Panda Strikes Again: Yahoo Voices & The Yahoo Contributor Network Closing Down
Yahoo has announced another round of product cuts and changes, all part of what it calls a continued effort on “furthering our focus.”
The most notable cut announced today is the upcoming closure of both Yahoo Voices (voices.yahoo.com) and the Yahoo Contributor Network (contributor.yahoo.com).
The former is Yahoo’s home for user-generated articles; the latter is the network of authors that generates the content. Yahoo says that Voices will shut down on July 31st — a help document pegs the exact (and odd) time at 11:38 pm on July 30th. The Yahoo Contributor Network will follow “by the end of August.” No exact date is given.
Content that Yahoo published via the Voices site and other Yahoo properties like Yahoo News or Yahoo Sports will be removed from the web. Yahoo says some of the “work for hire” content that’s part of these services may remain on the web.
Yahoo Voices was born in 2011 out of the dust of Associated Content, a publishing site that Yahoo bought in 2010 — and a site that was creating about 10,000 new articles per week.
This all happened around the time of Google’s Panda algorithm, which specifically targeted so-called “content farms” like Associated Content — sites that produced vast amounts of content, at least some of which Google considered low quality. At our SMX West conference in 2011, Associated Content revealed that two-thirds of its content had suffered in the immediate aftermath of the Panda update.
When Yahoo shut down Associated Content in late 2011, it deleted 75,000 articles and moved the rest to Yahoo Voices, using a new domain in the hopes of starting fresh.
Yahoo’s announcement today makes no specific reference to the Panda update and its impact on Yahoo Voices, but the decision to shut it and the Yahoo Contributor Network down is another sign that the glory days of mass-produced user-generated content are over.
See Yahoo’s announcement for a list of other services and products that are being shut down or combined into other Yahoo products.