UPDATE (12/2/2011): According to a report at NewInference, Brighthub.com has closed its doors to freelancers. The site will reportedly continue, but with a different business model.
Specialized knowledge website BrightHub.com continues to convulse as its major efforts to adapt to Google’s Panda updates appear ineffective. In the aftermath of the first Panda updates, BrightHub launched a major initiative to revise its entire site. In doing so, it changed its approach to keyword saturation and text-based links. It also expanded its minimum word count from 450 words to 750 words. It closed many channels it deemed as liabilities and it terminated many of its under-performing writers.
In September, BrightHub launched another major effort to build alternate styles of content including quizzes, table of contents and photo galleries. By creating different types of content, BrightHub apparently hoped to enhance the Google’s perception of its site. Then came Panda 2.5.
Very little content
October saw very little activity at BrightHub. Some managers there blamed the lack of material for the month to problems completing September’s projects. However, it may have been the result of continued problems relevant to Panda.
At the start of November, BrightHub CEO Bill Phelan unleashed a cryptic, but revealing memo to the BrightHub crew. Here’s what it said.
News From the CEO
Written by: Bill Phelan • Edited by: Kelly
Published Oct 25, 2011
It’s time to review where we are in this post-Panda world.
Bright Hub Business Strategy
As a professional in the content development business, I am sure you are well aware of the changes Google continues to make that are having an impact on this industry. Many publishers are reevaluating their content production strategies, and we are no exception to this environment.
The Bright Hub management team is working on a business strategy for December and beyond, focusing specifically on the following:
1. Directing content development to sections of our site where we have specific needs that are not currently met by the content already published, and
2. Aligning our content development plans more closely with our monetization opportunities.
While we are working on this, we must offer a smaller pool of opportunities with a more focused distribution. We understand this has wide reaching impact that will affect all of you and we appreciate your understanding of the issues.
The content team will start November content collaborations this week, and you can expect to hear more from us in the coming weeks on the strategy.
Clarification by a senior editor
The implications of the BrightHub CEO’s message are revealed in this message from a senior editor at the site.
Please understand that we have far fewer articles available at the moment, and as a result I will have to let go of some of you. I will be doing this very soon
BrightHub, like many other content properties has seemingly failed to successfully adjust to the dynamics of Google algorithm changes. Despite its stringent controls on quality, the site has not convinced Google that its content merits favorable rankings in the SERPs. Other sites like Helium.com stay in the same boat.
More about Panda
When Google changed its algorithm in its seven Panda updates (aka Farmer updates) this year, the search giant torpedoed dozens of successful Web properties as well as thousands of mom and pop shops and blogger sites. Google rolled out the last update at the end of September and labeled it Panda 2.5. Here’s a list of the known Panda updates so far:
- Panda Update 1.0: Feb. 24, 2011
- Panda Update 2.0: April 11, 2011
- Panda Update 2.1: May 10, 2011
- Panda Update 2.2: June 16, 2011
- Panda Update 2.3: July 23, 2011
- Panda Update 2.4: August 12, 2011
- Panda Update 2.5: September 28, 2011
Technorati was one of the hardest hit sites from Panda 2.5 with a loss of almost 3/4 of its traffic. Surprisingly, some content farms like HubPages and MetaCafe were among the winners from the latest tweak. Searchmetrics has a bigger list of winners and losers from the latest changes.