Elance Blog

Emphasis On Trust & Safety Makes Elance THE Place For Great Work.

As you’re all aware, the Elance community has grown tremendously in the last year and in the process it has experienced some growing pains. For many months now we’ve been working hard to develop new ways to help top freelancers differentiate themselves, as well as ways to create better matches between clients and freelancers.

In short, we want Elance to continue as the world’s most trusted online workplace. And over the next few months we will introduce a series of changes to ensure that the most-deserving freelancers on our platform get the recognition and exposure they merit, while businesses get the best work possible.

On July 28th we will roll out some of these changes, beginning with a recalibration of the Level system and some of the changes to the My Stats page which you may already be aware of (see our recent blog post for more information).

What’s New

We’ve recalibrated the Levels system to give recognition to freelancers who deliver great quality. Now a freelancer’s Level is an even more helpful metric for hiring decisions. With this update we’ve made modifications to "Recommend Score,” which now more precisely differentiates the client satisfaction ratings between each member of the community. You’ll see the “Recommend Score” appearing in the Snapshot area of a freelancer’s profile page (or your My Stats page, for freelancers with Premium Membership plan).

If you’re not familiar with Levels, here’s some info on what Level & Recommend is and how it’s calculated using “My Stats.”

Other areas where you’ll soon see changes include enhancements to our matching engine and the proposal submission process (to improve matching quality), as well as enhancements to the Profile page and even some features that will be available only to Premium Members.

To keep you informed of these changes, we’ll update you directly via email, our official Release Notes and the Elance blog

These updates are all meant to enhance the quality, vibrancy and health of our community as we continue to grow. For our amazingly talented freelancers, we want to highlight and reward the great quality work you deliver on a regular basis and enable you to win more work as a result. For our valued clients, we aim to provide you with an even more accurate assessment of how freelancers rank among their peers so you can make the best possible hiring decision.

One person you’re sure to hear from on our blog is Elance’s Senior Director of Trust & Safety Jeff Chen. Jeff will post regularly on his team’s efforts to continue delivering world-class protection measures, ensuring that working on Elance is stress-free for everyone.

Here’s a quick introductory note from Jeff:

Hello Elancers, my name is Jeff Chen and I head the Trust & Safety group here at Elance. With Trust & Safety we focus on ways that we can highlight and reward your great performance on the site. We are proud to say Elance is the world’s safest and most trusted place to work online and that is thanks to you.  Among the areas I’ll be back to talk about are:

• Payment Protection on all Elance jobs (something no one else offers), via Elance Escrow Protection and Work View Protection.

• Profile transparency, including how our upcoming profile updates will help freelancers better represent their quality and make it easier for clients to make the best-informed selection.

• Lots more, as new updates roll out.

Here at Elance, ensuring a vibrant and healthy marketplace is something we take great pride in. We appreciate all that you do to help us in this regard. We appreciate everyone who helps make Elance the world’s most trusted online workplace.




It is true that there is a lot of changes took place here on elance for the past six months.
These updates are so great for the good performance of this platform.
It made it easy and simple for this site users to enjoy their businesses.
Business plan writer and consultant.

Thank you for working hard to create a useful and helpful site for writers trying to make a living. After using a couple freelancing sites, I can definitely say that yours is the most conscious of looking out for both the freelancer and potential clients.

I learned of Elance only a coupe of months ago, when I decided to maintain a few web sites and was looking for an expert to help me polish them. 2 things increased my respect for Elance: unlike some other micro jobs web sites who would ban you from hiring freelancers to work on projects relating to other micro jobs sites, Elance let's me hire its freelancers to work on my micro job site confidently. That's what capitalism is all about. Secondly, elance's escrow system is truly convenient. The second and consequent payments I made went through with a couple of clicks, and didn't have to be redirected to Paypal to go through all the rigors of signing in and reauthorizing payment. Thanks to Elance, my company *** is looking pretty right now.

As a contractor, I have been recently severely penalized and downgraded from Level 8 to Level 4, been told that it was due to those"recalibration" changes. I have always offered exceptional customer service levels, reasonable fees and all that is expected from a professional with an excellent work ethic. What do I get??? A downgrade of 4 levels. After speaking to an advisor today, I fail to understand WHY someone who was 99% recommended is now 87%. Positive changes??? To clients, obviously but detrimental to me as a contractor. I am seriously thinking of quitting working on Elance.

I second VAppleyard. I dropped from 7 to 5, with a similar drop in Recommend % to the one stated above. This is frustrating for many reasons, one of which is the way this looks to current clients and to clients with whom I'm negotiating proposals. To them, it must seem as if I've fouled up on some current projects, and I wouldn't be surprise if they held me in lower regard or (for prospective clients) took their business elsewhere. I can't imagine why it would be positive for anyone to have hardworking contractors be retroactively penalized for new metrics formulas. I can understand being asked to adjust some of my practices for the benefit of the elance company/site and community, but not being penalized for rules that did not exist at the time that work was completed.

Level 7 to 5 does not sound that bad. We dropped from Level 9 to 1. I believe it is some technical glitch, which I hope Elance can rectify soon. The help center is just sending standard messages.

Elance is not owning up to the fact that their algorithm is off. When I contacted them about it (not just the levels but the whole thing, including 6 month earnings, which of all factors should have been an easy one!) they just ignored my inquiry and sent me some generic email. Seriously bad customer service. Elance should NOT impose an algorithm that affects many many people (apparently it's skewed in favor of new clients and degrades those who have been loyal to Elance for years, which is nuts) - especially without properly testing.

Yes... The loyal providers for long time has been destroyed their reputation for promoting new people, not considering that this detroy the work done for long time with a lot of effort and loyalty to Elance. Absolutely unfair.

I also dropped from level 7 to 3 :(

job Thank you, Morgan! Your comments just validate what I've just stated in mine. I don't intend to moan and whine on here but seriously, I've been viewing freelancers with level 4 (the one I've been downgraded to), and I have over jobs (if not more) I have performed and delivered to the best of my ability during the course of almost 10 months while those new ones with 3-4 jobs are on the same level as I do. Now, where did all my hard work, great feedback and recommendation gone??? Sorry, why have I been penalized in detriment of this so called "re-calibration"??? You are so right - those rules did NOT exist at the time that work was completed. Shame on you, Elance. I am going to investigate work elsewhere or even better - open my own resume business here in the UK where there is NO Elance presence. To summarize: how often can a client have a resume done??? Repeat business does NOT apply in what I do.

I've been downgraded from a Level 7 to Level 1! I am sincerely hoping this is an error (I'm waiting to hear) and that Elance are not merely looking at one totally inaccurate and defamatory 'don't trust this Contractor' comment posted by a client who simply was trying to avoid fees payment one year ago. (Incidentally, it would be very easy for Elance to see that this was indeed the case, but no such simple investigation was carried out). I currently bring in approximately 500 USD per week via Elance.

Hello VAppleyard my level did the same.
I went from 9 to 1 despite my sales going up 4 fold.
That i think is a bug in their new system. Hang in there girl.

I notice all provider who's Level was 9 go down to level 1.
I think problem in calculation and they not accepting this.

Thank you for your kind words, John. Your case surely has been worse than mine! I am not sure if I want to hang in this (whatever it is) anymore. This is not a very nice reward for us, Elancers, who work so hard to get jobs done, having to deal with all sorts of clients, especially abusive ones who treat us like slaves. It has happened to me countless times but I maintained my cool as I am a professional with a reputation to care for.

Same happened to me. I dropped form level 8 to level 3! My recommendation dropped from 89% to 73%!! I keep loosing points every week although my earnings are increasing, my repeat client percentage is 44% and they are giving me perfect rating but still my points are disappearing and I don't know what to do. This change is going to destroy my career.

Major issues with the % Recommended change to the system - It is supposed to help get more accurate assessment of how freelancers rank among their peers.

I am a long term freelancer, highly trusted, Have completed major projects. Excellent feedback and a High level but somehow my % recommended dropped to 80% - from the 96%

It is a confusing assessment, this does not represent the high quality work I have been producing for Elance clients. - It portrays me a high level but not terrible recommendations.

VAppleyard - I can see the same issue with her profile. She doesnt have any negative points - 1 3.2 - The rest 5.0 - Obviously a provider with a track record and excellent service but the 87% percent takes her off the as a option.

Most clients look at the recommended percentage. If a provider has under 90% - the rule of thumb is you do not work with this provider.

Providers that were in the 95+ % are being taken to the 80%-
Surely this new rating does not help out clients in choosing the best, When some of the best providers ratings have dropped dramatically.

This fails to provide the fix that it promotes.

I agree with this contractor as well. I would like to see my level/Recommended% restored, even if there will different criteria going forward. I imagine that others feel more or less the same.

I am absolutely with you . From one day they create a very unfair system that don't represent the quality of the work that we have done and our responsability.

I have same issue. My elance level was 11 and it drop to 3. and my Recommendation was 93% and that is now 76%. If you see my ratings are good. My clients are happy with my work thats why repeat client is 31%. I am very confuse. I think something is wrong with my profile.


Same here with us.

We were at one point 11 then last week to 10 and now to 2nd. We are the worst hit right now.

We have 95% positive recommendations but now it shows 77%. Not sure how that got calculated.

Also i have got 44% client repeat something which is highest amongst freelancers.

Now with level 2 profile i can hardly get any new jobs. Elance has to rectify this sooner or later otherwise we won't sustain here for long.


I agree with you... Elance has to rectify this sooner or later otherwise we won't sustain here for long... We were giving solutions to the Elance for more than 12 years, working with responsabiliy,,,,but from one day to other we are out of competition.

We are already 7 years on Elance, a pool of highly specialized artists and developers, with a total of 475 jobs, excellent reputation and a lot of money earned for Elance. This new rating will completely destroy the existence of our 80+ freelancers, who are depended of that income.

Today we experienced a 82% drop in our statistics and were put back to beginners levels. We fell from level 13 to level 6, our rank from 24th to 937th, after being established in those high ranks for years, without anything that changed except some "re-calibration"! It seems that re-calibration was neither tested nor based on anything remotely reasonable, since it caused a random shuffle and put some teens on the top positions now.

So, with one administration decision Elance will delete years of effort and work? You are destroying the existence of large pool of excellent freelancers with one swoop. I hope that Elance is aware that they are playing with the lifes of people here, since most of our freelancers will loose their income because of that.

YEs...Sure...They should be aware that Elance is playing with the lifes of people here, since most of our freelancers will loose their income because of that.

does it really make a difference to elance (the biggest freelancer platform) who has a monopoly market now? this is not the first time that we have seen strategic disaster in elance's decision making.. there mode of operations are intensional and are created only to facilitate and motivate newbees , because they well know that freelancers and small companies like us will bark a bit, discuss and then keep quit and concentrate in their work... but will never ever think of leaving elance because this is their only income source.. this is very unfortunate that our hard earned levels and consistency of 7years made me drop from level 10 to 1 with a 95% recommendation to a 67% ( which we recoped to 76% in these few days) ..

calling them was of no good s their response sounded so proud 'work hard and you will get to the level very soon' ... so what were we doing these 7 years was a big question unanswered.

It's obvious that your new algorithm does not work well with past data, since old established companies experienced the biggest drops and young established companies experienced the biggest ups. PLS investigate, otherwise you will destroy your and ours business base.

We dropped from 5th to 13th place that I can somehow swallow but netmen corp is the best company out there on design and multimedia and now they are 14th with almost half a mil of earnings, the other companies behind don't have as half as much and there are still bunch of others with 10k-20k that are better in rank, that doesn't make any sense. I hope you will fix this soon, since good ones are on the loss.

Absolutely with you... The best companies destroyed from one day to the other... Not considering that Elance is our income maker. We worked hard to make a reputation, accepting unfair and abusive clients a lot of time. To the loyal providers this unfair attack to our chances to get new jobs.

I'm submitted proposal since march 2013 to till now. But any client can not call me. What can I do now.
Can someone please give me an advice.

This is really shocking for me, i was at level 6 and required 2 point to go for next level. Now i have 0 points and on level 1.
The statistics of new freelancers are better than then old and experienced freelancers. Most of the freelancers spent years and really worked hard to achieve the top levels. Now, elance has ruined their efforts!

Elance should do better mathematics to understand the freelancers.

I can't bid on any job!!!.

I am planing to rejoin the previous company as a graphic designer or work as beginner on elance.com.

Yes... Is better have only a few projects, that is easy to have them with perfect reputation... but the people that is really making a living in Elance deals with hundreds of clients, that makes the possibilities of not having a perfect reputation possible.. .This same will happen to the new artist later. So Elance wont be a great place to get new jobs anymore. I am very sorry and sad about it.

I have read all the comments from the existing contractors and the same thing happened with us, actually this whole system has shattered us dramatically we are dropped at rank 3 from 11 and recommendations are dropped from 97% to 80%....we really have no clue what exactly happening and how this whole statistics is working because really we are at a point where our existence at Elance is almost vanished...can we hear some words from admin regarding this drastic change?

I am incredibly disappointed in Elance. This is a service that many freelancers pay to be a part of and our voices are not being heard or responded to. A boiilerplate email announced the changes and not a single administrator has commented here. It makes me wonder what all my membership fees are being used to support: It is definitely not quality metrics!

These are not positive changes. They are detrimental to several freelancers who were doing high-quality business simply because the number of respondents to feedback requests are lower than others. That does not mean that their prior clients did not favor their work or that they are not good people to do business with. What it means, frankly, is that the individuals and businesses who didn't have time in their professional lives to do this work to begin with (and therefore outsourced it) also did not have time to leave feedback. I cannot comprehend how a Level 8 Profile can drop to Level 3, when the same 4.7 rating exists. Nor can I justify why a recommendation rate of 85% fell to 71% -- other than these facts: You have changed the site to prefer those who complete high-quantities of work and who are able to garner recommendations in order to boost your site's overall visibility on the web. Likewise, I believe that you are completely ignoring artificially-inflated profile scores that result from one person doing one job for one client over and over and receiving the same positive feedback on a loop. Frankly, you are doing your freelancers AND contractors a disservice through these profile adjustments. I am not certain why any freelancer would put the work in to build their profile up again when you may just rip it out from under them again in the future. Similarly, why should any contractor trust you as a resource for good freelance employments when the incongruities between profiles, like those noted here by others, are so vast and inexplicable. I have been considering discontinuing my membership with Elance for some time do to the shoddy Customer Service here. These changes may just cause me to push that button.

I absolutely agree!

We are seriously shocked with what Elance has done. We dropped from level 11 to 3 and recommendation dropped from 96% to 80%. A guy with 9 jobs and couple thousand dollar earning has got level 7 while we are working for last 6 years, have completed more than 1000 jobs, satisfied more than 1000 clients so far with handsome earning got level 3. Elance seriously needs to take some quick action about this otherwise trusted old companies are going to leave this portal very soon.

Mars, I think it says a lot about the system that the branch of your business with fewer clients and earnings now has a higher rating than the business with more earnings, clients, and ratings. In other words, you get penalized the more you work!

They are just considering clients only ! We both, Freelancer companies and Client are equally important ! This is the worst way to ruin any business ! Elance is only running because of bigger players, If they have only small contractors or clients then its never be a big success. This is a loss of employers as well. If they are going to change the policies then they should circulate this first. They should tell clear what are their standards. We always work according to current scenarios, So they should not include our past experiences for this ! We can take care of it in next by WHY freelancers are being punished for past great work ?? Very unhappy !! They are ruining their business as well as ours.

I agree with you.

Exactly 100% agreed...

I totally agree with you!

My level dropped from 10 to 8 and recommendation 96%->85%.
I would like to see my level/Recommended% restored.

I droped from level 7 down to level 5, and my 'Recommend' went from 100% to 87% overnight ..out of the blue..This month I've been low key on work here since I have taken time off to vacation..but this new stuff/ratings effects the litle guys..I don't like it al ALL!
Also I want to note to Elance I had 2 people sign up under me, but with this new system I just can't recommend anyone else. Elance is stacking too much against the little 'start up guy'..I am not happy with this new rating stuff!!

We got our points doubled and received few levels. Thank you Elance.

Dear Jeff,

Emphasis On Trust & Safety Makes Elance THE Place For Great Work.

I now have doubts about aforementioned statement. Elance was a good place to work but now I can’t say the same. Like other providers we also witnessed drastic change from level 10 to 4. This is very frustrating, years of efforts going down the drain.

I hope you and your team will takes this seriously because like many people mentioned over here Its NOT Fair!

Hi Ammar,

Do you know has anyone get solved their Elance Stats problem? Because I was also dropped to 4th level and I am really frustrated. Can you please let me know if any changes happens because Elance support is not doing their job. :( Thanks, Indijana

One of my friend dropped from Level 10 to 4 but now its in Level 7.. I don't know what is happening.. I hope they have issue in their algorithm...

Hi Indijana,

We raised a ticket however we received a standard template kind of a reply from the support team as well.

All the new members levels have been improved and members with thousand of dollars of earning and good repute are suffering from this new policy. The policy application timeframe for all the members should be same because old members planned and worked, aligned with old policies that's why they earned their levels and earnings.

Anyway personally I don't see any hope for resolution of this issue over here.

Best of luck from starting from scratch again


Hi to everyone and especially to ELANCE!
Thank you, Elance, for such a wonderful and secureplace to work, for houndred of clients and a lot of incoming. I think it's normal for you to do updates and keep your clients(both freelancers and clients for us) using your services. I'm sad only by one reason: elance fee it's too much for me :( . Hope this will be fixed to in order of increasing your users.
Regards, Vasilii.

Hi Guys,

I'm also a victim of the new change made by Elance. As for me, the drop in level was 6 to 5. As I was going through the comments of my fellow freelancers, I assume the algorithm is majorly based on repeat project. I've been trying to research the pattern and felt like freelancers with better repeat% are doing really well. Any thought?


These new updates really reflects the actual hard work of freelancers now. I really like the new rating/points system.
Thank you Elance !