Demand Media, the owner of many websites that have often been tagged with the “content farm” label, is planning to slow down its article production at eHow.com, its flagship website with three million articles.
Business Insider has published an email sent from Demand Media to its stable of freelance authors. The email explains that, because eHow.com’s library of articles is “already so comprehensive,” the plan moving forward is to focus on other types of content like slide shows and videos. That means fewer article opportunities:
Looking ahead, as we continue to publish articles for eHow and our other sites, we want to be sure we are building on what already exists, not replicating it. This is not to say we will stop assigning standard titles in How to and Topic View format for eHow.com. But it does mean that we will have fewer eHow.com assignments for the foreseeable future.
Not surprisingly, there’s no mention of Demand Media’s battle this year with Google’s various Panda algorithm updates. After the original Panda rollout left eHow.com and similar sites (non-Demand Media sites, too) unscathed, the next update reportedly hit eHow.com squarely — a claim that Demand Media quickly said was “significantly overstated.”
But it’s worth noting that, with Panda attempting to weed out low-quality content, the Demand Media email does suggest that the company is going to focus on quality going forward — perhaps more than it has in the past? Consider these pull-outs from the email:
- “…ultimately the work and opportunities will grow for our best writers and editors”
- “…completely execute on our vision of having the most qualified writers and editors working on titles within their areas of expertise”
- “…every article is written and copy edited by a qualified professional with background, knowledge or experience in the topic”
In fact, Demand’s Chief Revenue Officer, Joanne Bradford, gave this statement to Business Insider: “It’s still one of the largest pools of writing assignments available in the world. We don’t feel like it’s that dramatic of a change because it’s not like every assignment was being taken. It’s all about quality for us.”