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Google for Jobs: what’s the best way to make your vacancies visible?

We recently asked: “Google for Jobs: Is this the end of traditional job boards?” The answer, for the time being, is not necessarily. However, the organic traffic to job boards, on which they mainly rely, will be drastically reduced. What will be the consequences for visibility of your organisation’s vacancies? More specifically, the vacancies you also post on your own website?

Your vacancy in two locations

One aspect which was not covered in last week’s question is how Google treats multiple variants of the same vacancy. It is a major source of frustration for any job seeker; encountering the same vacancy on four different sites. In the meantime, your aim is to optimise your chances of the ideal candidate.

As an employer, what if you have posted your vacancies on your own website, nicely created using JobPosting structured data, and you’d like to see them in Google Jobs. We foresee this being introduced in the Netherlands in the very near future, and the initial results are certainly very promising! In order to increase your opportunities, you’ve also posted your vacancy on your ‘go to job board’. So what happens to your vacancy and which variant will become visible in Google Jobs?

Duplicate content

Google takes an even more radical approach to duplicates in Google Jobs than in regular search results. In the latter case, any duplicates are devalued and positioned further down the list than the original. With a little effort however, the search engine can find such duplicates. Google Jobs deduplicates the vacancies before displaying them within the vacancy search engine.

As a Search Engine Optimiser, I can appreciate that methodology, as SEO aims to provide the best answer to users’ questions in order to top the search results. Nothing is more annoying than encountering double/identical information a number of times. However, this means that Google chooses which source reference is included with a vacancy. It need not necessarily be a problem when paying one-off for placement on a job board, but it is less favourable when paying a fee to a recruitment agency, which then introduces candidates for the vacancy.

As an employer, you also want your name and details to be visible, when considering the increasing importance of employer branding . The million-dollar question therefore is: how does Google determine which vacancy – or perhaps more importantly: which vacancy source – is displayed and which is not? We have tested this together with Rituals, in the United States.

Improving visibility of organisation vacancies

 Rituals has put this methodology to the test for the vacancies in the United States. Rituals vacancies are posted on their own recruitment platform, but have also been shared on the Glassdoor job board.

The Rituals vacancy pages contain Structured Data and most recommended fields are complete. Glassdoor features less information created with structured data, despite all required fields having been completed.

Image 3. The JobPosting data for the Rituals website is shown above, Glassdoor below. Warnings are recommended additional values for the structured data of the vacancy.

If it is not the quality of the vacancy structure which matters, could it possibly be due to the placement timing? That too is irrelevant, seeing as the Rituals vacancy was already available on the own platform prior to its placement via Glassdoor. However, availability does not necessarily mean that the page has also already been indexed by Google. Unfortunately, we have no insight into when Google indexes any individual page.

We suspect that a number of issues apply here:

  1. Glassdoor is directly integrated with Google Jobs (just like Linkedin, for example) which could mean that this is regarded to be the source;
  2. The Rituals sub-domain where the vacancies are located is quite recent and therefore still lacking in terms of dominant ‘authority’. The Job boards have such authority and are therefore chosen as the source;
  3. Due to the lower authority of the sub-domain, Google does not take the time/effort to include the structured data of the Rituals vacancy. The inclusion of additional information takes longer for lower authority domains due to less frequent crawling.

And so the answer as to how Google determines the source reference remains elusive, despite an extensive Internet search to discover ‘how’ it happens. We only know ‘that’ it happens.

What can you do?

  1. The vacancy information input in the CMS must be created directly using Structured data. This ensures that Google always understands the context of the information on a page, in this case the vacancy.
  2. Do not locate your vacancies on a sub-domain (vacancies.yourcompany.com) for example. Google regards a sub-domain to be a separate website and is less likely to index it.
  3. Make sure you have an effective, dynamic xml site map. As soon as you have added a new vacancy/page, whereby the last modification date (‘lastmod’) indicates that it is a new page for Google, Google is more likely to include it.
  4. You may consider the option of postponing your publication on other platforms for a few days if you believe this to be beneficial, as it increases the chance that your result will be defined as ‘original’.
  5. Regardless of how the vacancy is displayed, you want it to show up in Google Jobs, so make sure to register with the right job boards. Not all job boards are ready for integration with Google Jobs; check with your contact person whether it is on the roadmap!

Finally

Despite Google Jobs requiring structured data in order to display vacancies, we have achieved fantastic results using JobPosting in the Netherlands in recent months, but also with other forms of Structured data.

The provision of context for the information on a page for the benefit of search engines is very effective, and we advise you to apply Structured data in order to achieve better organic results, regardless of whether you intend to actively use Google Jobs.

Moreover, I personally believe in the power of specialised job boards alongside the more general platform such as that offered by Google. Specialist filters greatly facilitate the search for appropriate vacancies. My advice: Go with the Google flow, but also differentiate and specialise in a market/speciality segment to maintain good organic visibility.

This article was written by Kevin Veenman, Sr SEO Consultant at Expand Online (part of Dept). The article was published on Emerce.