Google Panda Update: eHow Untouched, Says Pleased with Progress on Content Quality

    October 3, 2011
    Chris Crum

While escaping the wrath of the Panda update again, Demand Media tells WebProNews that it’s pleased with the results of its eHow clean-up initiative.

Demand Media and its eHow property in particular were always part of the Google Panda update conversation. In fact, it was a major part of the discussion even before the update came to be known as Panda, and even before it was rolled out. eHow was often characterized as the poster child of content farms, despite Demand Media’s continued efforts to clean up its reputation and denials that it actually is a “content farm”.

Waves of astonishment rippled throughout the industry when Google finally launched its Panda update, supposedly targeting content farms, and eHow didn’t take a hit, but actually gained in search visibility. The update was even referred to as the “farmer” update throughout the industry before Google mentioned the “Panda” name in an interview.

Demand Media no doubt breathed a gigantic sigh of relief, as the initial update and the company’s IPO were interestingly close together on the timeline. But eHow (not to mention some other DM sites) would not escape the Panda for long. A later iteration struck a blow to eHow, and Demand Media inevitably announced a big clean-up initiative to help weed out the lower-quality content and get the site’s search visibility back up.

When asked for comment last week’s update, Kristen Moore VP, Corporate Communications at Demand Media gave us the following statement:

We don’t comment on whether or what kind of impact our sites see with each individual Panda update. As you know Google continually adjusts their algorithms, so the updates are pretty frequent.
I can tell you that we’ve been really pleased with the pace and the results of the new initiatives we announced and implemented in the spring to ensure tighter controls around quality on eHow and across our studio model. We’ll be providing a more specific update on those initiatives and what our sites have seen relative to the Panda updates when we announce Q3 earnings in just a few weeks.

Looking at SearchMetrics’ data it seems pretty clear that eHow was not “pandalized” this time around.

During the last earnings call in August, Demand Media indicated that Panda turned out to not be too big a blow to the company’s revenue. At the time, the company had said that 300,000 eHow articles had already been removed.


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.