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How will Google for Jobs affect traffic for the major job sites?

When Google confirmed rumours that it was entering the recruitment market with Google for Jobs, some webmasters reacted with concern, while others seemed eager to get on board.

There’s no doubt Google has enormous power. Some accuse the search-engine giant of steamrollering competitors when it enters new markets; the recent EU fine for ‘illegal’ practices is a case in point.

On the other hand, Google highlights its mission to return results specific to user intent. This can only be a good thing for users searching for particular jobs. If there’s one major vertical in which Google doesn’t dominate at the moment, it’s job search. For certain keywords, the SERPs can occasionally return inaccurate or outdated results, which has led to many job seekers going straight to sites like Indeed and ignoring search altogether.

So do the major job sites have anything to worry about and how will Google for Jobs affect traffic to the major job sites? Let’s take a closer look…

The current state of job site SEO

Indeed is undoubtedly the main player when it comes to job site SEO. The company has a comprehensive SEO strategy in place which, combined with a stellar reputation, should help it resist Google’s planned changes - at least in the short-term. Indeed’s SEO strategy is so good that the company has become many job searchers’ go-to recruitment website.

Other companies have been quick to understand the predicament they face in the wake of Google’s announcement. After all, Google for Jobs' impact on major job sites should be huge. A host of well and lesser-known job sites are likely to see a significant increase in traffic, which is many in the US have been so eager to jump aboard the Google recruitment train.

Indeed is the exception and won’t be taking part in the Google for Jobs scheme. It sees its direct relationship with job searchers as its unique selling proposition. The company knows customer relationships are the key to success in the market. But Google knows this too - which is surely why it’s so eager to grab a piece of the action.

Why Indeed’s success could also prove its downfall

Indeed’s SEO strategy is so good that it ranks top for thousands of long-tail keywords. This is sometimes also the case for jobs for which it has no listings, which goes against the idea of user intent that Google holds so dear.

By posting listings for specific jobs across many platforms, Google for Jobs will provide a better service for job searchers. Meanwhile, many recruiters will no doubt welcome the news.

It may take a while for Indeed to lose traffic. But as more users catch on, Google for Jobs could easily stake its claim to Indeed’s throne. While recent events show Google is far from unstoppable, it is incredibly powerful – and the future doesn’t look good for any companies in the job market that try to ignore or, indeed, compete with Google’s onward march.