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Google for Jobs: Why Recruiter and Job Site SEO Will Need to Remain Competitive

Simon Schnieders, Founder of Blue Array

In April 2017, reports had been made that Google were potentially testing a new job search feature. The big news was that this job-search feature would be Google’s first foray into recruitment as it has been designed to help users find new active job openings directly from Google’s search results.

On May 18th, Google confirmed suspicions and have officially announced that these reports are in fact true. The platform aims to removes the hassle of searching for jobs online with CEO, Sundar Pichai, commenting that “The challenge of connecting job seekers to better information on job availability is like many search challenges we’ve solved in the past.”

Whilst this news may has caused a slight sense of panic among those that work within recruitment, the search engine is well known for chasing high ticket or high volume areas of search as seen within search results for local searches, flights and finance verticals, which feature their handpicked listings.

There are numerous job listing websites within search results that are of low quality to the user and with Google’s continuous stream of updates to improve the user experience and shrinking revenues from Adwords and Doubleclick, it comes as no surprise that the search engine would want to launch a jobs vertical at some point in the future to further improve the quality of results for the user and to go head to head with the market incumbent Indeed.

As expected, with an announcement like this, Google utilised their annual developer conference 'I/O' held in San Francisco to announce they are rolling out a job search feature called “Google for Jobs” in the coming weeks.

Although a range of industry professionals have been quick to investigate the impact this new search could have, until we identify what Google’s process will be for ranking and listing jobs, it’s still too early to decipher exactly how it will affect these websites.

However, It’s clear to see that this new job-search feature will include a broad range of aggregated jobs for all types of users. This is a direct and arguably much needed challenger to the monopoly of Indeed.

It has been speculated that this new job portal will show a box-style result, similar to the structure of localised search results, with listings down one side and results situated in the middle. Once a user has clicked through, the portal features multiple job-specific options that will allow the user to filter and narrow down the search for particular jobs that suit their preferences. Users will be able to select the type of of job category they want as well as being able to filter jobs by titles, dates, types, location or specific employers.

Although Google’s job-search aggregator will  be partnering with other job search services such as, LinkedIN, Facebook and Glassdoor, it will most likely also feature listings from third-party job sites. Which will undoubtedly impact the amount of visitors to these individual sites. Google’s job listing results will be situated at the top of the results so whilst they may show particular listings from third-party sites, it will mean that users may no longer visit these sites to conduct a search and instead rely on Google to show relevant listings making it even more important for a company’s job listing to achieve placement in this section and get noticed.  

Google’s job-search aggregator will, at first, be released within the U.S, but if this new feature is deemed a success, then it won’t be long before Google implements it in the UK as research has found that traffic to job sites in the UK has heightened over the past year due to unemployment levels being historically low.  This will result in an  an even bigger sense of competition among recruiters and employers to have their listing within both the job portal or at least as high up in the search engine results pages underneath as possible.

However, in order for a company to achieve this visibility, they need to ensure they are utilising SEO techniques on their websites. Including optimising pages with job listings, creating richer categorisation and as much as possible using keywords that match what a user typically searches, locational information and perhaps even facilitating user generated content such as job reviews to ensure Google will prioritise your job listing above others.