The Google algorithm change, which meant to optimize search quality by targeting writing mills, has wreaked havoc on the freelance writing job market according to Freelancer.com
Entry-level writing jobs for freelancers do not pay well, as most freelance writers will tell you. Around $5 for a 350-word blog post is a common offer by a potential client. Many freelance writers make very little and now they may be fighting harder for jobs that pay far less than minimum wage. Freelancer.com reports that job offers for freelance writers looking to submit or rewrite content is significantly down. The decrease is due to major hit taken by the top employers for entry level jobs after Google changed its search algorithm.
Google's latest move to increase search engine effectiveness has put content websites, often called writing mills, writing sweatshops, and content farms in the crosshairs. These websites typically employ many writers who are paid low wages to produce what critics say is low-value content that is optimized more for search engines than for quality.
One of the most successful content farms is Demand Media who originally reported that the Google algorithm change did not affect them. Now, Demand Media says traffic to its eHow website has dropped as a result of Google algorithm changes.
Recent search engine algorithm changes have negatively impacted search driven traffic to some of our websites, including eHow.com, resulting in moderately lower year-to-date page view growth for the company’s owned and operated Content & Media properties compared to page view growth rates before the algorithm changes.
Demand Media, and its content production arm Demand Studios, is just one of many businesses that have been affected negatively by the Google algorithm change.
But unlike the content giant, many smaller blogs are not financially stable. And in many cases, hiring freelance writers to produce short and keyword-laden articles is no longer profitable. The affect this could have on freelancers who are just starting out could be devastating, as many freelance writers are people who cannot find traditional employment and have chosen self-employment instead.
While Google's changes will make utilizing a search engine more efficient and effective, it may have also done harm to the future employment opportunities for freelance writers. Businesses will have to evolve to accommodate the new Google guidelines if they want to drive traffic to their websites and writers will have to wait and see if that change will bring back jobs.