Google for Jobs FAQs

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

What is Google for Jobs?

Google for Jobs is a new search engine within the Google Search engine. It was launched in mid-2017 but it seems few companies understand the impact it is having. (That’s another case for better analytics in HR…but that’s another story for another day!) Google’s goal for Google for Jobs is simple – making job search more accurate, more convenient, more relevant and faster for the job seeker… and many companies are just not playing according to Google’s rules.

How does Google for Jobs work?

Like Google search, Google for Jobs works very simply. Googlebots search the Internet for jobs from different job sites as well as company websites. Like other job boards, they aggregate them and display them in Google for Jobs. (In the past, the jobs showed up in Google Search…but that’s ancient history.) A job seeker still begins his search as he always did by typing a job title into Google search. But now, your company’s job posts are displayed in the blue Google for Jobs box, not the general Google Search. The box includes only the 3 jobs that Google’s algorithm determines is the best match for the job seeker’s query. If a job seeker click on any of the jobs, a larger search screen opens that displays more jobs.  The challenge for business is two-fold. First, make sure your jobs are included in Google for Jobs (which isn’t happening for the majority of companies.) Second, get ranked in the top 3 (which again isn’t happening).  That means most job seekers are never seeing your job openings in Google!

How do we get our jobs ranked in the top 3 spots in Google for Jobs?

That’s a difficult question to answer with certainty because Google doesn’t release everything they include in their search engine ranking algorithm. But thanks to a lot of really smart people trying to figure it out, they were able to reverse engineer most of the criteria…and the list is over 300-strong! That’s right – more than 300 different factors go into where your jobs (or anything you post on the Internet) show up in Google search engines.  It would be nearly impossible to rework your content to meet all 300+ factors and it’s not necessary. But  there are a few factors that are know to influence rankings because Google does weigh each factor differently.  It’s constantly updating its algorithm too in its pursuit to deliver the most relevant answers to users. So it’s important for recruiters (or whomever is responsible for posting jobs to be on top of SEO.) The best practice is to include in each job posting the elements that Google has determined that job seekers find most important. Click here for a short list.

Why does Google for Jobs Matter? Don’t job seekers just start their search on Indeed, Glassdoor, Monster and other job boards?

Let’s start with a few very simple facts.

1. ZERO PERCENT of your Indeed jobs get indexed in the Google search engines, including Google for Jobs.
2. Overall Google is the search engine of choice for nearly 75 PERCENT of users (compared to Bing and Baidu at about 10 percent each.)
3. More important, Google owns over 90% of mobile search market share.

The bottom line is that most people rely on Google when it comes to search.

More than 1/2 of our candidates use an Apple device (iPhone, iPad, Mac). Does Google still matter?

There’s just no escaping the impact of Google.  Who do you think runs the search engine behind Safari? That’s right: Google!

How many job seekers actually start their job search on Google?

Exact numbers for job search are also hard to come by (Google doesn’t release them) but multiple sources suggest close to 3 out of 4 job seekers start their search on Google. This amounts to hundreds of millions of job searches each month. Job seeker behaviors are shifting and there is a dramatic shift underway affecting they way people finds jobs. For now it seems Google is both shifting consumer behavior and controlling it. Play by Google’s rules … or else!

How can I tell if my jobs are showing up on Google for Jobs?

You can simply do a search for the job title you posted and search through the listings. If your job shows up, pay attention to the “Apply” buttons displayed. The goal should be to give job seekers the option to apply on your website or on your ATS, not be directed away to a 3rd party site like Monster, CareerBuilder, ZipRecruiter, or LinkedIn. You wouldn’t send your website visitors to a competitor’s site to shop. Why would you send job seekers to a site where they can be distracted by competitor’s jobs?

Can I just post jobs to Google for Jobs?

NO! You can’t submit jobs specifically to Google for Jobs like you do other job boards. To get Google for Jobs to index your jobs directly, you need to play by Google’s rules. That requires adding something calling structured data markup or job posting schema. Adding the schema requires a working knowledge of HTML and the JSON file format. (which few HR pros and recruiters have.) You will need direct access to the web management system where you can add the code on each job posting page. Because each job post must be unique, you will need to repeat this process for each job you want indexed by Google (as well as other job sites.)

Doesn’t my Applicant Tracking System (ATS) post my jobs to Google for Jobs like any other job board?

Many ATS do the work and forward your job posting to Google for Jobs. Google for Jobs treats every Apply option equally so now prospective applicants have to choose where to go to apply and your website won’t be an option. Google also selects which job boards will be associated with your job post; it doesn’t offer an apply button for every job board you use. Often the “apply” button selected by Google will be a relatively unknown job board such as Neuvoo or Geebo, not CareerBuilder or ZipRecruiter. Your prospective candidate might be hesitant to apply on these sites. And in order to apply, they’d have to open up a new account. The candidate experience degrades exponentially with each click and job seekers will likely never reach your career or job page. The best approach is direct integration to ensure the job seeker is given the choice to apply on your website, not the ATS career site or another 3rd party site.

If I post my jobs to a job board, won’t the job show up on Google for Jobs?

Yes, many job boards will pass their jobs to Google for Jobs …except one. Indeed. Yes, that’s right. Jobs posted on Indeed are not indexed on Google for Jobs. Since nearly 75% of jobseekers start their search journey on Google, many candidates may never see your job post.

All of my jobs are currently posted to one page but my jobs aren't showing in Google for Jobs. Why?

If you have more than one job per page, Google for Jobs will not index the individual jobs – plain and simple. In other words, career pages with multiple jobs posted DO NOT get indexed. Google’s playbook for Google for Jobs requires one job per page and the schema must be included on each job page. The scheme must also be validated according to Google’s rules.

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