Google Panda Update Costs Demand Media $6.4 Million In 4th Quarter?

ehow-pow-panda-featured Demand Media posts $6.4-million loss in fourth quarter from the Los Angeles Times reports that Google's Panda algorithm is mostly to blame for Demand Media's $6.4 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2011. Demand Media released their earnings report last night, showing revenues up 15% year over year, but profits down from a positive $1 million in the 4th quarter of 2010 to a loss of $6.4 million in the 4th quarter of 2011. Overall, Demand Media lost $18.5 million over the 2011 fiscal year. Our very own Greg Sterling told the LA Times, "When you generate articles based on keywords, you [...]

Google & Bing Have “Won A Major Victory” Over Content Farms, Study Says

panda-winning-featured Search engines have "won a major victory" in their battle against so-called content farms. So says the current issue of New Scientist magazine, in an article that's also available online. New Scientist asked University of Glasgow computer scientist Richard McCreadie to study 50 search queries that are "known to be a target of content farmers." One example query given is "how to train for a marathon." McCreadie studied those queries in both March and August, and the magazine says "the results show that Google and Microsoft have won a major victory" against content farms. The results are s [...]

Yahoo Deletes 75,000 Associated Content Articles, Moves Rest To New Yahoo Voices Site

yahoo logo Yahoo is cleaning up Associated Content by deleting some of the articles, moving the keepers to Yahoo's domain and giving the site a new name, too. And next year, Yahoo will begin an online training course to help its writers create higher quality content. The company has announced plans to "retire" more than 75,000 Associated Content articles, keep only "the best content submitted over the last seven years," and move it all to a new site, Yahoo! Voices ( In the process, Yahoo has also introduced new submission guidelines for its army of writers. Associated Content [...]

Demand Media: “We Will Have Fewer Assignments For The Foreseeable Future”

demand-media-logo 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, 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'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 [...]

Panda’s Winners & Losers In Germany: Bing’s, & More

panda-face-top-news Google has again slapped a comparison shopping site owned by its primary search competitor, Bing, as part of its most recent expansion of the "Panda" algorithm update. It's only been a few days since Google pushed out Panda around the world in all languages except Chinese, Japanese and Korean. But Searchmetrics has already published its list of German sites that Panda has impacted both positively and negatively. The biggest loser in terms of overall organic visibility? That would be, a comparison shopping site that Bing owns. Searchmetrics says that Ciao's overall visibility d [...]

Google Panda Update 2.4: Panda Goes International, In Most Languages

panda-international-featured Google has just announced that their "Panda" rankings changes, first launched in the United States in late February and rolled out to English language indices internationally in April, have now launched internationally in all languages other than Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Their post notes that for non-English indices,  this change impacts 6-9% of queries (vs. the 12% the original US English launch). This launch also includes a few minor changes to the English version of Panda, but shouldn't have a substantial impact. In their post, they say: For many months, we’ve been focused o [...]

New York Times: Yes, Google’s Panda Update Hit NYT-Owned

aboutcom-logo-250 The New York Times Company has confirmed recent reports that its property was one of the sites that suffered traffic declines in the wake of Google's recent Panda/Farmer algorithm change. Speaking during its recent earnings call, CEO Janet Robinson said that "experienced a moderately negative impact on page views from the algorithm changes Google implemented in the quarter." was included on several third-party reports listing sites that were hurt by Google's changes, but the general consensus was that many other sites had been hurt worse. The second link in [...]

Hitwise Data Pegs Panda Impact On Demand Media Sites At 40%

demand-media-logo Demand Media sites have suffered an estimated loss of about 40% of overall Google traffic since the Panda/Farmer update took effect. That's according to new Experian Hitwise statistics measuring outbound traffic from Google to other sites, and reported today by Forbes. The Hitwise numbers suggest that about 0.57% of all outbound Google traffic went to Demand Media sites in early January, but that's dropped to 0.34% as of April 23rd. That's an overall loss of 40% when measuring outbound/downstream traffic from Google. On an individual basis, Hitwise includes these Demand sites and their e [...]

Demand Media: Panda’s Impact On “Significantly Overstated”

demand-media-logo Demand Media says recent reports have "significant overstated" the impact of Google's Panda update on, its flagship website. In a brief statement issued early this morning, the company says: Certain third parties that have published reports attempting to estimate the effect of recent search engine algorithm changes made by Google on traffic to the Company's owned and operated websites have significantly overstated the negative impact of those changes on traffic to, as compared to the Company's directly measured internal data. Recent search engine algorithm changes have ne [...]

Panda Update: Google Lowers The Boom On

ehow-pow-panda-featured After escaping damage in the first rollout of Google's Farmer/Panda update, Demand Media's was reportedly not as fortunate in this week's expansion. Sistrix, one of the companies that's been tracking the impact of Google's changes, says that was hit hard by the latest Panda update. We already reported the Sistrix (and other) numbers showing that and were hit outside the US this week; Sistrix's latest numbers also show that is seeing less visibility inside the US, too. As the chart above shows,'s search visibility has tanked sinc [...]

Winners & Losers As Panda 2.0 Goes Global? eHow, Bing’s & More

panda-expand-losers-featured It's only been 48 hours since Google expanded the Panda/Farmer update to all English language searches outside the US, and we're already seeing reports about who the early winners and losers are. In some cases, the names are familiar if you followed the original reports when the algorithm change first hit in the US in late February. But there are also some new names, including a notable one that was missing the first time around. Sistrix Visibility Index Losers Earlier today, Sistrix posted its initial list of the 30 biggest losers from Panda's expansion. It's based on an analysis of a [...]

Panda 2.0: Google Rolls Out Panda Update Internationally & Incorporates Searcher Blocking Data

panda-international-featured Late February, Google launched a substantial algorithm change (known as "Farmer" or "Panda") aimed at identifying low-quality pages and sites. These are pages (often seen on so-called "content farms") with text that is relevant for a query, but may not provide the best user experience. (Google calls it a "high quality sites algorithm".) Today, Google has rolled this change out to all English language queries and made a few minor updates (with an estimated impact to 2% of U.S. queries). Live for All English Queries The original algorithm update impacted only U.S. queries. As of today, this c [...]

The Farmer/Panda Update: New Information From Google and The Latest from SMX West

[caption id="attachment_67584" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image from Sony200boy on Flickr"][/caption] Today at SMX West, the subject of the day was content farms. One session included the founder of (sometimes-called content farm) Associated Content, Luke Beatty, and focused on the good that can be learned from content farms, as well as what sites who have been hit by Google’s Farmer aka Panda update can do to regain their rankings. This discussion coincides with an updated posting from Google in the webmaster discussion forum thread they opened for site owners on the sub [...]

Your Site’s Traffic Has Plummeted Since Google’s Panda Update. Now What?

Google's latest algorithm change has impacted nearly 12% of queries. That means that a lot of sites, big and small, are looking at their web analytics reports this week and seeing devastating traffic graphs down and to the right. It can be difficult to think strategically and objectively in such a a situation and your first reactions may be panic and anger. Understandable, but if you want to restore your site's traffic, you need actionable steps for evaluation and change. Even if it is truly the case that you were unfairly hit as a result of collateral damage, you want to spend your limited [...]

Google Speaks More About The Farmer Update, AKA Panda Update

In an interview with Wired magazine's Steven Levy (who's keynoting at our SMX West conference next week), Googlers Amit Singhal and Matt Cutts speak more about the recent Farmer algorithm update. One of the interesting things they say is that last year's launch of the "Caffeine" indexing infrastructure played a role in upping the visibility of "shallow content." [Amit Singhal speaking] Our index grew so quickly, and we were just crawling at a much faster speed. When that happened, we basically got a lot of good fresh content, and some not so good. The problem had shifted from random gibber [...]

More Farmer Update Winners, Losers: Wikihow, Blippr & Yahoo Answers

As search industry analysts continue to review the fallout from last week's Google Farmer update, we're getting new snapshots of what sites were hurt and which ones have survived the crosshairs of Google's latest algorithm change. One such analysis from SearchMetrics confirms much of what's already been reported, but also adds several new names to the list of winners and losers. ( performance in SearchMetrics' Organic Performance Index) SearchMetrics says it continuously monitors more than 55 million domains and 25 million keywords as part of its Organic Performance Inde [...]

Google Trying To Minimize Collateral Damage From “Farmer” Update

Google is aware that some "good" sites have been hurt by the recent Farmer algorithm update and is working to fix the problem already. That's according to a story that focuses largely on Cult of Mac, an Apple-centric blog that lost 80% of its keyword rankings according to the Sistrix data that came out shortly after Google announced that the new algorithm had been launched. In the Wired article, Cult of Mac Editor Leander Kahney says the site's traffic fell between 33 and 50 percent. Google's Amit Singhal tells Wired that the new algorithm's effects are "widely positive," but s [...]

Number Crunchers: Who Lost In Google’s Panda Algorithm Change?

On Thursday, Google announced a major change to its search algorithm, designed to weed out shallow and low-quality content from its top search results. Content farms were seen by many as the target. Were they hit? Who was hit? Some figures are coming out. If you were expecting these figures to show Demand Media's eHow site to have been harmed -- surprise! Two studies show eHow actually gained. I'm still crunching through some of the figures, but the biggest "content farm" type brand that seems to have suffered are Associated Content. Sistrix's Visibility Index Losers Over at Sistrix, the [...]

Google Forecloses On Content Farms With “Panda” Algorithm Update

In January, Google promised that it would take action against content farms that were gaining top listings with "shallow" or "low-quality" content. Now the company is delivering, announcing a change to its ranking algorithm designed take out such material. New Change Impacts 12% Of US Results The new algorithm -- Google's "recipe" for how to rank web pages -- starting going live yesterday, the company told me in an interview today. Google changes its algorithm on a regular basis, but most changes are so subtle that few notice. This is different. Google says the change impacts 12% (11.8% i [...]

Mahalo’s Calacanis: Time To End The Content Farm Arms Race

No stranger to controversy, Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis threw down a gauntlet at his "content farm" competitors, arguing they're polluting the web and angering Google, to the detriment of searchers and their own companies. Calacanis made his remarks during an "Ending The Content Arms Race" talk at FM’s Signal LA event. My semi-live blogging of his talk is below. Jason recaps how he started Mahalo in 2007 reaction to what he considered bad search results on Google, results that were filled with spam. He felt human editors could do a better job selecting results for the most popular searc [...]

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