As Expected, Google's Changes Are Bleeding Demand Media & Other Content Farms

from the easy-call dept

About a year ago, there were all these complaints about how sites like Demand Media were "cluttering" up the internet. However, as we predicted at the time, this was only a temporary issue, and had more to do with the current state of filters, rather than the content itself. The internet has always been filled with a ton of crap, but it didn't matter because you didn't see most of it, and you could ignore the pieces here and there that you did run into. The real complaint people had wasn't that content farms were "cluttering up the internet," but that Google wasn't doing a good job providing relevant content. Clearly that changed when Google made its big anti-content farm move recently.

At the time, Demand Media played down the switch, claiming it was no big deal because it wasn't a content farm. It appears that Google (and its users) disagree. Google's traffic to Demand Media content has apparently dropped by nearly 40% according to various reports. That can't be good for the bottom line. What amazes me, however, is that people bought into Demand Media's IPO earlier this year despite the fact that Google made it clear it was planning to demote content farms like Demand Media days before the company's IPO.

The report notes that the impact on other sites has been even stronger:
Mahalo's Google traffic is down 78 percent, Associate Content's is down 61 percent and Examiner.com is down 51 percent.
You think Yahoo is regretting its purchase of Associated Content yet?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    xxos, Apr 27th, 2011 @ 9:42pm

    How come ...

    How come I am still getting rubbish all over the first page of Google Search results?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2011 @ 9:53pm

    This isn't the end of things to come. There will be lawsuits soon enough I'm sure.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Pixelation, Apr 27th, 2011 @ 9:54pm

    Re:

    "There will be lawsuits soon enough I'm sure."

    When you can't innovate, litigate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2011 @ 10:55pm

    Re: Re:

    You stole that quote from me ;)

    Infringement!!

    Expect to hear from my lawyers soon.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    ALK, Apr 28th, 2011 @ 1:11am

    All this talk about is down %... I want to know who went up in percent.
    This had to increase traffic to more deserving sites.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    grumpy (profile), Apr 28th, 2011 @ 2:56am

    Evolution in action

    I find the IPO comment quite interesting. This is probably going to clean up a bit in the underbrush of not-very-well-run clunkers. Good for us. When was Yahoo! last relevant...?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2011 @ 3:31am

    The spammers who run content farms...

    ...deserve failure. It's standard practive here to simply blacklist all their domains and thus cause them to completely disappear from the local view of the Internet. This achieves lossless compression at very low cost.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Schmoo, Apr 28th, 2011 @ 5:18am

    > Mahalo's Google traffic is down 78 percent

    Awww, and Jason's such a nice bloke too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Content Farmer, Apr 28th, 2011 @ 6:10am

    GEOCITIES

    You think Yahoo is regretting its purchase of Associated Content yet?

    They killed Geocities, the original content farm, and then bought a content farm for millions of dollars? How do they stay in business?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    JustMe (profile), Apr 28th, 2011 @ 7:01am

    Not true

    "The internet has always been filled with a ton of crap"

    At the Beginning (also known as the Blessed Dawn Of the Internet) or (Sweet Relief From BBS-land) the Internet was a glorious and magical place populated by Finger servers telling you if the coffee pot was full. Or if the soda machine down the wall was full. Or how many restroom stalls were being used. There were marvelous newsletters like The Desert Rat. The signal to noise ratio was excellent. There was no crap, or at least it wasn't full of it (depending upon your opinion of the above examples).

    It didn't fill up until all y'all found out about our secret happy place. Once all y'all started creating new content things went downhill and we couldn't find anything any more.

    I've moved on to Internet 3 so I read TechDirt via a legacy IPv7 downlink to IPv6, which is in turn packaged and routed through IPv4.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2011 @ 7:31am

    I still think, demand media's cracked website is pretty cool. I always thought ehow was a legitimate source until i realized the articles suck and are written as fillers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    AJ (profile), Apr 28th, 2011 @ 9:04am

    Effect on Techdirt?

    So has Techdirt improved in the search rankings since the Google change? I do remember Mike talking about how there were other sites copying content from here that Google ranked higher, has this now stopped?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Apr 28th, 2011 @ 9:29am

    Re: Effect on Techdirt?

    So has Techdirt improved in the search rankings since the Google change? I do remember Mike talking about how there were other sites copying content from here that Google ranked higher, has this now stopped?

    Haven't seen any real impact one way or the other. There was only one time, a few years ago, that a copycat site was ranked higher than us. Since then there hasn't been an issue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2011 @ 12:50pm

    Re: How come ...

    How come you haven't provided us with even one example to cement your claim?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re: Effect on Techdirt?

    I notice in Google Suggestions you aren't even in the top 10 for
    tech

    and several other strange sites with lower traffic are listed.

    Looks like Google has work to do still.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Apr 28th, 2011 @ 1:59pm

    Re: How come ...

    Does your Google search include the word "rubbish"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Apr 28th, 2011 @ 2:02pm

    Re:

    > There will be lawsuits soon enough I'm sure.

    It seems like we already went through this with Search King. Remember?

    The court found that Google's search results were covered by free speech. People come to Google because they value Google's opinion on what is relevant to the words they typed into the search bar. Google's opinions (even if mechanically executed by computer) are free speech.

    If someone else has a different opinion on what is most relevant to search terms users type, they can set up a search engine. If other people agree with the relevancy, then they will prefer your search engine over Google.

    I don't see a problem here that needs fixing.

    If it ain't broke, then fix it 'till it is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Apr 28th, 2011 @ 2:04pm

    Re: GEOCITIES

    Microsoft almost blew their entire wad on Yahoo.

    I wish they would have.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2011 @ 5:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Effect on Techdirt?

    Maybe Techdirt should initiate a lawsuit :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    lrobbo (profile), Jun 8th, 2012 @ 3:02pm

    Another fantastic move that was by Yahoo! lulz . . .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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