B2B Articles - Sep 30, 2011 9:14:45 AM

About.com Restructures After Significant Layoffs

By Brian Franchell

About.com, best known for its topic guides, how-to-guides and articles from freelance contributors on a wide range of topics, became part of the New York Times family in 2005. After a 17% decline in revenue recently, 15 editors have been laid off in an effort to restructure the company and its mission for the future. For the last two quarters About.com has reported deep losses which have been linked to a change in its dependant relationship with Google.

More specifically, the algorithm changes instituted by Google last February have lowered the search ranking of ‘low quality’ sites like About.com which are considered to be content farms.  A major contributing factor to this deep loss in total revenues has been a resultant decrease in cost-per-click ad revenue as the lower search ranking has led to fewer visitors coming to the site.

As a part of this restructuring mission the company will be segmented into four departments including About Editorial and Quality Review, Site Review, Community Tools, and also Guide Operations and Recruitment. It has been stated that this restructuring will allow the Guide Operations team focus on operation efficiencies to put the company in a better position for earning in the future.

According the the company’s spokesperson, the site consisted of 22 full time and part time positions before the change. In the near future, 10 new full-time positions will be available and those within the 15 who have been laid off will have priority to apply for these new positions. About.com’s director of PR, Kirsten Mason, has stated that these 10 new positions will have more focus on providing support to the Guides and maintaining site quality in general.

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