Contractors working in IT, new media and marketing are facing a major shift towards mobile and interactive technologies, and away from social media marketing and search engine ‘gaming’.
This is according to research provided exclusively to ContractorCalculator by outsourcing platform Freelancer.co.uk, which analysed 189,917 projects posted on its site in the second quarter of 2012, to determine what projects contractor clients are actually commissioning.
Referring to what he sees as a “changing of the guard” in the technology sector, Freelancer.co.uk chief executive, Matt Barrie, explains that Freelancer.co.uk’s data identifies two clear trends: “User activity is moving to mobile devices and the trend won’t be reversing any time soon, as the other five billion people on this planet join the internet, primarily through mobile.
“Secondly,” he continues, “the internet is becoming more interactive, and the technologies that are winning and will continue to win are open standards like HTML5 and jQuery – to the detriment of the incumbent proprietary technology providers like Adobe and Microsoft.”
The number of mobile phone projects, including app development, posted by clients rose by 36% in the second quarter of 2012 when compared to Q1. In contrast, internet marketing projects have fallen sharply in the quarter: search engine optimisation projects fell by 7.3%, link building by 8.3% and article rewriting and article submission by 9.3% and 4% respectively.
Barrie blames the fall in internet marketing on four updates of Google Panda, and the release of Google Penguin in April, as the search engine began a concerted effort to make its searches more relevant to users.
Freelancer.co.uk’s data shows that social media marketing has also taken a battering, as advertisers and social media experts started to question the effectiveness and return on investment of social media advertising.
This is evidenced by the 14% drop in the number of Facebook projects posted. Twitter and social media activity generally has stalled, dropping 1.3% and 1.1% respectively.
“We truly are at an inflexion point of the technology landscape,” notes Barrie. “We’re seeing the changing of the guard across the technology industry when we examine our detailed online jobs data.”