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Showing Active Earners in Search Results

Ace Contributor
Patrick S Member Since: May 9, 2016
61 of 639

I just got an email from UpWork...


We noticed you haven’t been working through Upwork lately.
To improve client’s search results and show them more freelancers who are available, we’ve changed your profile to "private" until you’re ready to start taking on new projects.
Here are three ways to switch your profile back to "public":

    Resume earning through Upwork. Apply to projects and start getting paid.
    Sign up for a Freelancer Plus membership. Keep your profile public when you aren’t regularly earning.
    Contact customer service. Keep your profile public by earning on Upwork within 30 days.

Currently, your profile won’t be discoverable to clients unless you submit a proposal for their job.



Vladimir G Moderator Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
62 of 639

Hi Patrick,


Please note that if a freelancer didn't earn in the last 30 days, their profile will be set to private and won't show up in search. Please use one of the options outlined in the notification you received to change your profile visibility back to public.

Community Guru
Maria T Member Since: Nov 12, 2015
63 of 639

Hi Vladimir,


I really still have doubts.
What are you talking about when you refer to "inactivity"?
Sometimes I see people talking about not using the account (I might agree depending of the reasons) and others, most, that you have no income.

The mail that I have received begins:


"Because your account shows recent activity, but no earnings through Upwork, you may be affected."


Result: I have activity (+ 50%) but I have no income (-50%).
I should stay as I am (maybe I'm confused, math is not my thing)

Community Guru
Jess C Member Since: Feb 18, 2015
64 of 639

@Vladimir G wrote:

Hi Jess,


As part of testing this new initiative, we are trying out several different ways for freelancers to switch their profile back to public so that it once again appears in search results. In addition to closely monitoring this program to make sure it achieves our goals of rewarding freelancers who regularly earn, protecting users from off-platform payments, and helping clients connect faster with active freelancers, we will also be looking at these options to see what works best.  

This is a very poor response and does not address at all how freelancers were misled regarding how easy it would be to change their settings back to public.


YOU, Vladimir, posted in this very thread that FREELANCERS would be able to change the setting. This is a HUGE difference from having to contact Customer Support.


I would like to see an official explanation of why Customer Service must be involved, an apology for misleading freelancers, and an acknowledgement that this has been bungled.


I'd also like to see some acknowledgement that Customer Support is harder and harder to reach these days. I can't submit support tickets - I get bumped to chat, which then crashes. I raised this issue in its own thread but nothing has changed.

Community Manager
Lena E Community Manager Member Since: Apr 7, 2015
65 of 639

Hi everyone, 


To clarify how to become public again in search when your profile has been set to private, there are different options available for different users- taking in account their activity and history on Upwork. While most users will have the options of contacting support or purchasing a FL Plus membership, some users will have the option to automatically set themselves back to public once they login.


The options available to you are shown when clicking on you availability status.  If you are required to contact support, we've made it simple for you so that by clicking the link we take you directly to the screen to create a ticket, bypassing the Contact Support flow.


Here are images of the messaging and options you may see:


Automatic once signing in:

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 12.37.19 PM.png



Options to Contact Support or Purchase Plus Plan:

Pasted File at July 11, 2017 11-14 AM.png


Community Leader
Carol U Member Since: Jun 12, 2017
66 of 639


Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
67 of 639

Thanks for your feedback, Carol. 


I'd like to address a few points from your post.


- Jobs in languages other than English aren't allowed. If you come across such jobs, please flag them as inappropriate and they will be reviewed by the team.


- Commission-only jobs are allowed if they are set up as fixed-price contracts.


- Clients are able to change preferences for a job when they create a job posting. 


- Very few fixed-price contracts are disputed and require mediation or arbitration. On hourly contracts, as long as the freelancer logs their hours properly according with the requirements of Hourly Protection, they will get paid for their work.


- Not all new registrations are accepted.  When a freelancer registers to join Upwork we carefully review their profile to determine whether there is sufficient need for their skills and experience. Based on that review some profiles may be rejected.

- Freelancers receive 60 free connects with the Basic Membership and aren't required to pay $2 to apply for jobs.


- It looks like your Rising Talent badge was removed for reasons other than the profile completeness bug and that's why connects weren't credited to your account. Please, refer to the response that was given to you on the ticket about this issue.



Finally, I understand that it can be difficult to get started on Upwork. However, I've seen many new freelancers reaching success on Upwork despite having no Work History on Upwork. They all shared such qualities as perseverance, ability to market their skills and persuade clients that they are the best candidate for the job and willingness to learn about how the platform works and how they can use available tools to their advantage.

~ Valeria
Community Leader
Carol U Member Since: Jun 12, 2017
68 of 639


Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
69 of 639

@Lena E wrote:


...This change is also meant to help protect clients and freelancers from off-platform work, which is against our Terms of Service.

No, off-platform work is not against Upwork's ToS. It has nothing to do with Upwork unless the work contract is the result of an initial contact on Upwork.

More importantly: How? Freelancer/Farmer X regularly circumvents Upwork payment. Under the new regime, Freelancer/Farmer X continues to regularly circumvent Upwork payment, while exercising the same options the rest of us do to stay visible—or even makes sure that the occasional low-value contract is not taken off platform.

Cut deadwood? Fine. Make search more focused and properly competitive? Fine.

Crack down on circumvention? Sure. But don't expect this initiative to help.

Best to all,


Community Leader
Alan H Member Since: Nov 23, 2014
70 of 639

Here's how this helps Upwork: it reduces the expense of supporting 2.4 MM profiles that have never generated any revenue for Upwork.


Here's how it breaks my heart as an Upwork hiring manager, not as a freelancer:


There are thousands of legitimate inactive profiles who just don't push to get work here, but who would be amazing to hire. People who have never earned here are often my top picks for design jobs. They paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to earn their degrees from leading US art schools, would love to earn a few extra bucks, but are too busy with their full time jobs in ad agencies to be actively seeking part time work. I search for them by exact matches for the universities they attended, and 90% of my search results show 0 earnings. Response rates are a little lower with this segment, but that's not an obstacle. One of the websites I am most proud of features a slider designed by a SCAD graduate with zero prior earnings on Upwork. She went on to earn about $1,000 from my client designing new print assets.


Just yesterday I created my Upwork client company in order to resolve a special accounting problem I had. The freelancer I found, and hired, had never worked on Upwork because she has a full time job. She was a little unsure of how to use the platform, but I hired her and taught her how to download the team app and get started tracking time for me. Tomorrow, she and I have our second call scheduled. On our first call, I told her, "by the way, Upwork is great. It can change your life." 


This policy change will surely diminish the value of the platform to clients. Whoever thought it up did not fully consider the scenarios I described above.  82.52% of freelancers profiles show zero earnings. I guess maybe a few percent of those to be "forced private" might upgrade their memberships. Upwork gets about 2,200 new profiles per day, so we can maybe add back 100,000 for freelancers in the 50 day grace period.  At this point, as a freelancer hiring manager and a client, I will lose access to 75% of the talent on Upwork on June 30.