Google Penguin 2 and the Jobs in Ireland

Did you hear Google released a major update to Penguin 2 on Friday? Matt Cutts (the head of Google’s Webspam team) recently confirmed on his blog that Penguin 2.0 is now live.

So let’s see how did the Google Penguin 2 update affected our Irish online recruitment industry. Here is the search result page for the word “Jobs” made in the Google.ie.

Make sure if you do this search yourself that you are not logged in into Google yourself, have removed the Google cookie, etc – so that you do not see the Google’s “Personalised” search result for you.

Here is the new google.ie ranking for the search word “jobs”:

  1. Jobs.ie
  2. IrishJobs.ie
  3. FindAJob.ie
  4. Indeed.ie
  5. RecruitIreland.com
  6. Monster.ie
  7. Fas.ie
  8. Ie.JobRapido.com
  9. JobsToday.ie
  10. Twitter.com/jobs

So what can we conclude from the list of the sites that a are on the first page for the phrase jobs? By comparing what we have used to see there before the Google Penguin 2 update we can see what sites have been affected. Let’s start with the sites not affected by the update:

The SAON Group web sites leading with the purchased Jobs.ie site on top and their original IrishJobs.ie is steadily on top.

Nothing changed there for years. In fact may years. The last change there actually when Jobs.ie overtook IrishJobs.ie. If my memory serves me correctly that was towards the end of the 2005. Very shortly after that IrishJobs.ie bought Jobs.ie.

So since 2005 the first two search results for the search for “jobs” have not changed in Ireland. So is Google doing much really with all this Panda, Penguin & Penguin 2 “updates”? Well in the last 7 years the results on top are not changing at all. Or does IrishJobs.ie & Jobs.ie have so good SEO specialists to keep them on top for all this years? It must be one of those.

The next three slots are: Findajob.ie (aka LoadzaJobs.ie), Indeed.ie and Monster.ie. So what’s new here? Nothing much really in relation to the Google Penguin 2 update. Long term there isn’t much that has changed in here in the last 10 years really. What has changed is that Loadza have changed their domain name several times. They cannot seem to get it right really. EmployIreland.com that was 4th there is replaced by Indeed.ie about a year or more ago when they came to our market. Monster is the 5th recruitment web site there for the last 10 years.
So in essence the top 5 results for the word “jobs” haven’t changed at all in the last Google Penguin 2 update.

Where the changes did occur are on the bottom part of the search page. That is the space that in the last 10 years have been occupied mostly by the Irish start up job boards or similar sites. FAS was always there somewhere. They did rebrand to SOLAS, but forgot to do it online. Hence FAS.ie is still there. Good old civil servants…

So what the Google Penguin 2 update did affect is the last 4 remaining slots the search results page fro the word “jobs”. You can say Google haven’t changed much really. What we are going to look at is if the Google Penguin 2 update was good actually. Or is it a step back in the quality of the search results?

The bottom of the page of the search results for jobs have been occupied by start-up job boards. It always was a dynamic space. In the last 10 year, about a 100 web sites appeared and disappeared from there. I can remember the first Irish Jobs Aggregator IrishJobs.ie featuring there, and a long list of site showing Irish jobs listings. There was one recruitment agency that made up there – in 2010 when the CPL.ie new web site was released. In this new update CPL.ie dropped to 128 place, while their other site CPLJobs.com landed on a much better 53rd slot. Is there a hint that CPL.ie got hit by the Google Penguin 2 update? Most likely from the way it is ranking now.

It is still quite strange that no other recruitment agency got listed on the first page for the word “jobs” there ever, isn’t it?

So what did Google Penguin 2 update replaced the Irish start-ups with?

Ie.Jobrapido.com – one job aggregator. Well it is the only .com web site here. It actually does have jobs aggregated from sites like freelancer.com and similar. Some Irish recruitment agencies as well. The overall quality of the jobs advertised (content) if poor. A large number of jobs are taken down from teh sites they are originally published on anyway, and the whole set of jobs is really poor representation of the list of active jobs in Ireland. In essence a really poor experience for a job seeker.

JobsToday.ie – a UK newspaper publisher. Note that any link you click on that site it brings you to their UK web site (.co.uk). This results driven by the backlinks from their newspaper releases is so wrong that it actually reminds of the Yahoo style paid search result placements from the end of the last century. It is pointless and out of place. It is no good to a Google visitor. There are simply a handful of jobs listed there on some UK newspaper web site.

Twitter.com/jobs – The page with the HTML Title: Jobs at “Twitter –San Francisco”. San Francisco??? A search result to someone looking for a job in Ireland in Google.ie? Google? Don’t you have a Google Maps division? Or do you want us all to emigrate? What’s the story there? What kind of a (crap) search result is that? Or did the Google Penguin 2 algorithm value a social media sites results “a bit” too much so the results from the social media are going to creep into any search we make?

So to conclude what have the Google Penguin 2 update brought us? It removed Irish start-ups and replaced them with what can be the best described irrelevant search results. In their own vocabulary they call it SPAM. Luckily for us this only affects the bottom part of the page. The “under the fold” stuff. The top part of the page wasn’t affected by the latest update.

How did your site ranking feature in the Google Penguin 2 update last week? If you are stuck give the SEO Consultant a shout!

Recruitment SEO: How many web sites link to yours?

In the Links are the currency on the web we looked at the total number of links no the web that the Link Count tool from SEOmoz would show for our 20 recruitment agency web sites. But not all the links are equal. The more I think about it, it would be fair to say that no two links are the same. One (smart) way thinking about the links is to count just the web sites that link to your web site. So if there are 2 or 2 million links from some domain to your web site it would still count as one.

If we look at our 29 recruitment agency web sites list and www.JobsBlog.ie between them where is what we get:

URL

Sites Linking

http://www.cpl.ie

568

http://www.hays.ie

294

http://www.morganmckinley.ie

265

http://www.brightwater.ie

127

http://www.jobsblog.ie

126

http://www.hrm.ie

125

http://www.collinsmcnicholas.ie

100

http://www.eolas.ie

100

http://www.careerwise.ie

86

http://www.EdenRecruitment.ie

77

http://www.peoplegroup.ie

70

http://www.frsrecruitment.com

68

http://www.Vantage.ie

65

http://www.icds.ie

55

http://www.Sigmar.ie

51

http://www.3qrecruitment.ie

46

http://www.rftgroup.ie

44

http://www.Stelfox.ie

34

http://www.recruitmentplus.ie

32

http://www.accountancysolutions.ie

26

http://www.Recruiters.ie

19

http://www.MatrixRecruitment.ie

14

http://www.harmonics.ie

14

http://www.hudson.ie

13

http://www.gempool.ie

9

http://www.qedrecruitment.ie

7

http://www.Brompton.ie

5

http://www.placeme.ie

5

http://www.enterprisepeople.ie

5

http://www.solasconsulting.ie

4

The results show that only 5 Irish Recruitment agencies have more web sites linking to them than this blog. If you want your jobs to be seen by as many possible job seekers and as many possible clients (employers) it would be natural to want to bring visitors from as many sites to your site. Therefore having as many web sites linking to your site would help you get more candidates and clients. As simple as that. The above table show how good are you at that particular task. If your site is not on the list, you can get this figure for your site and compare yourself with the competition.

Even more important than this direct traffic of visitors that you get from other sites is the fact that from the perspective of the search engines like Google, your site the more “important” the more web sites link to your site. So the more links you have to your site – the more likely is that Google will display any content on your site above the similar content on any other web site. This is extremely important for the ranking of your jobs. When a similar job is advertised on many job boards and recruitment agency web sites, the site that will get listed on top is very often the one that has the most links form other web sites.

How to get more links to your web site?

Submitting your site to an online directory? – that is the most common answer I get when I do the Recruitment SEO Training. Unfortunately the answer is always – no. Why not? The practice was abused and Google decides to in most cases ignore it, and in some cases even penalize it.

Just do not buy links. Please. – That is what Google would say, and in my experience this is the best advice possible in most cases.

Spamming the social media with your links. – Will make sure you get ignored, not followed by anyone but bots. Again the time and money the drain.

SO WHAT THEN?

Think about what links do you click at on the web.

You might click on a link in the article you are reading on some site. If you are reading a review on some blog, about the new tool the LinkedIn has launched, and there is a link to that tool within the article – you might click it. Ask yourself how did that article ended up on a publication you are reading? Can you submit your content there? With a link to something new and cool on your web site? If you are thinking of PR submissions at this stage, I can tell you, you are on the wrong track. Think of guest blog posts. Think of the places where different people publish content. You are probably getting where I am going with this… yes the combined name of all such sites is Social Media.

Recruitment SEO: Googoe Index Saturaton

Imagine the following scenario:

First in Google for your keyword!
Your web site has one page, and the site is with that page linked first for your main keyword. One would say this is the search engine optimisation done very well. The site is first for its keyword. What else can one ask for?

First in Google for all your keywords!
When will realise there are multiple keywords your site need to be first for in Google searches. One page will not make it easily. You will create one page for each keyword. It usually starts with the page for ‘Clients’ and ‘Job Seekers’. You will optimise each of those pages to get on top of Google searches for your search keyword of search phrase. Most recruitment agencies would naturally want to be ranked on top for a phrase “Recruitment Agency” – to attract Clients. Then there are similar keywords targeted to Job Seekers like “Jobs in IT”, or whatever your agency specialises in. If you get first for those search keywords – have you done your SEO good? Of course, you are first in Google for all your main keywords.

Highly ranked in Google for every single one of your jobs, pages and blog posts (and having tons of them!)
In this scenario you are not really first for search phrases like the usual hot one “Recruitment Agency”. Instead all your jobs are on top or close to the top for ANY relevant keyword to that job. You cannot really define what keywords you are highly ranked for, since it depends on what jobs you have advertised on your site at that time.

If you don’t have jobs in a particular industry, or for some reason they don’t rank as well as your competition, you write blogs about those industries. In essence what you are doing is you are creating more content and publishing it on more pages on your web site. Those new pages then start ranking for the keywords you are writing about. What you are doing is you are saturation Google index and the Google search results pages with your entries. This enables you to capture traffic for any search phrase you are interested. Your web site becomes an inbound marketing platform that is quite simple to use. Need some Java developers? Just write about the Java development on your site. Get that content in Google index, and anyone searching for Java Development will see your site listed in the Google search results. If you write interesting articles and they are nicely presented in the search results – anyone looking for a Java development will come to your site!

This is what I call Google Saturation. It is a process of submitting the content on your web site to Google, for various search phrases you are interested in. Notice the difference between the top two scenarios. We don’t have the ”Main Keyword(s)” we want to rank for on top of the search engines.

The table below show the Google Saturation of 29 recruitment agency web sites and www.JobsBlog.ie as a marker. The number next to each web site shows the total number of pages Google has from each web site.

Note that this table is the first on in this Recruitment SEO series that show really drastic differences between the 29 randomly chosen recruitment agency web sites.

URL Google Index
http://www.cpl.ie  496000
http://www.morganmckinley.ie  291000
http://www.hays.ie  184000
http://www.eolas.ie  10700
http://www.collinsmcnicholas.ie  7580
http://www.icds.ie  6980
http://www.brightwater.ie  5680
http://www.peoplegroup.ie  5490
http://www.rftgroup.ie  4810
http://www.Vantage.ie  4660
http://www.jobsblog.ie  4430
http://www.frsrecruitment.com  2390
http://www.hrm.ie  783
http://www.qedrecruitment.ie  610
http://www.careerwise.ie  602
http://www.Stelfox.ie  601
http://www.recruitmentplus.ie  533
http://www.3qrecruitment.ie  528
http://www.EdenRecruitment.ie  471
http://www.accountancysolutions.ie  446
http://www.MatrixRecruitment.ie  302
http://www.gempool.ie  190
http://www.Recruiters.ie  189
http://www.placeme.ie  145
http://www.hudson.ie  138
http://www.harmonics.ie  100
http://www.Brompton.ie  62
http://www.enterprisepeople.ie  37
http://www.solasconsulting.ie  5
http://www.Sigmar.ie  n/f

 

By looking at your web site visitors logs in a program like Google Analytics you will notice that even linked first for your most important keyword it still delivers traffic that is a very small percentage of your total visitors traffic from Google for all the other keywords combined. If you have a high Google Saturation – meaning hundreds thousands of pages featured in the Google search results, the traffic for your main 10 most important keywords brings less than 1% of your total traffic! And as such, the ranking for one individual keyword becomes irrelevant to the overall traffic of the whole site. If you want to make a success in capturing the largest possible amount of the free traffic, this is definitely the route to go. Think big! THINK BIG!

Google Saturation is one of the key factors of SEO. It is also the most often ignored one.

Google AdWords in Recruitment?

Google AdWords was good!

Years ago I was preaching to the recruiters in Ireland to start using Google AdWords. The cost per click (CPC) was literally a few cents. The early adopters really drove massive traffic, and relevant traffic to their web sites. I remember my own www.IrelandJobs.ie – and how easy was it to purchase a thousand visitors a day. We experimented a lot and found that the best click trough and the conversion rate on our web site was for the AdWords Campaigns linking directly to a job just advertised.

Today the scenario is the opposite.

Google AdWords is bad!

Cost per click started grooving from the day one. It was just a question of time when will it all stop making sense. In the late 2007, when CPC reached the 1 Euro, a lot of people started revaluating their Google AdWords accounts and rethinking if that spend still makes sense. A large number of advertisers stopped their accounts or limited their budgets. The results are that the CPC stabilised for a time. It took some time to get used to pay over a euro for a visitor. Advertisers got used to it, and the price is soaring up again.

So why is paying a single 1 Euro per job hunter bad for your business?

Well simply because you could be paying about half by purchasing your traffic from other sources. Call today for details: 01 440 1900!

Is the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) a compulsory skill for The Online Recruitment Marketing Manager?

The ‘usual’ Marketing Manger in the recruitment industry in Ireland up until a few years had his job divided into the traditional offline marketing efforts (even a guerrilla marketing falls into this here!) and the online marketing. Online marketing consisted of purchasing the subscriptions on the job boards, getting the recruitment web site done up, and perhaps purchasing a banner or similar advertisement from the news portals. And it was all well back then, and most of the actual work could easily be outsourced to an external vendor – a marketing agency. And then came Google…

Google messed up the life of a marketing manager, simply because someone up in the management got an idea to ask a question:

Why do job hunters not apply to our web site and instead go to the job boards, and we have to pay for advertising there? Surely we can do a good site as well?!

The classic advertising or marketing agency failed to deliver a single visitor from eh Google search engine, so Google invented Google AdWords. Being the number crunchers and statistical people by nature, the Google failed to understand who will be the end users of their AdWords tools, so the interface was all in numbers, percentages, and zillions of statistical acronyms. You really needed a PhD in statistics to understand anything there. So a new breed of consultants surfaced, the Google AdWords Management Consultants. Most Irish recruitment marketing managers even today fail to understand they do need to hire them to manage their AdWords campaigns. It simply undermines their management authority to outsource management of their precious budgets. Jet they didn’t really care for the statistics in school., but are ‘creative’ people by nature.

When enough Irish online recruiters, and those who wanted to become ones, started using Google AdWords to drive the precious job seekers to their recruitment web sites, the price of the visitor started climbing up. And up… So the Google AdWords became too expensive for the generalist recruitment, and the new breed of marketers surfaced up in Ireland the SEO Consultants.

My Definition:
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a ‘science’ (is it?) that defines the elements that affect search engine ranking of a web site for a particular keyword in a set search engine.

So how can a SEO Consultant help a Online Recruitment Marketing Manger in Ireland? Well a SEO guy can help ‘optimise’ the recruiters web site so that it gains higher ranking for the recruitment related keywords (or phrases) or for some other (industry or location) related search keywords. A search keyword or search phrase is the text that people using the search engine type to perform the search. So in short, a SEO consultants job is to change the web site so that the web site gets more traffic. In the recruitment industry – it means more free visitors – more applications – more CVs – more placements!

This is where it gets very confusing to our Irish Online Marketing Manager. The SEO Consultant simple does not speak the same language. Also there is absolutely nothing exact in the SEO!? There is no formula (Google keeps it as a Coca Cola recipe!), nothing really to back up what the SEO Consultant is ‘preaching’.

The effect of this falling behind in the ever changing knowledge of running the online business is very beneficial for the Irish Jobs Boards. Since absolutely no Irish recruitment agency have ever made a substantial effort to make a web site that would have a high visitor numbers, they simply have to purchase traffic from Google AdWords or completely rely on their advertisement on the job boards. There is a limited success they achieve with newsletters where they offer a iPod Nano raffle for a CV submitted, or a bit of Radio and print advertisements. But all those traditional marketing efforts combined bring only a small fraction of het CVs that a well optimised recruitment web site bring in Ireland today.

Therefore a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a compulsory skill for The Online Recruitment Marketing Manager in Ireland today.

Links exchange email requests

If you are the ‘Lucky’ recipient of any public email address like ‘info’ or ‘webmaster’ you are most likely receiving the links exchange request emails every week now. Someone is informing you that they have placed a link to your site or that they will place a link to your site as soon as you place a link to their site. They also take (your) time to explain you the benefits of the link building.

Under the current Irish legislation even the Irish company can send emails like that to any other Irish business. I see it as an obvious failure of the law to protect us from the SPAM. It is irritating because there is no really reliable and effective cure for the SPAM today.

So should you accept and put the links to all those web sites in return from the link obtained from them?

Here are the guidelines that you can use as a test in the following order:

If the email is sent from the free email host like Gmail – NO!
If the web site does not have a lot of the content relevant (really relevant!) to your web site – NO!
If the web page where your link is has more that 50ish links to some other sites – NO!
If the web page is not in the Google index – NO!
If the web page (not the site) has a Google Page Rank lower than 3 – NO!
If the web page where your link is has a Google Page Rank more than 2 lower than your page – NO!
If you just do not like the tone in the email – NO!

If you use the filter above – you will see that 99% of those emails will not pass the test. So even without performing the test, you can safely delete and ignore all such link exchange email requests.

Irish Defence Forces Jobs

Irish Defence Forces JobsJust saw a quite unusual Google AdWords campaign for the Irish job advertising market. The Irish Defence Forces is advertising (and paying the TOP Google AdWords rate!) for their add to be displayed for the keyword ‘jobs’ in Google.ie.

Is this the first time a Governmental agency (or how do you call the Army?) has engaged in the recruitment advertising? Is it the case where Army (The Marines) goes first to the new territories, and the others follow afterwards?

Jobs Blog Popularity

There is one thing one has to manage when his blog becomes ‘popular’. JobsBlog.ie is a bit more than a month old now. It tops several searches in the Google.ie search engine results page (SERP) for a a number of search phrases. That means traffic. Some wanted some not really.

Today I logged in to check if I got any comments on those few articles you can see published so far. And to my surprise – YES! There are 99 Blog Comments!

All excited I click to go to read them (and moderate), only to find out that I have 99 SPAM Blog Comments. So 100% of SPAM in the first month. Really poor quality of the response…

I guess it is a time to try to find a solution to prevent unauthenticated comments…

Internet Activity, or ‘Will Irish Recruitment Agencies get the importance of the Google.ie Search Engine Ranking?

What do people do most on the Internet? When asked, the response is the mixture of:
House hunting
Cars related searches
Jobs searches

Holyday related searches, mortgage, insurance are the second most important group.

Almost all the behaviour monitoring will record the same above activities. This is what we ‘admit’. In the same time Internet itself consists of more than 2/3 of some king of pornographic content. I wonder whom is that for?

Anyway, the major three activities, let us call them Property, Cars and Jobs here, and really very funny when it comes to the Irish Google placements (web site positioning) for the relevant key phrases. While Property and Cars have a 3 to 5 strong market leaders, and the rest of the first page of Google.ie search results is filed by the sites that just ended up there, the Jobs category seems to have a super strong competition (compared to the two other categories).

By default Google.ie shows 10 results of a search performed. So 10 web sites can be of the first page. The rest of the results has a far less ‘Visibility’. The top 5 or 6 pages are what was called ‘Above the Fold’ before, since ht monitor resolution would allow only the top half of the Google.ie results page to be displayed at a time. To see the rest, the user had to scroll down.

In general the people click more on the result positioned higher. The Number One listing in a Google Search Result is extremely important for any Internet related business. So if you are a Job board… you get the point.

Again the problem with the ‘Jobs’ market in Ireland is that there is currently about 35 web sites that would like to call themselves a Job Board. There is also about 400 Recruitment Agencies web sites that would benefit greatly from the high placement in Google.ie search engine results pages.

Historically looking, for the most important keyword for job searching in Ireland: ‘Jobs’ – there NEVER was a single recruitment agency on the first page of the Google.ie search engine results page. At least not in the last 5 to 7 years. That is simply because there are all those job boards filling up the spaces. To make the situation even more interesting every year there is more and more job boards in Ireland. Niche job boards are popping up like mushrooms all over. It really is not that easy to find the industry that does not have its own ‘Specialist Job Board’. Most of the strong industries have multiple niche job boards active today.

It really is interesting to see the recruitment agencies that are multimillion businesses paying for the advertising slots on a job boards that are a single man operation, or even someone’s ‘Second Job’.

I am really interested to see who will be the first Irish recruitment agency that will realise the importance of being listed on the first page of Google.ie for the phrase like ‘Jobs’, and actually manage to do it! Anyone ready to place a bet???

Sitemap

a>Why is the Google XML Sitemap important?

This is blog an example:
Day 1. – Domain registered and blog set up
Day 2. – Sitemap installed
Day 3. – Blog in the SERP

JobsBlog.ie in Google SERP

The domain is 3 days old, and it has no links to it. Do you know of ANY other way of getting your domain in the search engine results that quickly?

A few minutes later – after this post was published you can see it in Google SERP allready:

JobsBlog.ie - Blog post in Google SERP instantly after publishing