rogerd - 8:20 pm on Feb 3, 2011 (gmt 0)
Good point, I'm sure the Demand Media IPO was long in the planning, too. Still, I think that the firms were aware of the risk posed by algo changes and that their very success was painting a target on them.
Of course, these particular algo changes haven't happened yet.
The problem I see with these major content farms is that they are built around search. That makes them much more vulnerable than, say, Amazon, who also has tons of pages and great rankings. If Google decide Amazon content wasn't that valuable and pushed it down in the rankings, Amazon would still survive.