Demand Media: Traffic Decline ‘Significantly Overstated’ parent rejects reports of a 66% drop

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Demand Media is disputing weekend reports from the search engine optimization consultancy Sistrix that Demand's was hit hard by Google’s latest algorithm changes, which were meant to weed out search results from content farms and increase the ranking of quality content. Sistrix said that’s search visibility dropped by 66 percent in Google’s visibility index over the past two months.

But now, Demand Media is going all-out to deny the accuracy of Sistrix’s report. After the report came out, Demand responded to it in a press release:

“Certain third parties that have published reports attempting to estimate the effect of recent search engine algorithm changes made by Google on traffic to the Company's owned and operated websites have significantly overstated the negative impact of those changes on traffic to, as compared to the Company's directly measured internal data.”

After the press release, Demand posted yet another statement on its blog. Despite the fact that the company claims to not generally address search engine changes, it said, “Recent third-party reports attempting to estimate the impact to our search driven traffic, including one projecting a 2/3rds decline in traffic, are so significantly overstated that we decided to comment.”

Demand admitted that "recent search engine algorithm changes have negatively impacted search-driven traffic to some of our websites," but the company asserted that far from being close to demise, it’s actually growing. Although it has experienced “moderately lower” page view growth, it currently expects that “year-over-year page view growth in the second quarter of 2011 will be comparable to, or greater than, the year-over-year page view growth achieved in the second quarter of 2010.” Considering Google’s clear targeting of content farms, this seems like pretty optimistic thinking.

@adweekemma Emma Bazilian is Adweek's features editor.
Publish date: April 18, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT