But then disaster struck. Or, more specifically, Google’s search quality engineers struck. Because while Google’s algorithms couldn’t tell the difference between a bad article and a good one, its human programmers sure could. A few weeks after Demand Media’s IPO, those engineers tweaked Google’s algorithm to downgrade spammy sites. Within days, Demand Media’s eHow site lost more than 50 percent of its traffic, and other content farming sites saw even more severe traffic declines.