Google Behind Sudden Demand Media Pay Boost

If you’re one of the writers chosen to be among Demand Media’s new roster of feature writers, who DM CEO Richard Rosenblatt said would be paid up to $350 a story, you probably have Google to thank for your salary boost. Recent algorithmic changes at Google deprioritized “content farm” stories from the likes of Demand Media and other sites like in its search engine results. According to The Wall Street Journal, those changes hit DM’s bottom line hard.

[T]wo “major” search algorithm changes in February and April affected Demand Media’s prominence online, resulting in a net decline in search-engine referrals for eHow of roughly 20%, and a 12% reduction in total page views.

“This was a real impact to our business, and we take it very seriously,” Mr. Rosenblatt said, though he stressed that Demand Media isn’t entirely dependent on search-engine traffic.

Mr. Rosenblatt said quality issues have provided the company with “opportunities for improvement.”

The Santa Monica, Calif., company reported a first-quarter loss of $5.6 million, or 13 cents a share, compared with a loss of $4.1 million, or 94 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier.

Just goes to show how much power Google continues to have over the media world. And how they can use that power for the good of actual journalism, if they want to.

Previously on Fishbowl LA: Demand Media Looking For Feature Writers, Plans to Actually Pay Them