Crowd-sourcing job website Freelancer.com has given an insight into the current state of the freelancing market through its Freelancer Fast 50 update, which analyses the site’s huge database of freelancing jobs to see which sectors are fluctuating.
In the wake of Google’s “Panda” update, a tweak to the search giant’s algorithm which has reduced the prominence of so-called “content farms” (sites which exists purely to churn out content which will rank well in search results) the number of cheapo copywriting jobs has decreased. In the first quarter of 2011 (compared to the previous quarter) article submission jobs tumbled 29%, copywriting jobs are fell 19%, and ghost-writing jobs dipped modestly by 12%.
Elsewhere, jobs for Flash developers fell by 27%, most likely as a reaction to the rise of HTML5 and Apple’s continuing hostility to the platform, Freelancer.com’s CEO Matt Barrie told Information Week.
The demand for App developers rose steadily, with Android and iOS seeing a 15% and 12% rise respectively, meanwhile jobs for Microsoft and Nokia platforms both fell significantly.
Whether the significant drop in writing gigs will impact regular, jobbing copywriters is unknown. Most freelancers who make a living copywriting tend to avoid working for content farms as their rates of pay are lower than traditional publishers – however a lack of work in never a good thing, no matter what your rate per word.