INTRODUCTION 

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Our guide is designed as a ‘live’ resource, which will be regularly updated as we continue to learn more about Google for Jobs.

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CONTENTS

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Google For Jobs - Feature Overview
  3. Challenges for Employers
  4. Implications for Other Candidate Marketing Channels
  5. Technical Implementation 
  6. Testing Google Jobs and Thoughts on Optimisation
  7. Should you get involved with Google for Jobs?
  8. Industry Resources for Further Reading

1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

WHAT WE KNEW PRE-LAUNCH

  • Google for Jobs is one of three major new services released by Google in 2017. The others are Google for Hire and Google Cloud Job Discovery.
  • It was announced at Google’s annual I/O conference in May 2017, and you can see the full announcement on YouTube.
  • Google for Jobs is currently live in the US only (in English).
  • It’s expected to be launched imminently in other regions, hitting the UK either in late 2017 or early 2018.

THE CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE

  • Google for Jobs will present candidates with a purpose-built interface when they search for a job keyword (e.g. ‘project manager jobs London’), similar to Google Shopping, News and Maps results.
  • Clicking on a result will present users with a Google-skinned summary of pertinent job information – location, hours, salaries, employer reviews, etc.
  • As jobs are often posted in more than one location, there will also be a list of advertisers, so that candidates can pick their preferred option. 
  • Google for Jobs implements Google Cloud Job Discovery. This includes machine learning algorithms that represent a step up in terms of technology.

HOW IT WILL AFFECT THE MARKET

  • Paid search advertising (i.e. Google Adwords PPC) and recruitment aggregators (i.e. Indeed, Adzuna, ZipRecruiter etc) are likely to cost more.
  • Including your jobs in the Google for Jobs scheme will potentially grant you a lot more exposure to candidates.
  • Any player in the market (whether a job board, employer or staffing firm) that doesn't integrate with Google for jobs is going to lose much of their organic search traffic for jobs queries.

HOW TO UTILISE GOOGLE FOR JOBS

  • Google for Jobs is currently ‘organic only’ (i.e. it is not possible to sponsor results or buy advertising at present).
  • We think that, similar to Google Shopping, Google Jobs will eventually incorporate a PPC model.

2. GOOGLE FOR JOBS – FEATURE OVERVIEW 

HOW IT WORKS

  • When the search engine detects that a user is looking for a job it will display the Google for Jobs search box:

As you can see, there are a number of different filtering options available from within the box in the search results.

The first three are always:

  1. A link to the job subject area in general
  2. A link to jobs listed in the last 3 days
  3. A link to full time jobs in that niche.

The rest of the links in the top bar are to related disciplines. Generally, 3 jobs are always visible right from the search results. Google for Jobs supports location filtering right from the search results, so Googling 'engineering jobs CA' will get you results in California, for example:

If a user clicks on anything in this box they enter the full ‘Google for Jobs’ interface where they can filter and browse jobs, etc:

Beneath the Google logo (which takes you back to the regular search results) and dedicated Google Jobs search bar, is a section with two tiers of further filtering options:

The top row presents a number of options which are always as follows:

  • Category
  • Title
  • State
  • City
  • Date Posted
  • Type
  • Company Type
  • Employer

Clicking on options in the top row doesn’t affect the results – instead, it changes the selection of tags that sit underneath. Clicking those tags, in turn, changes the results.

As an example, clicking 'title' presents row of tags to choose from. Note that hovering over these, or clicking the 'slider' icon in the top left, will expand the tags section to reveal additional options:

Let’s look at a job listing in detail:

The job posting itself contains a number of elements:

  1. The job title.
  2. A share button (the link this generates will not work outside of the USA at present).
  3. The company name, logo and location.
  4. Links out to various providers that have the job listed
  5. The age of the advert in days.
  6. The working hours – in this case, 'full time'.
  7. Full job description, preceded by the job title and reference number if applicable, and with a button to expand the view of the text.
  8. Estimated or actual salary depending on what's applicable
  9. Any reviews of the employer that were included in the mark-up.
  10. Finally, a link to the employer’s website, a link to other Google Jobs listings for that employer, and a link to a plain Google search for the employers name.

The Google Jobs search functionality uses machine learning, representing a significant step-up in terms of technology.

BUSINESS IMPLICATIONS

At this stage there is no ‘paid’ version of Google for Jobs, so results are ranked organically in order of their perceived relevance to searchers. However, we anticipate that Google will introduce a PPC-based advertising model for ‘sponsored jobs’ late in 2018.

Google for Jobs means yet more additional aggregated sections in search results, with the potential to impact the visibility of regular AdWords and organic listings. This all has possible knock-on effects for website traffic.

TRY IT OUT

You can see Google for Jobs in action here. The link will open a new window with a US google search box. Enter a specific job search (e.g. ‘project manager jobs new York’) to see how it performs; it may take a few searches for it to work.  We recommend including the word ‘jobs’ to make sure you trigger the job search recognition.

3. CHALLENGES FOR EMPLOYERS

Google for Jobs represents a great opportunity for employers to boost their direct hiring via their careers website. For the time being, Google for Jobs is free, and therefore it's an opportunity to recieve a boost of free candidate traffic.

The only real downside is that most employers will need to do some work to get set up...

If you work with a leading ATS company they are likely to upgrade their platform to be 'Google for Jobs' ready... BUT just because the platform is ready, it doesn't mean that your jobs are able or likely to appear in search results.

The key is to make sure your developer/ATS/careers website is correctly marked-up AND that your jobs have all the required information. This is the easy bit - talk to your provider, or ask us for a quick audit to determine whether you are technically ready.

The more difficult bit is actually providing all of the information that Google specify... You're going to need a detailed location (postcode-level) and salary (or salary range) for each job you want to promote on Google.

Lots of in-house recruiters struggle to convince the wider business to publish salaries. Perhaps this development provides recruiters with another tool to make the case for greater transparency.

4. IMPLICATIONS FOR OTHER CANDIDATE MARKETING CHANNELS

The Google roll out has a number of implications for candidate marketing channels that it’s important to understand ahead of time.

JOB BOARDS

Employers should consider the implications of the 'clustering' of advertisers in Google for Jobs search results.

This means that candidates will now have a choice of which site they visit for a given job. Advertising on a range of job boards is likely to present searchers with multiple options for your single job search result. Whilst this means that where a potential candidate sees your job, they can make use of their favourite job platform, which might increase the chances of getting an application, it doesn’t follow that advertising on multiple job boards will continue to deliver job adverts to multiple candidate touchpoints – merely, it will just offer a broader range of partners for a candidate to apply to on the same, single touchpoint.

So, using a large range of job boards may no longer result in a much wider cast for your recruitment net. A well placed, exclusive advert is likely to deliver the same number of impressions as multiple adverts – the difference it will make relates to candidate convenience.

ADWORDS CAMPAIGNS

Having taken some time to consult with our partners in the USA, since Google Jobs has rolled out, a few clear trends have emerged.

From experience so far, the rule of thumb is that advertisers can expect around 50% less traffic available to buy through AdWords, and also expect the cost of this traffic has roughly doubled.Whilst there will always be differences between region, this does point to paid traffic becoming pricier.


Therefore, if you are running AdWords campaigns you can expect them to become much more expensive - and you may simply not be able to buy the same level of traffic that you do currently.

SEO

Most employers recieve very little traffic from non-branded search queries such as 'project manager jobs london'. Instead, they recieve traffic from branded search terms such as 'IBM jobs'.

We're currently looking at how Google will respond to a combination search i.e. 'IBM project manager jobs london'. From our initial (very low volume) tests, it looks like the empoyers careers website will actually appear below the Google for Jobs results.

If this is true accross the majority of employer searches, then employers stand to lose a proportion of their search engine traffic.

AGREGGATOR SPEND

There has been a sharp rise in the number of employers taking advantage of recruitment aggregators such as Indeed, Adzuna and ZipRecruiter.

We currently use 22 mainstream recruitment aggregators in the UK on behalf of our clients, and we expect them to be affected very differently.

Some aggregators rely on SEO and PPC for the majority of their traffic, and we expect these to be hit very hard, with large increases in cost, and large decreases in available traffic. Database-led aggregators are likely to be less affected (with the caveat that as the other aggregators lose traffic, they are going to become more competitive, which will push prices up).

Affiliate site-based aggregators will see mixed results, as the majority of the affiliate sites are getting most of their traffic from search engines. Aggregators that get a lot of traffic from LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. will be relatively unaffected.

Overall, we are expecting aggregators to be able to deliver less traffic, at a higher cost.

5. TECHNICAL IMPLEMENTATION

HOW TO GET YOUR JOBS LISTED ON GOOGLE JOBS

There's a few methods to getting your jobs listed on Google Jobs – listing your jobs on a partner aggregator or integrated job board, migrating to a enterprise ATS which includes Google Jobs implementation, or ensuring that your own job advertisements are properly marked up so that Google can index your jobs content appropriately.

Marking up your own job listings with the extra info Google use for inclusion will get you into the results. Whilst it's not super complicated, our explanation has to assume some familiarity with basic web development such as HTML, etc.

If you're struggling to follow this content, ask your web developer. Whilst it might sound difficult, we promise that it's not hard!

Before we go into marking up job content, let’s go over some of the formally defined criteria you must meet:

1. Allow frequent crawling

'Crawling' refers to the act of a automated software program following links on the web and discovering web pages. This is the method search engines use to discover content to add to their results. 

Sometimes webmasters place limits on the amount of time that Google can visit your site - how many times they can 'crawl'.

Google already invest a lot of effort in trying to decipher the best rate of crawl for a given site – fast enough to index everything, slow enough to prevent your servers from being slowed down. That said, to ensure integration with Google Jobs, it’s important that you don’t limit the rate that they crawl your site. If you’ve set up limits in Google Search Console, for example, these will need to be relaxed.

2. Add job structured data to your listing
'Structured data' refers to snippets of text specifically placed for the benefit of search engines in the website code. This gives Google the additional info they need to list your jobs.

There are 3 types of strcutrued data Google support:

  1. JSON-LD
  2. RDFa
  3. Microdata

Any of these syntaxes should work, though it’s worth noting that Google generally use JSON-LD for their examples. A ground-up explanation of each of these syntaxes is beyond the scope of this guide. However, this discussion at Stack Overflow is a good starting point for the uninitiated.

We like JSOD-LD, as this allows you to add the required info as a single block of script that you can just copy and paste into the site code - as oppopsed to wrapping loads of tags around everything.

Something we need to clarify is that the information in your mark-up MUST match what's on the page - no sneaking in additional info. Doing things like this will get you excluded.

Google specify a few must-haves for your structured data, whilst some info is optional.

Required information:

  • The date the job was posted - in ISO 8601 format – year/month/day.
  • Description of the job - this is the full description, which must be properly formatted in HTML (with an absolute minimum requirement to use at least paragraph breaks. Lists, headings, bold text etc. are all supported, but you have to include breaks in your description).
  • Organisation - the name of your comapny – this can include your website as well.
  • Location - simply enough – the location of the job. Google state that you should use street level addresses for this field. Practically, we have seen advertisers getting away with just listing a town; your mileage may vary.
  • Job Title - again, straightforward enough. However, Google dedicate additional instructions here – to summarise: DO NOT use this area to try and cram in search keywords if you want your jobs to be indexed. Equally, avoid calls to action, 'apply now's, triple exclamation marks, asterisks, etc. If your vacancy is for a software engineer, use 'Software Engineer', and leave it at that. You have been warned!
  • Valid Dates - this is the final required piece of mark-up which specifies when the posting expires.

Recommended information:

  • Salary - the precise salary (not an estimate) as provided by the employer. This can be quantified as hourly, weekly, monthly, or yearly. Ranges are also supported – specifying a minimum and a maximum value.
  • Employment Type - this supports: full/part time, contractor, temporary, intern, volunteer, or 'per day'. These can be combined – such as 'full time contractor'. Other info you can add include a company logo specified with mark-up and reviews of your company on sites such as Glassdoor.

3. Make sure you have valid XML sitemaps of your jobs

An XML sitemap differs from a user sitemap - the kind you might have clicked on. An XML sitemap is a list of your pages that is seen only by search engines - not users.

  • Your sitemap should be updated at least daily, and at most hourly.

If you’re making more updates than that, you’ll need to contact Google directly

  • Make sure that jobs you’re listing actually are accessible by Google (don’t list jobs on orphaned pages, that are hidden behind a firewall, blocked in robots.txt or otherwise hidden)
  • Try to make sure that your 'last modified' data is actually accurate if you want Google to pay attention to your changes. If Google are constantly recrawling identical URLs when you are saying that they’ve changed, expect to get jobs crawled less often as they try to save their bandwidth
  • Don’t include duplications of jobs in your sitemap
  • Don’t include search results pages
  • Ping Google when you update your sitemap by sending a GET request to Google in the following URL format:

http://www.google.com/ping?sitemap=location_of_sitemap

IE:

http://www.google.com/ping?sitemap=http://www.example.com/sitemap.xml

4. When a job expires, make sure it gets removed properly
Either remove the mark-up from the page, make sure the URL for the job is removed (and returns a 404 code - a message to search bots that the URL is no longer valid), or noindex the page ('noindex' is a command you can add to the page code that tells search engines not to add the page, and to remove it from the search results.

The biggest takeaway from this is that ‘completeness’ is important – if you want to perform well, try to fill every field with full fat information - full addresses, accurate, detailed, well written and formatted job descriptions, compliant job titles, etc. Failing to fill out required fields is likely to prevent your jobs getting listed.

Finally, when your jobs are indexed, you’ll be able to see detailed information on the performance in a new section of Google Webmaster Tools dedicated to the new service.

6. THOUGHTS ON OPTIMISATION

OPTIMISING JOB LISTINGS

If you want to be a part of Google for Jobs, there are a few areas to consider.

SEO for Google for Jobs is a departure from typical recruitment methodology.  In the past, optimising specific job posts has been an inefficient endeavour (due to the fleeting nature of job posts) so attention was focused on landing pages instead - especially for sites like job boards.

In the new ecosystem, the SEO of specific jobs will be much more important, as they’ll be accessed and crawled with much more scrutiny.  It's important to think about the sorts of search terms that your prospective candidates will be using.

One approach is to build up your search lexicon in advance (conducting keyword research in the vein of traditional SEO to find the phrases that get searched a lot), and use this list to base your job adverts on. 

Fully detailed job descriptions, street level office addresses, and other aspects of “completeness” are going to be vital; you will need to ensure that your job submissions are as fully detailed as they can possibly be.

7. SHOULD YOU GET INVOLVED WITH GOOGLE FOR JOBS?

If you’re using any of the larger job board or aggregator platforms on the market, your job listings are probably already included (whether you have noticed or not).  And if not, if you're using a major ATS, they will likely add the mark-up to your site soon. We’re already seeing some UK sites ranking in the USA, even if they can't be accessed from here yet.

We think it's likely that Google are going to monetise the service, so you may find that you need to pay for the traffic later on when this happens - although you'll likely be paying more for AdWords and aggregators if you don't adopt, anyway.

With candidates likely to head towards Google’s new search options, it offers a great opportunity for employers to improve their direct recruitment and reduce their advertising spend. And whilst it's free... Why wouldn't you get involved?

8. INDUSTRY RESOURCES FOR FURTHER READING 

If you have created a resource that you would like us to include in our list, please contact us.

Google Guide to Jobs Markup A guide to the markup needed for your job content.
Google Cloud Job Discovery Details and features of Google Cloud Job Discovery.
Google Webmaster Blog post announcing Google for Jobs Official Google announcement.
Google Webmaster Blog post about ‘Enriched Search Results’ Quality guidelines from Google relating to ‘enriched search’.
Google for Hire Information about Google for Hire.
Google Developer Resource on Structured Data Includes information about how to markup your job content.
Google Structured Data Testing Tool Use this to check your markup.
Structured Data General Guidelines Information quality guidelines such as completeness and relevance.
Madgex Guide Email sign up required
Recruitics Guide Email sign up required
Podcast with Bogomil Balkansky Google VP responsible for strategy for recruitment related products

 

If you would like to find out more...

Contact the Talent Nexus team.

We're endeavouring to put together the definitive guide, so if you can contribute, please get in touch.

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About Talent Nexus

Talent Nexus (formerly Calibrate Digital) deliver revolutionary recruitment marketing services to job boards and direct employers.

We are a full service digital agency, offering advertising services across aggregators, search engines, social channels and programmatic channels, in addition to content marketing, advanced web analytics, SEO and marketing campaigns.

This guide has been collated by Co-Founder Thomas Prince, with contributions from our advertising and SEO teams, as well as our valued industry partners. If you would like to discuss anything in this resource, please contact Thomas on 0207 127 0735, thomas.prince@talentnexus.com or via our contact us page.

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