As Google cracks down on low-quality content in search results, content farm About.com says that it is going to make a significant expansion of its existing premium content. The New York Times Company-owned property plans to grow its family of topic sites (called Guides) and will double its high-quality video content over the next year.
According to a release, About.com plans to increase its roster of Guide sites it hosts by approximately 25 percent across categories such as food, health, home, parenting, and automotive. About.com has actually redesigned its homepage to feature this how-to guides more prominently. Video is also a big focus for About.com and the site will more than double the number of how-to and do-it-yourself videos. The company also vaguely said that it will provide advertisers with new ways to reach its “search-driven” users.
Part of the expansion includes the launch of a Spanish-language channel, About en Español, which features nine topics including movies, music, kids, dogs, Internet for beginners, personal computers, literature, makeup and spreadsheets, with nearly 100 more expected by the end 2011.
As Google cracks down on low-quality content farm content in search, About.com is clearly trying to increase its “premium” content. Google has tweaked its algorithm to reduce rankings for low-quality sites, ‘sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful.’ But is it too little too late for About.com to jump on the premium content bandwagon?
About.com (formerly The Mining Company) is recognized as a top 15 content site and as one of the largest producers of original content on the Web. About.com was acquired by The New York Times Company in March 2005 and by IAC in August 2012.