Demand Media teams up with Rachael Ray

Faith Merino · March 1, 2011 · Short URL:

Could the partnership help Demand stay on top in light of Google's recent crackdown?

Demand Media will be adding a zesty new flavor to its Web property. The content and domain company announced Tuesday morning that it is partnering with TV personality and chef extraordinaire Rachael Ray to create co-branded content and beef up the property's food section. Rachael Ray will act as the creative mastermind behind the eHow Food channel and will identify and feature up-and-coming culinary talent on the site.

This is a pretty noteworthy departure from Demand's current method of content generation, which relies on an SEO-minded algorithm that generates content ideas based on popular keywords, followed up with writers who then create the content around the keywords, rather than vice versa. Demand's partnership with Rachael Ray will actually be a bit of a throwback to the traditional content model, which starts with a premise and builds out from there. 

The new project will use both professional copywriters and bloggers under Rachael Ray's direction, as well as Demand Media's current writers, according to the company. 

“People love Rachael because she delivers helpful and entertaining advice in a style that they appreciate and easily understand. She represents the kind of warm, approachable and knowledgeable voice we want to have across eHow,” said Demand Media CEO Richard Rosenblatt in a prepared statement. “Rachael’s career was launched by being discovered on local TV, and we are excited to work with her to discover and nurture a new class of culinary talent online.”

While eHow was created as a destination to house Demand's keyword-generated articles, it makes sense that the company created a specialized eHow Food Channel. Some 90% of the eHow articles that I encounter are Google search results that turn up when I look up new recipes.

The move comes days after Google announced that it has implemented changes to its algorithm to weed out low-quality sites--a move that many interpreted to be directed squarely at Demand Media. Demand's partnership with Rachael Ray will likely provide a high-quality boost to its original content offerings, which should skirt Google's crackdown. The partnership is also likely to put shareholders' minds at ease.

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Demand Media is building a different type of new media company. With a proprietary media platform that powers the company's highly-trafficked domains and wholly-owned content media properties, Demand Media leverages cutting edge, user-driven publishing, community and monetization tools in its quest to define the next generation of new media companies.