Mahalo Search Engine LogoMahalo is a new search engine launched by ex Netscape GM and co-founder of Weblogs Inc Jason Calacanis.

This differs from other search engines, as it is human-powered – the 4,000 search terms available so far are all put together by a team of editors.

Calacanis believes that this method will deliver more relevant search results than the likes of Google and Yahoo.

So far, Mahalo has put together results for 4,000 top search terms, and aims for 10,000 later this year.

A team of 40 employees are working on the search terms so far, with more planned in future to expand the number of search terms covered.

The results, for the limited amount of terms available, are impressive. A search for holidays in a particular location will avoid the large number of aggregator sites such a search would return on Google, and displays a good mixture of local area guides, and local hotels and resorts.

Mahalo aims to filter out spam and sites that are ad-heavy from the search results, as well as any sites which may contain adult or hate content.

The site is in ‘alpha’ test mode at the moment, so we are not dealing with the finished product just yet.

According to Calacanis:
“Google’s mission is to index the world’s information; our mission is to curate that wonderful index. It’s my belief that humans can play a significant role in the development of search results and we’re going to try to figure out exactly what that role is over the next couple of years. I am really looking forward to hearing what people think of the Alpha.”

It’s an interesting idea, and for the limited amount of search terms edited so far, the results are useful. However, even when 10,000 search terms are available through Mahalo, this will still be a drop in the ocean.