Google for Jobs is coming soon. Gain or pain for SEO?

“We’re always looking for new ways to improve the Search experience for our users, whether they’re looking for movies to see, recipes to make, or job opportunities” – that was last month’s response of Google officials to rumours of testing a new tool dedicated to people looking for a job. Then, at the annual conference Google I/O, the corporation confirmed that it would soon launch final version of “Google for Jobs”. How will it look like and most importantly – what will be its impact on SEO?

Dan Shure was accidentally involved in a live test of this new tool and he shared screenshots on Twitter:

This is another element which downgrades standard search results. Besides adverts, maps and direct responses, a job offer search engine is to be a subsequent box to some inquiries. According to the observations, the box appeared with such inquiries as “online work”, entering data online work”, “newbury street work”. There is no doubt that organic traffic from inquiries connected with work will drop considerably and will be intercepted by a new Google tool.

After switching to the tool there is an interface similar to Google Maps:

The number of filters and parametrisations definitely meets ambitions of Google’s kindom of search, although it is not to be the axis of this tool. Google CEO announced the development of Google for Jobs in strict relationship with the expansion of machine learning. Adverts will be precisely tailored to users. In beta tests with a few American companies, the effectiveness of application for their job offers was raised by 18% (more in Sundar Pichai manifest). Yet, as far as more realistic assessment is concerned, it is worth mentioning that in this example job offers come directly from advertising portals and that they are signed with their domains. It generates a problem with content originality known in the SEO world. For instance, what about the same adverts appearing on several portals – which one will be selected as the correct one?

However, it may happen that such doubts will be unnecessary because according to the first published animations it seems that even after clicking on an offer, the user remains within Google:

Only after pressing “View on…”, the user is transferred to the correct portal.

This is quite an aggressive entry into the job offer market.

The lion’s share for Google

Current typical route for the user entering “city work” in the search engine is:
1. Google: Entering an query and clicking on one of results at the top positions.
2. Job site: Filtering and adding more queries.
3. Job site: Selecting job offers.
4. Job site / employer / post: Application for the best job offers.

After the changes, a probable path will be transformed significantly:
1. Google: Entering an query and clicking on Google for Jobs tool.
2. Google: Filtering and adding more queries.
3. Google: Selecting job offers.
4. Job site / employer / post: Application for the best job offers.

Google plans to take two stages. If job offers will be uploaded and displayed within Google for Jobs without any problems, users may have only one reason for leaving this tool – an application which is obviously the rarest stage. In such scenario, current job portals may have only to take care of the apply button.

SEO in Google for Jobs

All SEOs know that mantra: as long as search engines exist there will be a possibility of manipulating search results. It should fit with Google for Jobs. SEO Departments of large advertising portals may already consider transferring some of their resources in order to obtain top visibility in a new search engine for job offers. But…

A basic difficulty will obviously be the strong personalisation of results and the intense use of machine learning which in most cases is a black box even for programmers. Larger companies may skip an advertising portal and send adverts directly to Google tool – for instance FedEx did that in beta tests. Another clearly described problem is absorbing at least 2/3 of the recent actions of users by the tool. In the light of all these changes we should ask not only whether SEO is possible in Google for Jobs but whether it is profitable.

First serious responses will appear soon

Google for Jobs will be launched in the USA within a few weeks, probably in June. We are looking forward to testing it and to the reactions of the largest advertising portals. Observations presented above are based on the first pieces of information and screenshots. A final tool may be considerably milder (or more aggressive) entry into job offer market.

Sources: Searchengineland.com, Blog.google. Pictures: Dan Shure, Google, Nprofit.

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