When Panda was initially released, the audience responded with a combination of enthusiasm, skepticism, praise, criticism, and unadulterated dread. And while the attacks on Google’s decisions were varied, one of the most frequently levied accusations was that the search giant wasn’t penalizing eHow nearly enough. In the months prior to Panda, eHow had been touted as the prime example of a content farm (claims that some, including myself, didn’t sink their teeth into fully) – and reports of Panda’s initial impact on eHow ranged from “very little damage” to “eHow actually benefited.”
Then came “Panda 2,” the revised version of the update which was launched around the globe. This time eHow seemed to be hurt in a substantial way, with a report from Sistrix showing a 66% drop on the visibility index. It should be noted that the visibility index isn’t the same as traffic (it’s a much more complex figure), but search traffic and visibility do generally walk as closely together as conjoined twins.
A two-thirds drop would certainly be quite major for Demand Media, the company who runs eHow. But a press release from the company clarifies that the post-Panda traffic reports aren’t particularly accurate. Demand Media’s statement indicated it was true that “Recent search engine algorithm changes have negatively impacted search driven traffic to some of our websites, includingeHow.com, resulting in moderately lower year-to-date page view growth for the Company’s owned and operated Content & Media properties,” but “reports attempting to estimate the effect of recent search engine algorithm changes … have significantly overstated the negative impact of those changes on traffic to eHow.com.”
Demand Media assures its investors and users that eHow, as well as other properties, are in no danger – emphasizing that the layout redesigns, new video series, and resources designed to help users improve on the quality of submitted content are all increasing the social spread of Demand Media pages. The company anticipates that their second quarter growth will be in line with Q2 figures from last year.
[via the Demand Media Investor Relations Site]