Everything you need to know about the new Search Algorithm. A note from our CEO!

Seamlessly connecting buyers with skilled freelancers that can assist with making even the most outlandish projects come true is our North Star, if you like. Driven by this goal, we have recently revised our search algorithm.

Relevance vs. Reputation

In any search on the web, these two concepts are often at conflict. If you are searching something very specific (say a hotel in a city with a certain style) would you as a customer want to see something highly relevant  (albeit less reputed) or the other way around?

There is no right or wrong in this debate, other than what the customers (collectively) seem to prefer, which is the basis of our new  ‘self-learning’ algorithm. Very simply, we factor in that customer choice in defining where our search results sit in that balance.

Both reputation and relevance take on slightly different meanings of course in each context. In our case reputation is by and large your CERT score, and relevance is as defined below.

Improving relevance

relevance vs reputation peopleperhour

Where before relevance score of a profile to a search query was determined (simplistically) by the text in that profile, not the more intelligent factors in other variables, such as relevant work won and  proposals sent.

What’s more, the score keeps learning by itself (in geek talk ‘machine learning’) and improves every day based on the new data accumulated in that day.

What this means for you

If you are highly qualified in a skill, let’s say ‘java development’ you can increase your score and therefore, your ranking by:

– bidding for more relevant work
– winning more relevant work
– not diluting your profile too much by including too much irrelevant text: keep it focused
– delivering high-quality work

By factoring in activity in the relevance score (as opposed to plain text), this now means you can ‘actively’ influence it and move up the ranks for the things you are good at.

Why did we change this?

Our goal as a business is,  first and foremost, to serve the collective interest of the community versus the individual interest of any one user. This means that the more accurate a search query is from a Buyer, the better the overall result (regardless if someone with a lower CERT or reviews ranks below a newcomer). The relevance to any search will never fully agree with rankings based purely on the history & earnings of a user, and arguably should not as that would mean the same profiles always rank top for pretty much anything. This deteriorates the buyer’s experience.

It’s not all about ranking

Don’t forget we still remain a bidding site on jobs posted online, which means that regardless of your position (and unlike, say, in a pure search engine like Google), there is still something you can do to get your desired result.

Equally, you can still feature your profile and rank top for a category (granted this needs some improving to be more granular on keywords) and we are working on that, but you are still able to push up your profile to short-circuit the process, relatively inexpensively.

Other improvements to discovery

To make it easier for a Buyer to find your profile and not depend 100% on search, we have introduced (and are still introducing) an improved user interface with more advanced filters and sorting options. This gives the customer the option to drill deeper to find who they need to get their job done, without depending on the magic algorithm behind the search box.

What’s coming next

– More improvements to the user interface
– Applying  the same principles in high level to the Hourlies page

As always, we are open to your feedback and comments, and whilst we appreciate that some will be advantaged over others, we  hope and feel that over time the experience will be better for all.

Kind Regards,
Xenios

Kelly Jane
Kelly Jane
PeoplePerHour
Kelly is PeoplePerHour marketing expert. She has a wealth of experience in digital and social media marketing. As a freelancer, she has been committed in helping small businesses grow by offering them agile and result-driven marketing services.
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J
J

Interesting..

Youssef Ali
Youssef Ali

Great Improvement , but I think you need to work more on the work stream page the proposal, also organizing the job page it self

Sabbir Ahmed
Sabbir Ahmed

Tank you…

Nick Horrocks
Nick Horrocks

The theory is good, but unfortunately the implementation is not so good and its failing to function as described. By CERT score I am #6 in Web Development I have completed more than 200 Web Development projects Have received more than 300 reviews with a 98% rating for Web Development projects Invoiced more than £200K for Web Development projects You would expect that to satisfy both the Relevance and Reputation for Web Development, but its not the case. After spending 5 years building up a reputation and profile on PPH I now find my profile buried with this change. A… Read more »

ishwar m kuvadiya
ishwar m kuvadiya

i like pph but once the proposal system is too tuff but its interesting so i am very very happy to work with pph regards ishwar

Rahul Parashar
Rahul Parashar

I agree with nick. While this algo was implemented I was ranked #9 out of all freelancers here in PPH. Presumably #1 in Website design and development. Have sold maximum number of hourlies in entire PPH for website design and development category. My profile is http://www.peopleperhour.com/freelancer/rahul/8-years-of-experience-in-developin/467443 Even my top selling hourlie http://www.peopleperhour.com/hourlie/design-and-develop-fully-secured-fast-loading-responsive-website-in-wordpress-cms/61531/auto?ref=listings which has been copied by many freelancers are ranking higher than me and getting more sales than me. I have stopped any enquires on that hourlie received only couple and did only couple of sale our of which one was form old client. This hourlie is no where… Read more »

Amanpreet
Amanpreet

It is really nice!!
It feels good that PPH team is trying hard to improve our experience on the website.
I hope PPH will soon get a tracker so that we can work on an hourly basis as well.
I look forward to getting other surprises in future. 😉

Anjan Phukan
Anjan Phukan

It’s good, but what have done with clarification board? Recently, most of the time my questions get deleted, which was not happening before. I don’t see the messages as soon as I post them. And the conversation after the reply should not be visible to the public.

Vijay Hardaha
Vijay Hardaha

Great. But can you give information about Clarification board ? My Every message is being deleted or restrict by your ninja’s. I contacted support team but they are not answering properly about this problem. it seems your developers are making some changes but we all wanna know that how much time will it take to get solved. clarification board is the 1st attraction for me on PPH. because other website doesn’t provide this option. it is the best thing that you have(according to me). so please try to solve this ASAP. because without this option, i am unable to work… Read more »

Anay Mittal
Anay Mittal

As usual, good things first! Yes, we all should get a chance, whether Cert1 or Cert6 or even TOP! Someone gave me a chance when I was Cert1 and today I am Cert 5. Now, leaving that aside, yes, it would be much better for the buyers if they can put their finger on the candidate they believe to be right (which may or may not prove true later!). The recent issue with messages not being posted in the clarification board or the workstream as smoothly as it was working few days ago, as indicated by Anjan too, is there.… Read more »

Adrian B
Adrian B

Until the clarification issue is sorted out everything else is irrelevant. I would have thought you would have a bit more tact than to send out this email trumpeting your wonderful upgrades at the same time as you’ve broken the basic functionality of the website! I too have had every question deleted recently, even if it’s just to ask to see an image that the buyer forgot to attach.

In future use a development environment for upgrades – if I had done work like this you be refunding the buyer by now!

Ben hanna
Ben hanna

Have sold one hour lie in the past 3 weeks, and have had no other queries at all, was wondering what was going on. Usually average 3-4 a week and lots of messages, rely on this and don’t really bother with proposals as its too hard to compete with the ridiculously low bids. Add to this the pushing of the cheapest freelancers rather than the best and ridiculous low budgets been posted on web dev work, PPH seems to be going downhill and I looks like I will have to start to seeking new sources of income. Shame as love… Read more »

Jason Bourne
Jason Bourne

This algorithm is interesting but after read whole comments, I don’t find this algo change comfortable.

liam holmes
liam holmes

Let’s see how it works out. I read the article- but not sure I understand it completely. It sounds a bit like paid and organic are becoming one- instead of being separate. The reason Google became the best search engine in the world- is that they separated organic from paid listings. It was only when PPC was invented that Google started making a profit. I just hope this is not an attempt to weaken the natural organic listings- so that people who have worked hard to obtain these- suddenly lose traffic and get forced to pay for the organic listings… Read more »

Ekeh Amaechi
Ekeh Amaechi

Thank you for carrying us along. Keep improving for good!

William Everson
William Everson

Please put back the option newest registered for finding freelancers. right now if someone registers today, it can’t be found. we can’t select newest registered anymore. the freelancers with 5 stars or 4 stars are busy all the time and new people are available but can’t be found.

jane tareen
jane tareen

I am also very worried by this change and agree with comments posted by Ben Hanna: most of my work comes in via Hourlies and direct communication from clients – I usually don’t even need to bid as I find I have enough work without. However, in the last 2 weeks my enquiries and leads seem to be drying up….PPH has been my bread & butter now for over 5 yrs and I have earned £92k since I began. Like Ben, I have worked tirelessly to get myself to this stage and now see work drifting away. Today I paid… Read more »

Graham Halsted
Graham Halsted

Why do you not have a Filter on Search for ‘Distance from Me’? I am looking to get Plans done for a Planning submission re a house self-build and given the choice between 2 candidates of equal merit I would choose the one nearest to me as he / she would then be more likely to be able to visit the plot if required. Also to have the option to sit with a Freelancer in front of a screen while explaining design changes required … be that house plans or a web page etc etc … is a definite benefit!… Read more »

Alma Peri
Alma Peri

Dear People per Hour team, It is cool to read that you are trying to imporve our overall experince in your site.I had been working with you from the past 4 years. Im very concerned about the last few changes accuring in the site such as the Clarification Board being removed or not working. This has been the best feature from you Plataform to me as it keeps negotiation more human by asking the client relevant questions about their projects. It also makes you stand out from the other Freelancers websites. I have sent many proposals but Im not getting… Read more »

Rahul Parashar
Rahul Parashar

Only when you move the

1. Category filter that next to search bar to the left navigation filters that when people will be able to filter out the relevant filters

2. Also move the Sort By to the left navigation as well so that people actually use that sort by filter

This is only way for a seller to filter what they are looking. These two are important filters and show be on the left navigation so that they are used.

I am sure the filters that are right on the left navigation are seldom used.

shaymaa farouk
shaymaa farouk

Now it seems too easy, Thank you.

Mark Fleet
Mark Fleet

I am Top Cert but my work appears to have almost completely dried up since this change.

For the first time since I joined PPH, I am now looking into other freelance websites. Disappointed…

Rahul Parashar
Rahul Parashar

If you are following on other competitors footsteps that were launched after PPH and have been more successful than PPH it is because they had right balance to promote new / fresh GIGs / Hourlies on front page and have not sidelined their top selling GIG / hourlies. If you are following the foot steps of your descendant then follow them correctly by placing the categories and sort by filters as they do which are visible to buyers and do not place in a way that no one use them. All filters that has been placed on left navigation as… Read more »

Rahul Parashar
Rahul Parashar

If I am further checking their last update of “hourlies discovery” blog post dated 14 Jan.

https://blog.peopleperhour.com/blogroll/hourlies-discovery-is-now-simpler-than-ever/

They had their Category filter in left navigation and now it has been dumped next to the search ? Why are they are playing / testing with their sellers?

Put those back where it before so that Old hourlies are not getting buried under the new hourlies.

sourav k.
sourav k.

nice

Ben
Ben

Interesting this article talks of relevance, searching for the term

“optimize wordpress page load speed”

Heres what comes up for relevance:

1. Optimize WordPress Page Load Speed (a featured hourlie)
2. Add 1,000 genuine Facebook likes or 1000 real Twitter followers
3. Manage your social media pages
4. Optimise your WordPress SEO
5. Get any WordPress Issue/Problem fixed
6. Organic Guaranteed Page #1 SEO Services (Monthly SEO)

….it goes on, basically not one hourlie for that search term except for a paid one????

Rahul Parashar
Rahul Parashar

PPH is only bothered about making money for themselves via PAID listing and profile promotion. They are least bothered about even reading these comments and replying to our concerns. Almost all top sellers have complained that their sales / rankings / enquiries are dropping. Why do not you add a filter on left navigation for buyer to filter the hourlies based on the CERT level ? If they are copying their descendant FIVERR then why are they not copying it fully by keeping category menu and submenu at the top and a CERT filter on left navigation ? Why are… Read more »

Faryad
Faryad

This upgrade is trash. Really trash. I’m afraid PPH is downgrading in a fast phase. CERT was nothing. Now it is a joke and a good decorative! I prefer not to talk much.

kathy summers
kathy summers

That is well nice, reliable , or beneficial for me
. Thanks for this.

Graham
Graham

Let’s not forget that by actively pushing new sellers and their hourlies, PPH receive a much higher commission percentage than they would from from a seller who has billed over £175 (I think) in that month. That might also go some way to explaining why top sellers and their hourlies have seen so little traffic since the change. It makes more financial sense for PPH to spread the work out amongst their less popular and newer sellers so that they receive a higher percentage of the sum billed. They can maintain higher commission revenues by pushing work towards lower-billing sellers… Read more »

Matt Tutt
Matt Tutt

Thanks for the explanation Xenios, will be very interested to see how the algorithm changes affect the number of work enquires received.

Rahul Parashar
Rahul Parashar

Graham, well said. Ever since they have got investors. Seems like Xenios have lost sight to make this a better and even marketplace. PPH is now all about making money for themselves with commissions, pushing top sellers to feature to get enquires, paid profile promotion. That is what happens when you put top 3% of freelance talent on front, a community that started on on 2010 is now #1 freelance website as per huffingtonpost and a community that was started on 2005 is no where in top 10. PPH always use to say about QUALITY but they have lost its… Read more »

Juste Semetaite
Juste Semetaite

Hello All, thank you for taking your time to share your thoughts, issues and ideas. I will try to address the main questions that cropped up in your comments: *We are NOT penalising our top freelancers* Many of you have arrived at such conclusion due to a dip in your earnings, however, I can reassure you that we have no intention in penalising our top freelancers. The new algorithm takes into account all projects completed on PPH that are *relevant* to the search term as well as the respective reviews. Therefore, the more projects are completed in a certain area… Read more »

Rahul Parashar
Rahul Parashar

Juste, hourlies search has been impacted and it has changed the listing order. I have drop in my sales because of this. Also it has nothing to with the competition. I have tried all sort of things 1. By have a 50 GBP website design and development hourlie and featured that but no sale and only couple of irrelavent enquires http://www.peopleperhour.com/hourlie/design-develop-home-page-of-your-website-in-wordpress-cms/200238?ref=listings 2. Dropped the price of my top selling houlie by 50 GBP and featured it as well but again of no use. No sale. http://www.peopleperhour.com/hourlie/design-and-develop-fully-secured-fast-loading-responsive-website-in-wordpress-cms/61531/auto?ref=listings 3. Featured another top selling bespoke hourlie http://www.peopleperhour.com/hourlie/design-and-develop-a-bespoke-website-of-your-dreams-in-wordpress-cms-with-on-page-seo/197574?ref=listings No enquiry. No Sale. Where as… Read more »

Katie
Katie

I have worked on PPH for 3 years . I worked hard to get my Cert 5, incidentally am a Top Cert Seller ranking 328 overall. I’ve completed 515 jobs overall and maintain a 99% overall rate. I’m really proud of that. I maintained my customer services to those clients, who return over time, so that I could give 100% to my job and earn a full time wage using ONLY PPH. I used to be on the first page, actually number 2, when you clicked on social media. You’d be lucky if you could find me now. Even though… Read more »

Bernard
Bernard

It cant be a coincidence the likes of Katie and myself who have worked hard on their PPH profiles and rose through the ranks are all suddenly having a dip in sales due to competition – My hourlies are also quite varied and usually get at least 3 – 4 sales (prob max my workload would allow) and plenty of queries per week – I have had one sale this month only after featuring which I rarely did before as no need. Something is going on, its disappointing, income has taken a hammering and ready to quit site

Graham
Graham

Katie, Bernard, et al are absolutely right – there is more to this than meets the eye. I’ve sold virtually nothing through PPH over the last 8 weeks, and I simply don’t believe it’s simply due to increased competition or the season. Like others, I’ve worked through the seasons on PPH and know when the natural dips come. Whereas PPH was previously a 25% proportion of my freelance income as a top seller, it’s now 1% and I’ll probably shut it down soon as it’s not even worth the time spent logging in. Commercially, this strategy makes no sense for… Read more »

John Punchy
John Punchy

Yes echoing others comments – I have seen an evaporation of sales in the last few weeks. I started selling just over 3 years ago building up to over £1000 a month on hourlies within 12 months. Then the trending search came in and my sales dropped to £400 over night. i`ve learned to live with that. Now with these changes – which apparently hasn’t effected hourlies – im left with no sales in 2 weeks. This time i’m genuinely worried. Luckily this isn’t my main business – BUT I also spend my earnings on appointment makers from PPH. So… Read more »

Rahul Parashar
Rahul Parashar

Ok so it looks like PPH seems be reading the comments here and are doing bits to improve the filters / sort as per my last comments. They now have removed the drop down of sort by and have added options on a row. Great work PPH. But still you need to remove the category drop down which is now added next to search and add that back to left navigation as it was before as per following blog https://blog.peopleperhour.com/blogroll/hourlies-discovery-is-now-simpler-than-ever/ Why have you made it hidden again? It should be right there in front of seller to clearly see it… Read more »

Ben hanna
Ben hanna

2 Sales in the last 30 days vs 12 this time last year. The hourlie search just does not work it does not show anything relevant.

George Klether
George Klether

How can I increase rating e.g. from 90% to at least 95% it seems that I’m stuck?

Kelly
Kelly

Hi George,

Many thanks for your question. Please email us at support@peopleperhour.com for more information 🙂

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