I don’t know why I didn’t think to do this earlier (and I’m really wishing I’d done it before the redesign in order to compare the two - does anyone know what it read before?), but I just looked at two elements of the new site’s SEO coding.
The title for the main landing page now reads, “Recipes, Cooking Tips and Resources - Chowhound Food Community”
The meta content description now reads, “Chowhound allows food enthusiasts to discover the best recipes and resources for cooking, eating, growing and making food. Find tips, tricks, and support by connecting to a community of food contributors.”
Notice what’s missing? Anything mention of review and discussion about restaurants / bars / markets / etc. It wasn’t our imagination at play: they really are decreasing (er, removing?) emphasis on the restaurant aspect of the site.
This explains the shattering of the various regional communities.
So if they’re not competing against Y*lp, TA, etc., then who are they competing with?
(Also, the editor in me is making “grrr” sounds at the inconsistent use of the Harvard / Oxford comma in the content description, as well as the alliteration.) (And the SEO person in me is wincing at the overly-long content description text, too.)