I noticed a new change to Google search this morning. It seems that the search engine giant is now displaying wanted ads collected from various websites. This has potential to help people find work, but it also might turn out to be a fad. Is Google helping freelancers find work?
To start my day, I do a bit of online research to find topics for the content I write. This is for both myself and my clients. This morning, I was met with a job listing screen displaying three random companies with a link to see more.
This is a bit impressive since it comes before any advertisements in the search window.
I wonder if that will change once marketers see how job listing are above their paid ads.
Google Helping Freelancers: Good or Bad?
There is a great deal of potential with an easy-to-use job search interface from Google. However, not all of this potential is necessarily good. It may have as much of a rocky road ahead as regular website searches had back in the 2000s.
Because Google already demonstrates how it excels at data collection and organization. This means users should be able to find resources relatively quick.
Instead of having to sift through several websites looking for freelance work, or really any work for that matter, you can run a simple search.
It’s like consolidating blogs you like to read by subscribing to them from a central source.
Because it gives people another outlet to exploit. It’s only a matter of time before a hiring agency uses something like this to draw in unsuspecting people to rip them off. I haven’t seen any of the sites I avoid yet, but that doesn’t mean someone out there won’t try to game the algorithm.
Luckily, Google does a decent job at trying to weed out the scams. I just hope they continue putting effort into quality and not quantity.
At the moment, not a lot of job sites are listed in the search screen. But this could simply be because those sites haven’t been crawled by Google yet. Or, perhaps this is only for hiring agents who sign up or pay for the job search service. I just don’t know, but I do hope more are added in the near future.
An Elaborate Interface
Google is doing more than just giving you a list of companies looking for freelancers. It has an entire layout showing various search options, snippets of the job listing and even company ratings regarding those who are hiring.
Another element that stands out is the ability to turn on email alerts regarding the search for work. Apparently, this keeps you apprised of any changes to your criteria and the type of jobs you’re looking for.
Shows Pay Scale
One feature of this “jobs interface” from Google I like is the displaying of a pay scale. Some jobs will show what averages are in terms of the career path according to local statistics.
Unfortunately, this isn’t available in every search term. Probably because it’s up to the third-party to list such information. Still, Google provides a great deal of data regarding each listing straight from the company.
Multiple Application Links
While looking through the interface, I found many jobs will have several application links available. For example, a search for “WordPress” resulted in a job from PR Hacker. With the links available in this Google job search, I can apply at: Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn or HelpWanted.com.
This, of course, depends on whether the hiring company listed the job on more than one website.
Fine Tuning and Local Search
Using your geographic location, Google will sift through jobs and display those in your area. You can also choose to focus the results between two and 200 miles from your current location.
You also have the chance to simply search for “Anywhere,” but some companies prefer hiring on-site freelance writers. So it probably wouldn’t hurt to start looking for gigs in your immediate area.
I was actually quite surprised to see how many writing jobs are available within 30 miles of my locale.
Not Every Company is Listed
I’m not sure about how the algorithm works for Google helping freelancers, but it appears that not all opportunities are listed. For example, I dug through the list of available offerings and didn’t see Textbroker, Fiverr or any of the other brokerage sites I use.
And these companies are always looking for writers.
It appears Google is focusing more on job posting sites rather than brokerage companies. Which makes sense as these writing gigs are openly listed while content on sites like Textbroker is locked away from search results.
Still, it’s a step in the right direction when you consider how many people are looking for online work.
Lots of Jobs to Choose From
Just to see how in-depth the quest is for Google helping freelancers, I ran a few different searches regarding my own abilities. The results demonstrate how Google is amazing at collecting data.
I found jobs for just about everything I know how to do quite easily.
Still a Little Buggy
I can only assume this job search attempt with Google helping freelancers find work is in its infancy. After all, one of my simple searches resulted in an error: “Can’t reach the internet.” Which is false since I am currently using the Internet.
Switching through locations and distance also seems to throw errors every once in a while. I am guessing this part of the system is in beta.
Will This Be a Viable Method for Freelance Searching?
The options for hiring companies through this new “Google jobs interface” is a bit limited. I only see a handful of common listing agents and none of the sites I use. Of course, some of the methods I search are considered locked content, so Google won’t see them anyway. However, sites like Indeed or Craig’s List are not showing in the results.
Then again, I would stay away from Craig’s List too if I was a Google search algorithm.
To be honest, it’s still a bit early to tell whether this is going to be an attraction or not. I don’t want to get my hopes up because Google has a habit of canning the systems it doesn’t deem to be profitable faster than EA.
Cutting Some of the Time
Although it doesn’t look like a complete product, it’s still probably an excellent way to cut down searching for jobs in your area. As long as the effort continues with Google helping freelancers, it has potential to be a game changer for many professionals.
Only time will tell, I suppose. But in the meantime, I’ll probably throw this interface a few glances now and then.