Content Farm Discontent at Yahoo Too




In the content farm news as of late the focus has been squarely on Demand Media. The most likely reason is that it is now a public company who has had a very public battle as its Google traffic and stock price have had their challenges.

Well, long before the financial coming out party of the content world’s dirty little secret (that secret being that content and quality often never danced together but still benefited from great search rankings) there was Demand Media’s partner in content crime, Associated Content that was bought by Yahoo. Rather than go public they took $100 million from the Internet’s once bright star Yahoo last May.

Seems as if that deal was a springboard for many but not to success within the ranks of Yahoo. In fact, it is rumored that Associated Content suffered a similar fate in the SERPs as a result of the Google Panda update. No, instead the purchase appears to have been more of a platform for everyone at Yahoo who was involved in the purchase to leave Yahoo for greener pastures.

The Business Insider summarized it for us

M&A guy Greg Mrva left before the deal was made.

EVP Hilary Schneider got the boot.

Yahoo media boss Jimmy Pitaro left for Disney.

The M&A chief who closed the deal, Andrew Siegel, is now at Condé.

Yahoo Local boss Matt Idema – who, you may recall, did “did 95% of all the heavy-lifting” to get the deal done – just quit for a job at Facebook.
Associated Content CEO Patrick Keane never went to Yahoo at all.

That’s quite a track record. It appears as if the lone survivor is Luke Beatty who was AC’s founder and president but now has a laundry list of responsibilities that includes Yahoo Local, Groups, Answers and Flickr. Quite the full plate indeed.

The speculation is that Beatty is hanging around for retention bonus money. I had a brief “run in” with him back in 2009 as I referred to his company’s content efforts along with those of Aol and coined the term ‘craptent’. The e-mail he sent me was less cordial than the comment he had on that post as he claimed I had some ‘issues’. Oh well, guess he knew me better than he thought!

Well, looks now like the whole content farm idea is running into a search engine buzzsaw. No worries for someone like Beatty who will have to just suffer through some discomfort and walk away with some decent coin (I am speculating here since I have literally no idea what his deal is like with Yahoo).

In the end, it looks like the whole content farm dust-up has nothing to do with quality after all. It’s just about money. No surprise there. All of the content farms and mills are being exposed as producers of low grade, keyword driven posts and articles that generated cash and little else. I guess you can’t fault these guys for exploiting a flaw in the system for financial gain. They are not the first to do so and definitely won’t be the last.