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Table Of Contents  The Online Freelancing Guide
 >  An Analysis and Review of Popular Online Freelancing Marketplace Sites
      >  Guru - Freelance Marketplace Site Analysis and Review

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Guru - Freelance Marketplace Site Analysis and Review
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Guru - Project Quality
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Guru - Project Quantity and Marketplace Size

Like several of its competitors, Guru claims the top spot in the world of online freelancing, calling itself “the world's largest online marketplace for freelance talent.” I find it strange that Guru would even bother with such a boast, for two reasons. First, it’s easily demonstrably untrue: while Guru is certainly a major player, it is not in the same league as several of its competitors when it comes to marketplace size. And second, quantity isn’t really Guru’s market niche anyway, so why bother to portray themselves that way?

Project Quantity

Guru is among the more “tight-lipped” of the big freelancer marketplaces when it comes to data about their own operation. They do not make detailed statistics publicly available about the number of projects posted on a daily or monthly basis, and their own “statistics page” is useless, since it covers very little and hasn’t been updated in two years. The only figure I could find direct from the site itself was a summary page that said the site has “more than 8,000 projects posted monthly”.

I decided to compare this to the figures from the WhichLance Freelance Marketplace Review. The latest version of this report as of the time I write this covers the third quarter of 2010, but apparently Guru stopped giving the author of that report information after the first quarter report from that year. So, I went back to the 1Q2010 review, and it indicated 24,868 projects posted during that timeframe, or around 275 per day. This matches up pretty well with the claim from Guru’s own site, but surprisingly, suggests little growth over the last year.

This level of project volume puts Guru in the “second tier” of sites volume-wise, behind Elance, Freelancer.com and oDesk, which each have over 1,000 new project listings per day. It is actually a little behind vWorker as well.

Other Marketplace Size Metrics

Again here, Guru does not provide a great deal of data on its own. I have gleaned some of this information from WhichLance, as well as from other sources:

  • Project Billings: WhichLance reports 3Q1010 billings of $4.9 million for Guru, up from $4.5 million in the previous quarter. This puts Guru probably in fourth place overall in the market, well behind oDesk and Elance and somewhat behind Freelancer.com.

  • Number of Contractors: Guru now claims to have over 1 million “registered members”, but this likely includes both clients and contractors. That said, most sites have a far greater number of providers than clients, which suggests that Guru likely ranks in second or third place in this regard—definitely behind Freelancer.com, and possibly trailing oDesk as well.

  • Number of Clients: The same issue mentioned above also applies to figuring out the number of clients. Assuming a typical split, Guru again is probably in second or third spot.

  • Alexa Traffic Rank: Guru’s current Alexa traffic rank is 2,023, putting it in the second tier of sites with vWorker.

So, Guru’s best claim to fame quantity-wise is in the area of registered users, which is likely a result of it being the oldest of the big sites (it was founded in 1998). The figures on the whole support Guru’s size placement in the second tier of sites behind the big three (Elance, Freelancer.com and oDesk.) It is still plenty large, however, with lots of activity to keep serious freelancers busy—at least in the more popular categories (the more specialized ones can get a bit sparse). And as we’ll see in the next topic, not being the biggest is nothing to be ashamed of.


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