Mahalo Goes into App Business After Being Victimized By Panda

Chris CrumBusiness

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You may recall earlier this year, in the early days of the Google Panda Update, that it was costing some people their jobs. In fact, we've seen scattered reports on this note throughout the year.

One of the more publicized stories about this was that of Mahalo, which laid off 10% of its staff after being hit by the Panda update. At the time, Mahalo's Jason Calacanis told WebProNews, "All we can do is put our heads down and continue to make better and better content. If we do our job I’m certain the algorithm will treat us fairly in the long-term."

"The 90+ members of our team are rallying around this challenge, and you will continue to see amazing content from experts with real credentials at," he added.

At the time, Mahalo was reevaluating its freelance content production strategy, and talked about ramping up its video production efforts, as the company's video unit was still going strong.

In fact all signs have pointed to video content performing quite well throughout all the iterations of the Panda update that have rolled out over the course of the year. Video sites were often among the top winners on various lists that came out (including Google's own YouTube of course).

Demand Media launched its big eHow clean-up effort, but pretty much left its video content alone.

But it's harder to monetize YouTube videos than it was mass content.

Liz Gannes at All Things D reports that Mahalo has laid off another 25% of its staff as it re-adjusts its strategy again, turning away from video in favor of iPad apps. Gannes writes:

Rapp [Mahalo President Jason Rapp] noted that while Mahalo’s videos get 30 million views per month, they are not necessarily profitable based on YouTube ads. Educational iPad apps, by contrast, seem to be instant money makers, because users will pay for them. Mahalo plans to gear up to release one app per week, though it only has four out so far. It will also continue to make educational videos.

It will be interesting to see how the quality of apps is maintained as this strategy progresses, and if the strategy turns into the money-maker that Mahalo hopes it will.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.