The much-derided content farm saw a drop in traffic generated by Google, but pageviews were up 31 percent over the past six months
In a second quarter earnings call on Tuesday afternoon, Demand Media CEO Richard Rosenblatt brushed off Panda, the recent Google algorithm update that many thought would cripple the content farm. While the site, which uses cheap freelancers to generate extremely specific articles built around SEO keywords and Internet buzz, saw a drop in traffic generated by Google (from 66 percent to 59 percent), pageviews were up 31 percent over the past six months. Overall revenue was also up, jumping 39 percent from the first half of 2010 to the first half of 2011 and reaching nearly $159 million.
There was one downside to Demand Media's report: Loss from operations increased to more than $5 million. Part of that is directly tied to Panda -- to get around Google's changes, Demand is paying more for content, spending to screen for plagiarism and sometimes rewriting and editing stories -- but another part is spending to move Demand in a new direction.
"We're in the process of expanding our platform to act as a socially-driven recommendation engine for content," Rosenblatt said during the call. "This is much like what Amazon does for products or Netflix does for movies. We believe we are uniquely positioned to do this because our platform was designed from the beginning to integrate consumer signals."