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Find Work > Recent Searches is wonky – it lists unrelated (and *adult*) topics

beth_price
Ace Contributor
Elizabeth P Member Since: Jul 24, 2015
1 of 23

I saw something new tonight and am having a hard time understanding it. I'd appreciate insight from others who know Upwork's workings better than I.

 

My "Find Work" page looks normal enough. Except under "Recent Searches," two things are displayed that I've never searched for on Upwork: "skillsSmiley Sadgoogle-adwords)" and "porn."

 

That's weird. But what's really odd is that while neither topic is one I've searched for on Upwork (I barely know what Google AdWords does, much less think of it as a skill), earlier today I was on a different site where you can anagram names. My husband's name just happens to have several anagrams that include the word "porn." Had a giggle over that. Also, I was researching keywords for my website (NOT porn related!!), and clipped and saved a page about using Google AdWords as a keyword research tool.

 

So unless I'm totally misunderstanding what's happened, the "Recent Searches" that Upwork's displaying on my Find Work page has pulled information from content/searches OFF site. 

 

WTH? I don't think this is useful from a job-search standpoint, and further, it's disturbing to see "porn" displayed – particularly because I know "adult" work violates Upwork's TOS, and I wouldn't want some Upwork algorithm/person to think I'm searching for projects like that and be punished. 

Also, I'm concerned how data from elsewhere has ended up in Upwork (especially because I have ad blocking/tracking enabled in my browsers).

 

 

Any idea what might be going on? I'm hopeful this not a new feature I missed the announcement about.

 

Here's a screenshot:

 

Recent Searches.png

vladag
Community Manager
Vladimir G Community Manager Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
2 of 23

Hi Elizabeth,

 

Thanks for providing detailed information about the odd flow you're seeing. I'll share them with our team and follow up on the thread with an update.

 

I can confirm your account won't be flagged for searching specific terms related to jobs that are prohibited on Upwork.

Untitled
beth_price
Ace Contributor
Elizabeth P Member Since: Jul 24, 2015
3 of 23

Thanks, Vlad. Appreciate your prompt response and look forward to an update.

elastella
Community Guru
Ela K Member Since: Feb 9, 2015
4 of 23

@Elizabeth P wrote:

I saw something new tonight and am having a hard time understanding it. I'd appreciate insight from others who know Upwork's workings better than I.

 

...

 

So unless I'm totally misunderstanding what's happened, the "Recent Searches" that Upwork's displaying on my Find Work page has pulled information from content/searches OFF site. 

 

...

 

Also, I'm concerned how data from elsewhere has ended up in Upwork (especially because I have ad blocking/tracking enabled in my browsers).

 

 

Any idea what might be going on? I'm hopeful this not a new feature I missed the announcement about.

 

 


 

I share your sentiments 100% and can't wait for the official explanation. This better not be a new feature!!

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5 of 23
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@Elizabeth P wrote:

I saw something new tonight and am having a hard time understanding it. I'd appreciate insight from others who know Upwork's workings better than I.

 

My "Find Work" page looks normal enough. Except under "Recent Searches," two things are displayed that I've never searched for on Upwork: "skillsSmiley Sadgoogle-adwords)" and "porn."

 

That's weird. But what's really odd is that while neither topic is one I've searched for on Upwork (I barely know what Google AdWords does, much less think of it as a skill), earlier today I was on a different site where you can anagram names. My husband's name just happens to have several anagrams that include the word "porn." Had a giggle over that. Also, I was researching keywords for my website (NOT porn related!!), and clipped and saved a page about using Google AdWords as a keyword research tool.

 

So unless I'm totally misunderstanding what's happened, the "Recent Searches" that Upwork's displaying on my Find Work page has pulled information from content/searches OFF site. 

 

WTH? I don't think this is useful from a job-search standpoint, and further, it's disturbing to see "porn" displayed – particularly because I know "adult" work violates Upwork's TOS, and I wouldn't want some Upwork algorithm/person to think I'm searching for projects like that and be punished. 

Also, I'm concerned how data from elsewhere has ended up in Upwork (especially because I have ad blocking/tracking enabled in my browsers).

 

 

Any idea what might be going on? I'm hopeful this not a new feature I missed the announcement about.

 

Here's a screenshot:

 

Recent Searches.png


I do not know at all how this could happen, but I have already reported in the community and to Upwork moderators months ago that Google creates search results with the word "porn". So you can find for example the "Top ten porn writing freelancers for hire in October 2016 - Upwork" or "Top 10 porn freelancers for hire in October 2016 - Upwork or "Hire Porn freelancers - Upwork" and other results related to porn and Upwork. It is obvious that there is a problem with Upwork's SEO and it embarrassing for the freelancers whose profiles are related to this work without having to do with this "business" at all and harms their reputation.

beth_price
Ace Contributor
Elizabeth P Member Since: Jul 24, 2015
6 of 23

@Margarete – Interesting. I hope I don't end up on one of those top freelancer lists you reference. Hmmm...

 

@Vladimir or another mod – Does an algorithm take into account a freelancer's recent search activity when determining which order to display/rank them in various categories?

 

Also, I don't know whether this will help diagnose the problem, but these Recent Search results appear while I'm using Chrome. Safari displays a different Recent Search – "daylighting" – another term I've never searched for on Upwork, and also a word I recall searching for offsite to get a definition. So: different browsers, same problem, but with different results.

 

ETA: @Moderators: here's another bit of info that might help diagnose the issue. I just checked my adblock software on the anagram site where I suspect the word "porn" might have been picked up. On that site, Google Publisher Tags was the only tracker NOT blocked by Chrome, but it was blocked by Safari. So perhaps both browsers don't have the same problem. Come to think of it, I may have seen the word "daylighting" in an Upwork job description and clicked the word to get its definition.

 

ETA 2: Here's a screenshot of the tracker map on the site referenced in the edit above.Tracker Map.png

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7 of 23
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@Elizabeth P wrote:

@Margarete – Interesting. I hope I don't end up on one of those top freelancer lists you reference. Hmmm...

 

@Vladimir or another mod – Does an algorithm take into account a freelancer's recent search activity when determining which order to display/rank them in various categories?

 

Also, I don't know whether this will help diagnose the problem, but these Recent Search results appear while I'm using Chrome. Safari displays a different Recent Search – "daylighting" – another term I've never searched for on Upwork, and also a word I recall searching for offsite to get a definition. So: different browsers, same problem, but with different results.


 That is what could be expected, but I did not find you there. However, why are the other ones on those lists? Woman Wink

beth_price
Ace Contributor
Elizabeth P Member Since: Jul 24, 2015
8 of 23

Thanks for checking, Margarete! I was afraid to search using that term... what if it doing so moved me up that rankings :^)

elastella
Community Guru
Ela K Member Since: Feb 9, 2015
9 of 23

OMG - I know this will probably get removed soon - BUT:

 

Screen Shot 2016-10-14 at 20.21.11.png

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Valeria K Community Manager Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
10 of 23

Ela,

 

Could you please share what was your search query when you got those Google Search results? None of the freelancers shown in that list offers such services but Google would need to come up with some results if you search "Upwork" and "porn" together in the same query.

 

Elizabeth,

 

Your recent searches don't affect your own position in Freelancer search. We'll also check the Recent searches feature.

~ Valeria
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