Demand Media, once valued higher than the New York Times, is seeing a rapid decrease in profits because of Google changing its search algorithms. Does this mean the beginning of the end for "content farms"?
Age of the Algorithm. In the age of the algorithm, you can get just about anything you think you want, learn everything you think you need to know, by clicking on a link or typing a few words into a search bar. On SEO, content farms, old media, and 'online sweatshops.' (From Maisonneuve.)
Demand Media (not to be confused with Media-On-Demand) is a success story in the "on-line content" business creating 4000 text or video pieces a day with an assembly-line formula that includes an automated editorial algorithm and an army of lowly-paid freelancers (but, hey, they're starting to offer health benefits!). Their own sites include the mind-numbingly practical eHow (and eHowUK for the non-US-centric), the .com affiliate of Lance Armstrong's Livestrong and the infamous (at MeFi) Cracked.com (link goes to parody of parody). They're syndicating content through their own domain registrar eNom (better than 'parked pages', right?), and one other thing: Demand is the #1 content provider to YouTube (and YouTube is their #1 revenue provider). All this from a CEO/mastermind best known as 'the guy who sold MySpace to NewsCorp'.