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Mahalo, the new search engine project launched recently by Jason Calacanis, has launched a toolbar to allow users to compare its results with other search engines.

The Mahalo Follow toolbar, available only for Firefox, allows you to view its human edited search results next to those of the other search engines, or else appear in response to other pages. For example, bringing up E-consultancy.com will generate SEO/marketing related results.

When you search on Google, for instance, Mahalo displays its own results for the search in a sidebar, as above. The aim is to showcase Mahalo's results, and thus convince more people to use its search engine.

For some results, this may well work. A search for Paris hotels on Google provides mixed returns, but with Mahalo's human results, city guides from Time Out and others are displayed above a breakdown of actual hotels, classified according to price range, which is much more useful.

However, the same problems with the main Mahalo search engine affect this toolbar. The search results which Mahalo has actually edited are very useful, but many searches will not be covered by Mahalo.

This means that many searches will not return hand crafted results in the Mahalo toolbar, and often results are irrelevant - a search for 'internet marketing' returned results for carpeting and vacuum cleaners.

On launching Mahalo, Calacanis said the search engine was aiming to have 10,000 edited search results by the end of the year. Thanks to the help of part time editors, the company has now completed more than 8,000 results.

Graham Charlton

Published 13 August, 2007 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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