What is a job search engine? Beyond Google and Yahoo!

Traditional organic SEO means (to put things simply) focus on mainly Google (organic) results and, if you have time, Yahoo (organic) results. It’s no wonder – if someone wants to find something on the web, we all know where people go first – it makes sense to focus your resources there. But what happens when they discover a ‘new’ search engine?

Don’t get me wrong – no-one’s about to oust Google from the top spot, but search patterns show that when people find a site that delivers the content they’re after, they go to that site. I’ll give you an example.

I’m a cyclist, and love to spend all my hard-earned on things for bikes. At first, when I was getting used to shopping online, I went to Google and searched for what I was after. Simple pattern – people do it. But then, after a while, I found that only two websites from the Google results suited me – and they way I wanted to shop. Now, it’s very rare that I Google for bike stuff – I’ve been brought in to the brand by Wiggle and Chainreactioncycles. These are “my” new search engines. Job done for those two companies.

Back to recruitment… using that example. How many candidates search for “London Marketing Jobs” every week on Google? I’m not sure ( I wish I had that level of insight!) but what I do know is that all of the results on the first page are sites with their own job search engine… www.utalkmarketing.com – www.brandrepublic.com – www.regananddean.co.uk – www.marketingweek.co.uk – www.londonjobs.co.uk etc. You can probably see where I’m heading with this. The point is, when a candidate finds a site that delivers the search results that they want, will they move to that site’s brand and away from Google?

So what can we learn from this?

  1. Let’s not get carried away – and remember that Google’s own guidelines on optimisation are healthy as standalone advice.  A good page structure and page meta are helpful in all sorts of ways – not just getting to the top in Google
  2. Make sure your job search works well for people.  You’d be surprised how many internal site searches don’t deliver what people need or expect.
  3. Use Aggregators.  It stands to reason that these services –
    1job.co.uk,
    trovit.co.uk,
    indeed.co.uk,
    workcircle.co.uk,
    indeed.co.uk
    … all carry lots of might – and candidates are more likely to use them as their job search engine
  4. Be innovative.  Putting your jobs on Facebook?  Tweeting your jobs on Twitter?  Why not?  It’s minimal effort and these are two big search channels.
  5. You may only get a few chances to grab that candidate in Google, so do keyword research and get some relevant jobs and other content on your site.

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