Google 'Panda' Update Kills Content Farming Jobs - InformationWeek
IT Leadership // IT Strategy
07:16 PM
Connect Directly
Ransomware: Latest Developments & How to Defend Against Them
Nov 01, 2017
Ransomware is one of the fastest growing types of malware, and new breeds that escalate quickly ar ...Read More>>

Google 'Panda' Update Kills Content Farming Jobs's quarterly jobs report finds less demand for cheap articles and more projects for iOS and Android developers.

While the U.S. economy demonstrated some strength in April with the addition of 244,000 jobs, the news wasn't entirely good: The jobless rate, derived from a different data set, rose to 9% from 8.8% last month.

Matt Barrie, CEO of, an online job marketplace, suggests that Google may have played a role in the rising unemployment, though mainly outside the U.S. The search company's recent "Panda" algorithm change, implemented to reduce the presence of low-quality content in search results, appears to have decimated the content farming business, he said in a phone interview.

Low-quality content is difficult to define, but the term generally refers to poorly written, cheaply produced articles filled with words and phrases that have been chosen to match popular search engine queries and thus generate search ad revenue.

According to data from's Freelancer Fast 50 report, article submission jobs are down 29% (-2011 jobs) in Q1 2011 from the previous quarter, copywriting jobs are down 19% (-1300 jobs), and ghostwriting jobs are down by 12% (-435 jobs).

"A lot of them are at the content farming end of the spectrum," said Barrie, who added that demand for Adobe Flash developers also suffered. He attributes this decline to Apple's hostility to the Flash platform.

Job listings for Adobe Flash developers took the second biggest hit, declining 27% in Q1 2011, compared to Q4 2010.

Demand for Apple-oriented programmers however rose. iPhone development jobs increased 12% during the same period (+289), iPad project listings increased 18% (+179), and Cocoa (Mac OS X) jobs jumped 41% (+127).

Interest in hiring Android developers increased as well, rising 15%. And Barrie expects that trend to continue. "We think Android will overtake iOS," he said. "The growth rates are much higher than what we're seeing on iPhone."

Sadly for Microsoft, Freelancer doesn't have any positive trends to report. As Freelancer Fast 50 report put it, "Jobs related to Microsoft related products continued their seemingly terminal descent." These include: MS Access (-15%), MS Expression (-28%), Windows Mobile (-9%), Microsoft (general, -16%), Windows CE (-20%), Windows Desktop (-23%), Windows Server (-27%). Also noteworthy: Nokia Symbian job postings declined 32%.

The Freelancer Fast 50 is based on data from 107,449 jobs posted on during the first quarter of 2011.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll