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?

Filed Under: ,
Companies: demand media, google

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Comments on “As Expected, Google's Changes Are Bleeding Demand Media & Other Content Farms”

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21 Comments
DannyB (profile) says:

Re: 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.

JustMe (profile) says:

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.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

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.

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