Silicon Alley Insider is trying to figure out how AOL's BloggingStocks has surpassed Seeking Alpha in the stock blogging market, and they've discovered the obvious: mentioning nude pics, particularly those of controversial pop figures, is a tried and true method of promoting your site through search engines. The top keywords people use to find BloggingStocks are "vanessa hudgens nude" and "amanda beard playboy," whereas top terms for the more serious and boring Seeking Alpha are "seeking alpha" and "visa ipo." Valleywag and BloggingStocks are not alone in appealing to the salacious side of the Web. Many sites know the search engine optimization, or SEO, value in mentioning the latest nude photographs of an attractive young pop star. Including, curiously, Mahalo.
Mahalo, run by professed SEO-hater Jason Calacanis, has been buoyed by two separate Vanessa Hudgens pages in its top ten results since shortly after the story initially broke. However, they have failed to fully capitalize on the Amanda Beard Playboy spread by linking the Olympic athlete's name with "Playboy" or "nude." Perhaps Calacanis should take a break from criticizing optimizers — and start taking notes instead.