It’s been six weeks since Google flipped the switch on its new algorithm that’s supposed to push low-value content down the search-engine food chain in favor of more robust offerings. The move was hyped as a potential boon to established media sites producing original journalism, and a serious hit to content farms.
One of the biggest losers was supposed to be Demand Media, a Santa Monica-based firm that owns sites like eHow and Cracked.com, which themselves use algorithms to produce content with high advertising potential. The strategy’s worked. Since launching in 2006, Demand Media has grown to roughly $2 billion in value by producing a fire hose of self-help/how-to content, articles and videos like How to create a home first-aid kit, and Ideas for your kid’s boxed lunch. In the first two weeks after Google’s algorithm switch, Demand Media, according to comScore, actually saw its traffic increase, from about 26 million weekly unique users to 27 million.
Maybe without Google’s change, that number would have been 30 million instead of 27 million. But in any case, the switch hasn’t exactly broken Demand’s back.
In the meantime, blog reader Rebecca Luzenski sends over this info-graphic care of OnlineMBA.com, demonstrating exactly how content farms like Demand Media make so much cash.