Demand Media hasn’t had the greatest of relationships with Google in the past. In February, Google tweaked its search engine algorithms to lower the amount of lower-quality content showing up in top results. Demand Media’s exposure fell by 66 percent, the company said in April. eHow referrals were down 20 percent, and total page views declined 12 percent, the company’s Chief Executive Richard Rosenblatt said in the spring.
Prior to Google’s changes, Demand Media’s content was tailor-made by using algorithms to determine topics people search for in large numbers. “Google never mentioned Demand Media by name, but investors got the message,” Business Week pointed out at the time.
In order to improve quality, and hopefully ratchet up its search engine exposure, Demand Media said it would hire writers to create articles of up to 850 words, and pay them US$80 to $350 per article.