Google’s recent update to its search engine algorithm, designed to control low-quality content farms, has caused a significant dip in freelance writing jobs.
According to quarterly job report released by Freelancer.com, Google's Panda update has had a major impact on writers working outside of the US, ZD Net (opens in new tab) reports.
Freelancer.com’s Freelancer Fast 50 report, which is based on around 100,000 freelance projects completed by its members in the first quarter of 2011, revealed a significant drop in jobs that required low quality content.
Generally, low quality content is defined as poorly written write-ups that are dotted with specific terms and keywords. These articles are then uploaded on content farming websites that use keyword based searches on Google to increase their ranking and advertising revenue.
The company reported a drop of 29 percent in article submission jobs, 19 percent drop in copy writing jobs and a 12 percent drop in ghost writing jobs.
“The most noticeable digital labor shift this quarter was not seen in what went up, but what went down. Freelancer.com has cited a massive decline in content writing jobs all across the board in the wake of Google adjusting it's search algorithm,” the company said in the report.
“These numbers are particularity noticeable as writing jobs had been experiencing massive leaps in growth quarter on quarter since the inception of Freelancer.com. This will come as quite a blow to many online writers who will now have to compete in more competitive categories.”