Recruitment SEO: Get your listings ready for Google For Jobs

26th Dec 2017 by Manuel Engelbrecht
11 minute read

This year, at the annual I/O conference, Google announced to introduce a new vertical: Entering the Recruitment Space. This will fundamentally change the way applicants search for and find listings online. Moreover, it will become crucial to develop new strategies to maximize the visibility and conversion of your job postings online.


1. Google's Interest in the Recruitment Space
2. Solving Problems job seekers face
3. How to make your Jobs Postings findable in the Search Results
4. Optimize your Listings to maximize Visibility 

GOOGLE'S INTEREST IN THE RECRUITMENT SPACEBildschirmfoto 2017-12-18 um 14.39.09.jpg

Image: Google

First things first: What is the rationale for Google to move into the Recruitment arena?

 [Google for Jobs] is the first talent acquisition technology built primarily for candidates, not for the end users—recruiters. It was developed so that candidates can have a better and easier experience finding the jobs they want.
Tim Sackett, President, HRU Technical Resources

Google's idea of implementing a job search engine mainly arose from the lack of user friendliness on existing sites. There is a huge opportunity in creating a singular contact point for job seekers with no duplicate postings and the elimination of irrelevant jobs.

 We want to do what we do best: Search
Nick Zakrasek, Co-Founder & Product Lead, Google for Jobs

In the first stage of the roll-out, Google seems not to plan to allow employers to post jobs directly on its search engine (although it might be very lucrative). The tech heavyweight is not competing directly with e.g. Indeed or Monster but is crawling existing portals and company websites to provide merged, sophisticated job posting data - more or less the business model Google chose with its regular search.Then, the job-seeker is forwarded to the second-layer portals like Monster, CareerBuilder or the company website itself. If a job listing is posted in multiple places, you'll be able to apply at your preferred site.

 We are not participating in Google for Jobs at the moment. [...] Jobs posted on Indeed are not indexed by Google.
Paul D'Arcy, Worldwide Marketing, Alliances and Business Development, Indeed

A clever strategy: If Google is to become the first point of contact for job seekers , the company will built up immense power, since its algorithm determines the visibility and eventually the success of the different portals. Indeed fights this attack on its dominating position in the recruitment market by not indexing its exact listing URLs and consequently preventing Google search to show them.

It is questionable, however, if Indeed will persevere this boycott when more and more recruitment traffic is guided through Google - probably not. Like in regular search, it's surely part of Google's strategy to implement paid ads at some point and make both job portals and companies outright pay for visibility. Furthermore, adapting your Recruitment Search Engine Optimization will become essential if you want to position your organic job posting results on top of a specific category.


Google's AI expertise will enable the company to solve major existing problems job seekers are faced with, which other players still did not found a solution yet. 


Let's face it: Most job descriptions are limited, out of date, and often poorly written, which makes it hard for services to identify and classify listings correctly after scraping them. Thus, in conventional job search, "HR" gives you results which indicate the hours worked, and keywords like "benefits" often spit out results which describe an additional compensation:

Bildschirmfoto 2017-12-18 um 16.36.25-1.pngImage: Google

This is super frustrating for job seekers which makes the experience of current job search problematic due to inaccurate and misleading results. Google tackles this problem by incorporating the machine learning mechanisms they already use for web search, which clearly identify the actual meaning of both search terms and matches them with suitable listings.

Same Jobs, different Titles 

Another pain point of job seekers is the variety of jobs and job titles for similar offers. The classic example is a "Marketing Manager" looking for a job. There are thousands of titles, which are more or less talking about the same position: “Digital Marketing Manager,” “Marketing Specialist,” and so forth. Ineffective search engines are not able to cluster those distinct job titles and provide incomplete or wrong results. This also means that similar jobs are better comparable for applicants. Companies use different lingo in their job descriptions, which Google assimilates to provide a seamless experience.Image: Google

Additional Data: Compensation and Commuting Time

Building on the notion of transparency and comparability of job characteristics, the commute to the job and the employer's salary expectation are crucial considerations for candidates when applying. Google knows that and integrates its Google Maps API to calculate the driving time from the applicants home to the offering firm.
Second, Google tries to provide users with accurate salary information. Since over 80% of job postings do not provide salary information as of now,  the company states that the data is drawn from sources across the web like Glassdoor, PayScale, LinkedIn, Paysa and more”. If the job posting company specifies an amount, those two values are displayed, as well as a comparison to an industry average. 


Image: Google


As stated above, Google is crawling the internet to index relevant jobs, no jobs can be posted directly on the site. Thus, there are two possible ways to make your job postings findable with Google Search:

1. Direct Integration with Google with your company's website.

Using your company's website is most reliable method to ensure that Google indexes your job postings. First, make sure that your job posting webpages are indexable. If you can find your specific job posting URLs already on regular Google search, you are good to go. Second, use structured data types to fill in the properties required to display in the search results. You can find a extensive guide here and the full definitions here. Be aware that if you miss any of the required fields, the job postings will not be considered for the enhanced search results. Third, to be sure that Google is informed about changes to your postings, use sitemapsFinally, you can use Google Search Console to view analytics, such as clicks and impressions on your job postings.

2. Use a third-party Job Site / ATS that integrates with Google for Jobs.

The ATS', job boards and job distributors listed below currently integrate their job posting content with Google. If your listings are running on one of those platforms, you should appear in the Google for Jobs search results automatically. Be aware that this list is subject to change.

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Careerbuilder
  • Glassdoor
  • ZipRecruiter
  • Snagajob
  • Monster
  • Jibe
  • JazzHR
  • iCIMS
  • Direct Employers
  • America’s Job Exchange
  • Madgex
  • WayUp
  • myCNAjobs
  • Higher Education Recruitment Consortium
  • Jora
  • Local Job Network



Google's Artificial Intelligence will scope out which title candidates click more frequently on and reward those with a higher ranking. Provide concise, readable titles to boost the suitability and click-through-rates.
Don't include job codes, addresses, dates, salaries or company names in the title field. Abusing Special Characters might cause the markup to be considered as Spammy Structured Markup.Untitled-1.png

Image: Google


As of now, only 20% of postings reveal a salary information. Especially corporate TAs show react allergically if they are asked to reveal compensations to a wider public. But be aware: Google will punish you and decrease your visibility significantly if no quantitative salary data is revealed. This adds to the transparency narrative Google wants to provide to job seekers - the vision that all relevant data is available while searching for the perfect job.

Concentrate your Efforts on Original Content

To further maximize the applicant's experience, Google will try to avoid sending job seekers first to an intermediary job board first that forwards to a company's website. Try to establish a strong company website with postings where Google is crawling from. Indeed, as stated above, is not even indexed by Google, so do not use it if you want to appear on the results whatsoever. 

 As more ATS content becomes available to Google for Jobs, less and less job board content is going to show up. Unless, of course, job boards pay for the exposure.
Tim Sackett, President, HRU Technical Resources

Provide exact Locations for Commuting Times

Google's feature is pretty useless if the job you posted is located in the "Greater London Area" . Instead, feed the algorithm with rewards exact location inputs like "15 Foubert's Pl, Soho, London W1F 7QB, UK". It adores yummy accuracies like that and will pay it back by putting you on top of search results.

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Make sure your Career Site is trusted

Follow conventional wisdom and basic SEO rules concerning your website: Implement https://, avoid downgrading your credibility by only implementing trusted backlinks and be aware of keywords that give you a bad ranking.


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Tags: Google, GoogleforJobs, PPC, CPC, SEO, Seach, Search Engine, Recruitment, AI, Machine Learning

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