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Forget your one-off doorway pages, Demand Media gets spotlighted in this Wired artcle about making "answers" to searches it thinks are most valuable on the cheap. Down the line, fact checking might be added you know, if it's like a $1 more. The best part to me was Google's YouTube deciding it needed more fodder for its ads: "When YouTube’s sales team bemoaned the tiny supply of Spanish-language videos for it to run advertisements against, YouTube’s Hoffner called up Demand. Within weeks, Demand Studios started issuing Spanish-language assignments." Nice. Kind of like Google calling up some SEO firm and asking if they could make a few thousand pages that might rank well in Google to carry AdSense.

Comments6 Comments  


from kevinspence 3137 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I don't know, Danny -- seems a little sensationalist to me. How's it different from paying someone to write content for your site?

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from dannysullivan 3137 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Google usually doesn't call up site owners and say hey, we don't have a lot of Spanish language content to run ads again, can you make some for us?

Also, let's say someone like Michael Gray announced a company that was going to create "answers" for popular search topics. Being a well-known SEO, Google would come down on that like sack of cement, wondering what his "intent" was.

Here, the intent is to make new content -- not necessarily great content, as the article covers -- for purposes of pulling in search traffic to make money. Not to apparently build a great web site, help people, enhance and existing business. And Google's fine with that (as it has been with Mahalo, by the way).

Something just doesn't feel right about that.

from kevinspence 3137 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I understand what you mean, but I understand Google's perspective too. Video doesn't make money by itself, you have to have somebody watching it. They're trying to gain an audience that has so far proved elusive. It seems a legitimate business decision to me, despite the apparent conflict of interest that occurs anytime a Google money maker appears in the SERPs.

from JeffMartin 3137 Days ago #
Votes: 3

I speak from the experience/perspective of a YouTube Partner and producer of expert  hi-quality "how to" content.

I don't think its the audience thats elusive its the quality thats elusive. It's part quality of the video (UGC is mostly low-quality) and part quality of the ads that is YouTube's problem. Their ad matching algo is junk. If folks wont stay for the video content they sure wont stay for the ad. You could almost say that YouTube's low-quality content may be likened to Demand Media's content. Note: Im basing that statement on the info in the article, not from familiarity with their content.

Michael is Michael so Google will slap him for anything they can ;). I think users will continue to decide what is quality and what isn't. Who better than to judge the content then by those it is meant for? Perceived low-quality videos will sink out of visibility (ever see what happens to a 3 star video?) as will the potential ad revenues. Of course this just pertains to YouTube. Demand Media has such a large (and inter-linked - TIP MATT CUTTS) network of sites and content that they can get their content a good boost for search visibility from the get-go. Remember that "how to" videos are mostly tail oriented which is fine considering the comScore data showing tail term popularity continuing to rise at the expense of 1-2 word phrases.

Good content (again decided by the user) is good for everyone. It's good for the user, it's good for the writer/producer, it's good for the ad network and it's good for the investor. Anything else is an  inevitable waste of resources.

I agree Danny - it feels odd with Google asking a particular publisher (privately) to produce content to beef up a thin level of content so they can both make money. Why should Demand Media get first (only educated) crack at it? Why not publicly post where they have a thin level of content so that it can be filled with the enticement of a rev-share for anyone?


from kevinspence 3136 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Very well thought out, Jeff. You make some great points, particularly in reference to quality.

I also like the colors in your profile shot. Between me and you, it's like Leave it to Beaver invaded the internet.

from jphuy 3136 Days ago #
Votes: 1

'Quality' is a relative concept. We're making trade-offs. What scares me about Demand Media is the scale at which they're pushing 'cheap content' production, soon making $20 a video the industry standard. In that era, a $30 video will look great, for sure. And hopefully great film makers and true journalists will have found a better job. Let's just say that I'm glad the poor 'Long Term Value' of news articles keeps them away from this market. For now.

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