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Demand Media Loses Quarter Of Value After Google Panda Hit

Demand Media, the content producing company behind eHow, Livestrong and Cracked.com, has lost nearly a quarter of its value almost one week after Google rolled out its Panda algorithm update.

Its share price fell to $17.33 today, 18th of April, down 10.58 per cent for the day and 24 per cent since the 11th of April, pegging the company's market capitalisation at $1.44 billion.

Fortunately for Demand Media, most of the fall for today occurred in the morning with the rest of the day more or less flat; the share price hit an all time low of $16.91 before rallying later in the day.

Alexa ratings for ehow.co.uk show that the site has slidden significantly over the past week, ranking 5381 on the 16th compared to its mean average over three months of 4271.

Ditto for ehow.com which slid from being the 80th most popular website in the world on the 10th to 127th on the 16th of April, according to Alexa. There's also anecdotal evidence that at least one of its two other big properties, Cracked, may also have been affected by Google Panda.

Demand Media issued a statement earlier today saying that the search engine algorithm changes carried out by Google have not affected Ehow.com as extensively as many would have expected.

The problem for Demand Media is that (a) they use Google Analytics for ehow.com which means that Google is aware of its traffic (b) there are third party, reliable sources of traffic data like Alexa, Google Trends, Comscore and Quantcast.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.