Post by Brian E Nelson – In an email notice to freelance members of Guru.com (also here), the company announced that it was ending it Freelancer Rank system. The notice says that “upon closer examination,” that Rank is flawed and out of date. Further, it states that there is no legitimate way to rank the wide variations in skills sets that individual professionals bring to Guru when the bid for freelance projects.
As most of you are aware, I have never put too much effort in to Guru. After considering is Guru.com worth it, I came to the conclusion that there were too many ways for me to make money writing online that pay higher than Guru.com in most cases, without the extra overhead (Never forget that time is an expense, too!) that goes into finding projects to bid on. Certainly, I have found plenty of high paying writing gigs without going through the process of bidding on writing projects at Guru.com. However, I have recently had numerous people contact me about re-evaluating the bidding for work sites like Guru, Elance, ScriptLance, and the like. It’s something I plan to do whenever I get enough spare time. (Hah!)
What Happened To Freelancer Rank At Guru.com?
The truly interesting part about the announcement Guru.com will phase out the Freelancer Rank beginning on May 8, is the methodology that they have chosen to replace the way freelance professionals are sorted at Guru.com.
If you are like me, after reading that careful consideration the company realized that the ranking system it was using could not possibly do justice the enormous array of freelancing professionals – including professional freelance writers – that use Guru.com, you might wondering how freelancers will be listed at Guru.com in the future. Since the Freelance Rank was an arbitrary methodology that favored certain types of Guru users over the other, one might imagine that the company would be looking for an impartial way to sort the ever growing list of freelancers without giving favored treatment to specific Guru users.
Rather than some impartial, perhaps randomly sorted listing, Guru.com will replace the maligned and over-simplified Freelancer Rank with sorting the list of freelancers by earnings as the default.
For Professional Freelancers Volume = Quality
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the attempt to algorithmically rank freelance professional on Guru.com by their skill sets, feedback, completed projects, and the like is just not multidimensional enough, but sorting freelancers by how much they make ON GURU is the answer.
The Guru Freelancer Rank announcement goes on to say that “…earnings provides the best view of the health, vitality, and promise of Guru Freelancers..”
Wow. I understand what spin is, but YIKES!
Guess who the biggest earners on Guru.com are?
High-powered freelancers who command premium rates for top of the line work, or those who spend an enormous amount of time (often outsourced) generating an inordinate amount of bids in order to win a large number of projects that can be mass produced (also often outsourced)?
Now, before anyone freaks out on me, I understand that there are exceptions. There always are. That is what makes them exceptions. I am sure that with little effort one could point to high-earning Guru Freelancers who do not bid on hundreds of projects per month, and who complete most of the projects that they win with the in-house writers that are either owners, employees, or legitimate over-the-table contractors. Of course, I am equally sure that the high earners on either side of that freelancing professional fall smack dab into the middle of the previous category.
The good news is that sorting by earnings is only a default and going forward, Guru hopes to provide better sorting options for employers, starting with the ability to sort based upon reviews.
No word on what will count more, how MANY reviews a user has, or how high those reviews are. While the emphasis will be on the latter, look for the element that “corrects” the high reviews of those with “too few” winning bids and reviews to make them “more fair” with providers that have many more reviews.
While I have heard differently from other professional writers, until I see differently in the projects that are listed for freelance writing bids, it still seems that what one gets paid on Guru is less than what a professional freelance writer gets paid on non-Guru projects.
What do you think? Do you like Guru’s new methodology? Are you going to wait and see? Do you use Guru now? Let us know what you think in the comments or shoot me a message.