We've already seen Google's "Panda" tweaks to its search algorithms to de-emphasise low-quality generic articles from "content farms" having a significant impact on search results. Unsurprisingly, that has also resulted in a massive drop in low-paying freelance writing jobs designed to populate those sites.
In its quarterly Fast 50 ranking of the most active work categories, freelance job exchange Freelancer.com noted a major decline in the availability of content writing jobs. Here's how Freelancer.com summarised that trend in its press release:
Article Submission jobs are down 29% (shedding 2011 jobs), Copywriting is down 19% (shedding 1300 jobs) and Ghostwriting is down by 12% (losing 435 jobs). 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.
I'm no fan of seeing writing opportunities decline, but writing low-value content for peanuts isn't a good way to build a reputation. if you're a freelancer who has experienced the rough end of this shift, we can lend a sympathetic ear in the comments.