Demand Studios and the Impact from Google’s Algorithm Change

There seems to be some serious back-and-forth about the state of Demand Studios since the Google algorithm alteration. Initial impact indicated that they may have lost ground on the search driven traffic of some of their sites. Citing as one of the locations where the change may have triggered a down-turn, Demand Studios initial statement indeed, indicated that even they knew that the new algorithm may have relatively lasting impact on their page views.

Demand Relies on SEO

Demand Media does rely heavily on search engine optimization to boost traffic to their content which is created by over 13,000 freelancers worldwide. So Google’s announcement that its change would impact almost 12 percent of search engine queries, was definitely destined to negatively affect Demands current page views by sheer numbers alone.

With sites like eHow being a large part of their company’s content, often ranking high on search engine queries before the change, and afterwards, there can be little doubt that the effect was in fact, a minor one for them. However, falling stock values are also a cause for concern for Demand. Some searches even provide Demand Studios content ranking higher than before the change.

Google Panda

Continued updates, codenamed Panda, have provided a different viewpoint altogether. Just over a week ago Google enacted the Pandora update worldwide. This time stating that two percent of Google queries in the U.S. would be affected.

Sistrix, a site that had previously released the results of impact on content farms after the first update, also released new information on the Panda change and how it has definitely affected the page views of eHow content. Although in general, the second update was not as search engine query altering as the second, or Panda update, it did land on eHow this time, even though it is rumored that it was actually one of the targets of the first update in February 2011.

Demand Demands Acknowledgement

While admitting a slight decline in search engine traffic on eHow sites due to the recent changed, Demand still insists that the Sistrix numbers are way off. Citing a predicted 2/3rds decline in eHow traffic, Demand reps responded that the numbers were greatly so grossly overstated that they must comment.

Demand CEO Richard Rosenblatt shared with MediaMemo that the relationship it shared with Google was a highly valued and mutually generous one.

They stated their relationship with Google made much sense for many reasons.

  • That they help to fill gaps in Google’s content when other high quality content is not available.
  • That they are the largest suppliers of YouTube videos.
  • That they are a huge Google Adsense partner.

Stating that the current losses are projected to cause them to suffer around 10 million dollars in lost revenue, they are assured that with projected sales this year reaching around $311 million, they do not consider it a substantial, nor a 2/3rds percent loss.




  1. Jessica Hughey says:

    As a Demand Studios writer, I thought I would let you in on another potential problem with the Google update. eHow recently redesigned their site, presumably to better handle the new Google algorithm. In doing so, they have removed writers’ profile pages from the site, altogether. Most of us who write for Demand Studios, do so mostly for the extra exposure and to have a ready source of published clips to help gain new assignments. Although our bylines still appear on our articles, we were previously able to send potential clients a link to our eHow profile, which would show a listing of links to all the articles we’ve previously written for the site. This is no longer possible. (We also can no longer search by author name to find all articles written by a particular author.) In addition, due to the change in Google’s algorithm, presumably, our articles will now not rank as highly in Google searches, further lessening the exposure for writers at Demand. I wonder how much these changes will affect the rate at which Demand’s writers submit articles and, in turn, affect the quality and quantity of content available to them. For a site which already only pays writers $15 per article, the decision to further lessen the benefit of writing for them seems, to me, as though it might affect their core business model in the near future.

    • Jessica,
      Thanks for the insight, clearly the market is changing because of Googles practices, which leads to the concern should one compnay have so much influence over the digital economy?

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