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Demand Media Versus Panda Versus Everyone Else

It was a foregone conclusion when Google introduced a change to its search algorithm, dubbed Panda, in February that Demand Media would feel the impact. The change targeted low-quality sites that mass produced content strictly to attract clicks. A tailor-made description for Demand Media if there ever was one, or so the thinking went.

Demand Media, however, is holding firm to its contention that it has not been hurt by the change. This despite the reports that such sites as eHow.com have seen rankings devastated by Panda’s rollout. Larry Fitzgibbon, Demand Media's EVP of Media and Operations, published a blog post reiterating its position along with the accusation that these reports are grossly overstating the situation. "We currently expect that in Q2 2011 our owned and operated Content & Media properties will generate year-over-year page view growth comparable to or greater than the year-over-year page view growth reported for Q2 2010," he wrote.

There is some independent back up for this view. Stifel Nicolaus’ Jordan Rohan estimates that the overall impact of Panda on Demand Media is likely "less than $10 million in revenues in 2011." (via PaidContent). Analysts estimate that Demand Media will report $311 million in sales this year. Also, PaidContent reported, Demand’s European sales and business development VP Stephanie Himoff told the publication there was "no material change in our business" after Google’s initial round of algorithm changes.

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