Short Takes: NYT’s About to Feel Pain of Panda

The New York Times used to crow about the performance of its About unit, which it bought for $410 million in 2005. Not so much anymore. PaidContent has the news that About is reorganizing its operations. Business Insider claimed it is laying off its editorial team, which is apparently not the case. NYT brought in executive Martin Niesenholtz to run About, which is now regularly tagged as “troubled,” replacing Cella Irvine. The downfall of About was speeded by Google’s Panda algorithm update that hit so-called content farms hard. It’s hard to see a future where the NYT is able to turn around About, considering it is a legacy business built on search optimization at a time when Google is hellbent of fighting the spam that clogs its results.

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