your own additional practice and reviewing difficult concepts. Additionally, you'll want to practice at least 20 minutes a day until these skills become second nature.

Once you’ve had a chance to play around with it, we’d love your feedback! Email us with what you like about the app and what you’d want to see in future versions at requests@mahalo.com. For the most up-to-date information, you can like Mahalo Guitar on Facebook or follow on Twitter. And stay tuned for more great apps from Mahalo.

So pick up that iPad, download the app from the app store and begin your guitar journey.

Now let's get ready to rock!

Friday
Sep022011

The New Way to "Learn Anything"

Hey everyone! I'm Rachel Grice, head of Mahalo's incredibly talented writing team. For those of you who have been following us for a while, you know that in the past few months we've shifted focus ever so slightly. Instead of a random assortment of quality educational videos, we've dedicated a lot of energy to organizing that material into courses, so that you can learn a skill from start to finish.

Some of our very first courses included Knife Skills with Chef Eric Crowley and Learning Adobe Photoshop with our in-house experts Gene Shaw and Justin Zagri. As great as that platform was for launching our courses, we just recently debuted a new format, which I believe is a lot more user-friendly (and it's pretty cool looking, too).

In the past week, my team has completed the first three courses: Beginner Guitar with Jen Trani, Learn to Tap Dance with Tahlia Morgan and How to Style Short Hair with the stylists of Studio DNA. There are some useful features I'd like to point out using these three as examples.

Most of our courses feature an introduction page like the one below. The main difference between this format and the old format is that there's space for a video! Now you can view a welcome/introduction from the host—the spunky Tahlia Morgan in this case—and read more about her in the bio on the side, which also appears on every subsequent page.




The other great feature of the lesson pages is that the course heading, chapter title and lesson name are on each page so you can keep track of your place in the course. Tackling something as complicated as tap dance can seem daunting at first, but that’s the great part of having things broken down into chapters from the proper warm-up technique to mastering basics shuffles and taps to combining steps in more advanced moves.

Next is the new video/table of contents section. As you can see in the image below, the video is the main feature of the page. In this lesson, hair stylist Gillian Kuhlmann shows viewers how to accessorize short hair. To move on to the next lesson or review the previous lesson, you can either click on the lesson you want to view or use the previous and next buttons at the bottom of the table of contents.




This course specifically starts out with the basics of styling short hair—blow drying, curling, straightening—and then moves on to how to achieve specific looks—both for everyday wear and special occasions. There's even a chapter on how to mimic your favorite celebrity hairstyles.

Having difficulty with a specific part of the video lesson? Or maybe you don't have time to watch the entire video and just need to skip to a specific step. That's where my Wrockstars come in (no, not a typo, just a moniker for the writing rockstars). The text below the video is not just a step-by-step outline of what the video teaches, but a compilation of the best research on the web. The goal is not just to learn HOW to do something, but to have completed a lesson knowing why something works and a little of the background, if applicable.




Take this lesson in the Beginner Guitar Course for example. In the video, guitar expert Jen Trani shows you the different frets on her guitar. Then in the space below, there's a breakdown and further explanation of what she's talking about. It's like having a textbook explanation along with your teacher explaining in her own words. For someone like me (who's never picked up a guitar in my life), the concept of frets was always a little foreign and confusing. But after reviewing this lesson, I know I could explain it to someone else.

And there's more to come! Within the next few weeks, we're working on serving up a Get Fit course, Final Cut Pro X course and a course on how to draw cartoon characters. If you have any suggestions—either how to improve our existing courses or ideas for future courses—be sure to shoot us an email at requests@mahalo.com.

Happy learning!
rachel

@rachel_grice
rachel.grice@mahalo.com

Tuesday
Aug302011

How Search Stacks up in a Post-Panda World: Part II

Mahalo has been spending a lot of resources creating high-quality videos and pages in the cooking space over the past year. This week we would like to take a look at the rankings of some of these page in Google's search engine.

As you can see, these examples speak for themselves. Time after time, our expert-driven quality content is outranked by scrapper sites, spammers and low-quality content. We've developed a basic scoring system so that we can grade ourselves against our competition, and in these examples, we think you'll agree that Google's algorithm could do quite a bit better in their quest for search quality.

Constructive feedback and personal unfair outranking examples are welcome in the comments below.

(All searches performed on a logged-out browser/incognito window. Video search results were not counted when quantifying rankings, as the goal was to see how Google ranks original articles and websites. Rankings cited are no more than five days old at time of post)

=========================

Search Term: "How to Make Raw Vegan Blueberry Yogurt"
Mahalo’s Google Rank: #150+
http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-make-raw-vegan-blueberry-yogurt/
I. Expert host with bio
II. HD in-house video with expert
III. Well-written/accurate content
IV. Original images
V. Additional/helpful information (relevant health and nutritional info)
VI. Part of Mahalo's "Raw Foods" course

Page Quality Score: 9/10


Google Result #1
http://www.biblical-health.com/recipe_rawparfait.php
I. Incorrect search result (wrong recipe/does not answer query)
II. Poor spelling and grammar (example: "The great thing is, you don't need to be vegan to? incorporate")
III. No original media (only includes Mahalo how-to video)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #2
http://www.juzp.net/zk14nNIG-CXMz
I. Limited instruction (no text or recipe on page, only audio “how to”)
II. Scraped content (audio “how to” is just the audio from Mahalo’s video)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #7
http://veganchicksrock.blogspot.com/2008/01/anis-raw-food-kitchen.html
I. Poor search result (recipe for different dish)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #8
http://wn.com/How_to_Make_Raw_Vegan_Blueberry_Banana_Yogurt
I. Nothing but Mahalo video
II. No other content on page

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Insights: This is a classic example of Panda getting all kinds of things wrong. Mahalo's scraped video sits above our own page in the rankings at least three times, and an incorrect recipe and search result acts as a buffer in-between.

Mahalo's video, Mahalo's video, incorrect recipe, Mahalo's video. Are we starting to see a pattern here?

 

==================

Search Term: “How to Make a Croissant Breakfast Sandwich”
Mahalo’s Google Rank: #8
http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-make-a-croissant-breakfast-sandwich/
I. Expert host with bio
II. HD in-house video with expert
III. Well-written/accurate content
IV. Original images
V. Thorough instruction (many recipe variations both show and described)
VI. Additional experts/chefs cited

Page Quality Score: 9/10


Google Result #2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breakfast_sandwich
I. Unknown/possibly non-credentialed author
II. Irrelevant information (Wikipedia article for “Breakfast Sandwich”)
III. Poor instruction (lists popular variations, but doesn’t actually give any recipes or instruction)

Page Quality Score: 2/10


Google Result #3
http://www.spanishfoodcook.info/side-dishes/how-to-make-a-croissant-breakfast-sandwich/
I. Page unavailable

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #4
http://blog.quickdfw.com/archives/2011/04/hangover-helper-croissant-brea.html
I. No instruction given (review for a certain restaurant’s breakfast sandwich)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #5
http://www.yelp.com/biz/p-croissants-tempe
I. No instruction given (business listing for a restaurant in Tempe, AZ)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Insights: While I'll admit to peeking into Wikipedia quite a few times, it's hardly the place I'd go for "how to" information. Other than hundreds of unrelated words from the online encyclopedia, our other top results include a restaurant listing, a restaurant review and Mahalo's own video on another site.

Incorrect recipes, Mahalo-produced videos and thousands of extraneous words abound in this outrank example.


======================

Search Term: “How to Make Tofu Fries”
Mahalo’s Google Rank: #5
http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-make-the-best-tofu-fries/
I. Expert host with bio
II. HD in-house video with expert
III. Well-written/accurate content
IV. Original images
V. Helpful information (nutrition facts stated)
VI. Thorough information (recipe variations offered)

Page Quality Score: 9/10


Google Result #1
http://www.ehow.com/how_2301315_make-tofu-french-fries.html
I. Non-credentialed author (writter is a lawyer, not a chef)
II. Incorrect/dangerous information (states tofu fries remove “all drawbacks” of normal fries, however fat, saturated fat and sodium still apply)
III. Limited information (only shows one preparation method)
IV. No helpful pictures or videos

Page Quality Score: 5/10


Google Result #3
http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=19606.0
I. Page not available when clicked

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #4
http://thepoorvegan.com/post/7271049963/barbecue-tofu-fries
I. Poor search result (wrong recipe)

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Insights: This search led me to mostly broken pages or incorrect recipes and search results. The one decent result contained false nutritional information and was written by a lawyer, not a chef.

Both dangerous information and incorrect recipes are returned as top results.

 

====================

Search Term: “How to Make Profiteroles”
Mahalo’s Google Rank: #150+
http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-make-profiteroles/
I. Expert host with bio
II. HD in-house video with expert
III. Well-written/accurate content
IV. Original images
V. Thorough information & instruction (offers recipe variations, nutritional information and pro tips)
VI. Additional information (how-to videos and recipes for related dishes referenced on page)

Page Quality Score: 9/10

 
Google Result #1
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Profiteroles-(Cream-Puffs)
I. Unknown/non-credentialed author
II. No original content (all text copied from Mahalo’s page)
III. No original media (how-to video included on page is Mahalo’s video)

Page Quality Score: 0/10
(^^note, the text and video from Mahalo make for a great recipe, however no points are awarded for entirely duplicate content)


Google Result #2
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110324001522AA9o6UM
I. Unknown/non-credentialed author
II. Poor instruction (Q&A thread w/ two answers, neither one original or helpful.
III. Copied/duplicate content (entire response of the one decent answer copied fromhttp://scrumpdillyicious.blogspot.com/2011/04/profiteroles-with-chocolate-sauce.html)

Page Quality Score: 1/10


Google Result #3
http://beachcoffeemaker.com/how-to-make-profiteroles-770.html
I. No original content (page only contains Mahalo’s video and its YouTube description)

Page Quality Score: 0/10

 

Insights: Right out of the gate we can see that, within the top three search results returned, two contain nothing but Mahalo's how-to videos, and the third contains a recipe copied from another site. Bad, panda, bad.

Copied recipes along with our own videos enjoy the pleasure of outranking us for this query.

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Search Term: “How to Make Meatball Cookies”
Mahalo’s Google Rank: #4
http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-make-meatball-cookies/
I. Expert host
II. Video with expert explaining techniques involved
III. Well-written/accurate content
IV. Thorough information (multiple recipe variations offered)

Page Quality Score: 7/10


Google Result #1
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110111200557AAV9tof
I. Poor instruction format (closed Q&A thread w/ one response)
II. Poor instruction (no recipe included on page, only a link to a recipe)
III. Poor instructor/answer (mentioned they didn’t know what a meatball cookie is)
IV. No pictures or videos

Page Quality Score: 1/10


Google Result #3
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/meatball-cookies/morerecipeslikethis.aspx
I. Poor instruction format (landing page for many "related" recipes)
II. Poor instruction (no recipe for “Meatball Cookies” on page)
III. Full-screen popup ads

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Insights: This is an example where I use a Mahalo page without an original video as an example of how we can still be miles ahead of those outranking us. Even without a glossy HD video to add to our page, the quality of our content still trumps the competition. 

"What's a meatball cookie anyway?" and a slew of unrelated recipes greet a user with this search term.


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Search Term: "How to Make a Sausage Grilled Cheese Sandwich"
Mahalo’s Google Rank: #4
http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-make-a-sausage-grilled-cheese-sandwich/
I. Expert host with bio
II. HD in-house video with expert
III. Well-written/accurate content
IV. Original images
V. Thorough instruction (multiple variations stated)
VI. Helpful information (different varieties of sausage explained)
VII. Additional experts/chefs cited

Page Quality Score: 9/10


Google Result #1
http://www.cooks.com/rec/search/0,1-0,grilled_cheese_sandwich,FF.html
I. Unknown/non-credentialed authors
II. Confusing instruction (landing page for other, related recipes)
III. Irrelevant information (nine other recipes listed on page)
IV. Limited instruction (recipe only provides one sandwich variation and does not offer suggestions for others)

Page Quality Score: 2/10


Google Result #2
http://cheesemongerrecipes.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/%E2%80%9Capril-is-grilled-cheese-month%E2%80%9D-5-neals-yard-cheshire-and-bacon-grilled-cheese/
I. Unknown/non-credentialed author
II. No instruction (summary of ingredients given but no recipe)
III. Limited information (ingredients are particular to one variation only)
IV. No original instruction (author links to another “how to” article to explain process)
V. Confusing/incorrect instruction (does not include a recipe for this dish)

Page Quality Score: 1/10


Google Result #3
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-an-Egg-and-Cheese-Sandwich
I. Unknown/non-credentialed author
II. Generic instruction (recipe for an egg and cheese sandwich, sausage optional)
III. Incorrect search result (microwaved sandwich, no grilling involved)

Page Quality Score: 2/10


Insights: Google enjoyed diverting me toward Cooks.com on a number of recipe-search occasions, however the website provided incorrect recipes and mulitiple, contradicting ingredients and techniques.

Even with the top three results in front of me, I still didn't see a correct recipe for this dish.

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Search Term: "How to Brunoise an Onion"
Mahalo’s Google Rank: #6
http://www.mahalo.com/knife-skills-how-to-brunoise-an-onion/
I. Expert host with bio
II. HD in-house video with expert
III. Well-written/accurate content
IV. Original images
V. Thorough instruction (video and images for each step)
VI. Additional, helpful information (explains how to avoid watery eyes while cutting)

Page Quality Score: 9/10


Google Result #1
http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O39-brunoise.html
I. Limited information (only a definition of the term given)
II. No instruction on page
III. No helpful pictures or videos

Page Quality Score: 1/10


Google Result #3
http://cool-cooking.com/cool-cooking/how-to-brunoise-onion-and-shallot/
I. Limited information (definition of brunoise explained)
II. No instruction (only provides a link to another article with how-to steps)

Page Quality Score: 2/10


Google Result #6
http://www.natural-offer.com/natural-organic/how-to-brunoise-onion-and-shallot.html
I. Unknown/non-credentialed author
II. Useless instruction/indecipherable grammar (examples: "Collection Those slices And this extra weight Possess the turbines Critiques to help lengthwise." and "Clear an onion With regard to only half and set An organization fifty percent For that Dicing body firm Part-time down.")

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Insights: I'm still confused as to why a definition is the top-ranking spot for a how-to query. Also, I'd like to try to figure out why a page without a recipe outranks my page with a recipe, with a video, with pretty pictures. Also, get a load of the quality of spelling and grammar Google so proudly promoted on the first page of results.

Simple definitions and the world's worst grammar are considered Google's "top notch" results with this search.


=======================

Search Term: “How to Make Southwest Beef Empanadas”
Mahalo’s Google Rank: #9
http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-make-southwest-beef-empanadas/
I. Expert host with bio
II. HD in-house video with expert
III. Well-written/accurate content
IV. Original images
V. Helpful instruction (video and images for each main step)
VI. Thorough instruction (variations and preparation tips provided)

Page Quality Score: 9/10


Google Result #1
http://www.pancakemix.net/articles/how-to-make-southwest-beef-empanadas
I. Only thing on the page is Mahalo’s video

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #2
http://internationalfare.tunzarecipes.com/2011/06/25/how_to_make_southwest_beef_empanadas/
I. Only thing on the page is Mahalo’s video

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #3
http://learner.in/component/hwdvideoshare/viewvideo/105982/how-to/how-to-make-southwest-beef-empanadas
I. Only thing on the page is Mahalo’s video

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Google Result #4
http://www.easycurriculum.com/video/--8rwoyeVdg&feature=youtube_gdata_player
I. Only thing on the page is Mahalo’s video

Page Quality Score: 0/10


Insights: The pictures below leave nothing else to be said in this situation. All top four Google results were nothing but spammy sites that scrape Mahalo's content and embed our videos.

Yes, these are the top four Google results for this term. Yes, that's our video on each page. No, there's nothing else on the pages. I don't think I could write out an ending summary any better than the picture above, so I'll just sign off here.