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Joost's weekly SEO recap:

Google tests & oDesk becomes Upwork

Coming to you from warm & very sunny Seville, where I’m currently attending WordCamp Europe along with some colleagues, this is another weeks SEO recap! There was some nice news about Google tests that came out this week that I’d love to share with you. Also, a case study on a project I was actually involved in myself.

Google tests. A lot.

Last week, while writing the SEO recap, I tweeted a screenshot showing that I was part of a Google experiment: Google was changing the red line in search results to blue. It was picked up by Barry Schwartz and turned into a headline on his blog and later on SearchEngineLand. Google also is testing a slightly different green for URLs… Another one: Google removed emoji’s from the search result pages this week too. And a final one: Google testing a new mobile interface. I think these articles show two things: we as an SEO community pay a ton of attention to even the tiniest details and Google test a LOT.

oDesk becomes Upwork

oDesk recently rebranded to Upwork, moving their domain from to I myself was part of a team of SEOs working on this migration, which I think we can say is a success. Andrew Shotland wrote about it on SearchEngineLand, and Lisa Oda, the head of content marketing at Upwork, wrote about it too.

Having now done several of these migrations I can honestly say they’re not for the faint of heart, but it’s slowly getting easier to get them right. Don’t change your domain name on a whim though, Andrew’s post linked above actually has some very good pointers.

That’s it! Nothing “pressing” left, although I do expect updates to happen soon, maybe next week!


Joost's weekly SEO recap series

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11 Responses to Google tests & oDesk becomes Upwork

  1. Kris
    Kris  • 5 years ago

    Your tools are great and you posts are just as good! Thanks for your work Joost it helps us lazy ones.

  2. Cathy Mayhue
    Cathy Mayhue  • 5 years ago

    I have used odesk a lot, so when I heard the news that elance has bought them, I thought new management would not disturb anything that was already doing great. But when they changed the domain name, I was angry and I continued to stubbornly type, which eventually led to upwork. This all ended when I downloaded the new time tracker and fell instantly in love with this new sleek upgrade.
    Then I liked other changes as well, going to get paid option became a lot easier. So this change is good and I have begun to enjoy it.

  3. gede
    gede  • 5 years ago

    i like your wp plugin WP seo, i already use it on, .. look doing well… no problem yet to use…

    thanks a lot Yoast, cheerss

  4. como tocar guitarra
    como tocar guitarra  • 5 years ago

    very good intereçante content will follow the tips

  5. Obat telat bulan
    Obat telat bulan  • 5 years ago

    I’m enjoy using product by yoast simple n profesional support in play seo.Thank joost

  6. SocialMediaMarketing.Tips
    SocialMediaMarketing.Tips  • 5 years ago

    I don’t think you should fire some questions regarding Upwork’s design or system to Yoast, he clear state that he responsible in SEO aspect of the migrating.

    And I’ve been using oDesk or Upwork for over 3 years, the color i think is changed once before it changes name. Regarding the color it is not that bad.., i use the web daily to work with my Upwork team and the ratio of green to neutral color like white,gray,dark gray is only 1:10 i think, even the logo is only half-green.

    So i don’t think color really bother our eyes that much, and having green sometime promote action and imagination as well, just like comment submit button here lol.

  7. Moin Uddin Ahmed Tipu
    Moin Uddin Ahmed Tipu  • 5 years ago

    There’s a lot confusion still now.
    1. How oDesk migrated to WordPress when moved to UpWork in back end?
    2. Why they choose color that are not so good for eyes?
    3. Its looks like there have some bugs on New site. As sometimes its show up.

    But overall, it was important to know everyone before migration. But they did after migration. Don’t know if for security reason they don’t said.

  8. Lisa Oda
    Lisa Oda  • 5 years ago

    Joost, thanks for all the help with the migration. It was great to work with you!

    • Joost de Valk

      Hey Lisa,

      thank you! I enjoyed it too :)

  9. [keyword deleted]
    [keyword deleted]  • 5 years ago

    I still cannot believe Odesk changed names and redid their site. Sure, there were some good ideas integrated, but it seems to not work as well as it used to and I hate the new design. It seems like a lot of Odesk regulars are abandoning Upwork now or at least complaining a lot, myself included.

    From a search perspective, it looks like the new site is doing well. Similarweb has May traffic at 11% from search, whereas Odesk was 8% in April. Overall traffic is down a bit though (17 M in May, 20 M in April).

    • Joost de Valk


      Similarweb isn’t exactly a reliable source, to be honest. I’m not going to comment on Upwork stats, I’ll leave that to the Upwork team.