Demand Media is shutting down the program that lets anyone publish to its eHow website, Reuters reports, and it plans to raise the quality of its how-to articles and videos by commissioning higher quality stories.
The trend among websites lately to raise the bar of their content is largely credited to Google’s new search algorithm, which reduces the amount of lower-quality content surfacing high in search results. This has posed a serious problem for so-called “content farms.” According to Reuters:
Because of those adjustments, search engine referrals for eHow fell 20 percent, said Demand Media Chief Executive Richard Rosenblatt. Total page views declined 12 percent.
Demand Media’s efforts to raise the bar is not only good for readers and Google searchers, but for writers as well — particularly those who favor off-beat stories.
The company said it will commission longer stories of about 850 words such as an interview on poet Maya Angelou‘s cooking philosophy and an examination of the heirloom produce craze. Writers would be paid in the range of $80 to $350.
Heirloom produce enthusiasts — you now have your place in the world.