Google Cracks Down On Demand Media
As many suspected, Demand Media has seen its search status diminished by Google's crackdown on so-called "content farms." Indeed, on an earnings call Thursday, the company said referral traffic to its flagship site eHow has declined 20% -- along with a 12% drop in total page-views -- since Google's effort began. "Google's new plan to sweep the Internet clean of bad content has given eHow ... a significant beating," writes VatorNews.com.
Still, scoring what Fast Company calls "a win in the battle against Google's anti-spam search algorithms," Demand announced quarterly revenue of $79.5 million -- up 48% from the same quarter last year -- along with a 32% increase in page views on owned and operated Web sites. That doesn't mean Demand isn't concerned about the decline in search referrals.
On the earnings call, CEO Richard Rosenblatt said: "Google is a very important partner for us, and we consider ourselves as a white hat," according to TechCrunch. Preempting Thursday's findings, Demand shared some major strategic changes with WebProNews. "For one, the company is totally ditching its writers' compensation program," the trade publication writes. "Some of the content will get taken down, and some of it will be put back through the Demand Studios editing process."
"Demand ... said it is shutting down a program for user-generated content on its eHow Web site and plans to commission longer, higher-quality feature articles and videos," reports The Wall Street Journal.
Along the same lines, eHow recently launched a redesign with a new "curation layer" aimed at providing feedback from users to the company so content can be further analyzed in terms of how helpful it is, and then either be removed or put back into the editorial process for improvements.