ADOTAS – Internet writers and content developers all growled as Wall Street validated Demand Media’s lowest-cost content production machine to the tune of a $1.9 billion valuation. Well, now would seem to be the moment for schedenfreunde — the latest data from Experian Hitwise suggests that traffic to Demand Media sites (such as eHow and AnswerBag) from Google has declined by 40% since the beginning of the year.
And whadayaknow — despite a call for calm from the top brass, Demand’s stock has dropped 40% this month to hit its nadir on Monday: $14.05.
While in January 0.57% of Google visitors headed next to a Demand site, by April 16 — when the full Panda algorithm upgrade had been implemented — that figure fell to 0.34%. Answerbag referrals from Google have slipped a whopping 80% while eHow has lost 29% of its hits from the search giant. A few weeks ago, Sistrix estimated eHow had witnessed a 66% dip in traffic.
So it looks like Panda’s job here is done — Yahoo’s content farm Associated Content has also witnessed a 61% slide in referrals. However, there was a fair deal of collateral damage and the SEO gurus are drawing up coping strategies. The real question is — do you feel like your Google searches are better?
On April 18, Demand put out a press release reaffirming its first quarter guidance and claiming that its year-over-year growth in page views would be equal to or better than the year before. Demand’s first-quarter conference call is on May 5. The company’s website says it’s still hiring freelancers.