Google's recent algorithm update aimed at content farms appears to have affected Demand Media significantly, but not in the way you might have thought. According to a study from Sistrix - the Visibility Index - Demand's eHow has actually gained rankings, while many of the company's competitors dropped.
"Well, there is no sign that Google tried to downrank ehow.com. Ehow.com even gained SISTRIX value (from 270 to 310) and Keywords (from 317,320 to 324,021) during the algorithm-change," says Sistrix's Johannes Beus.
"Quite a statement from Google regarding the quality of Demand Medias’ content, isn’t it?" adds Beus.
Here's the list of top losers, according to the firm:
|#||Domain||Change||SISTRIX (before)||SISTRIX (after)||# KWs (before)||# KWs (after)|
One particularly noteworthy aspect of this is that Associated Content is among the losers. This is run by Yahoo, one of Google's main competitors in search and advertising (which is of course combined with Micosoft's now).
In fact, Associated Content was the top loser in terms of most keyword rankings lost, according to Sistrix data. Associated Content is followed by Suite101, EzineArticles, HubPages, Buzzle, MerchantCircle, Wisegeek, ArticleBase, FindArticles, AnswerBag, and Examiner in that department. Danny Sullivan has the full list.
This list is pretty interesting. It even includes PRNewswire and Technorati, as well as AnswerBag, Trails and LiveStrong - 3 Demand Media properties.
On Quora, SEO consultant Jeffrey Russo, said, "I pulled in data for a set of 35 queries that were dominated by article directories in the weeks leading up to and immediately following the announcement of the update. While what I have isn't a large enough sample size to draw any hard conclusions from, it generally mirrors what Sistrix found... Substantial drops for some well-known article directories like ezinearticles and Hubpages, and a general shuffling around of many smaller sites."
"One thing that surprised me was how well a few particular sites appear to have fared in this update," added Russo. "eHow, for instance, was a site I expected to see impacted negatively - but that wasn't the case. On the set of queries I tracked, eHow saw a substantial increase in many places. It's possible that this is simply because less authoritative directories that ranked above it were devalued; it's also worth noting that many of my queries included "how to" phrases, which are eHow's bread and butter. That being said, it's pretty clear that eHow wasn't hit by this particular update. Wikihow also saw a substantial improvement on my set of keyphrases."
Among the top gainers since the algorithm change, according to SEOClarity (via Sullivan): Amazon, followed by eHow, NexTag, Wikipedia, Walmart, Target, Etsy, Yahoo Answers, and Sears.