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: Alexa traffic ranking

After ranking the Irish recruitment agency web sites based on the Google PageRank and less known SEOmoz rank here is the one most marketers are familiar with: Alexa. What Alexa does exactly and how does it do it was a topic of a debate from the day Alexa have started publishing the traffic ranking scores. Some people like it, and some don’t. As with most of the ranking algorithms it is usually the people featured on top that agree with Alexa’s results, and the ones ranked towards the bottom would have a different opinion. But that is the nature of every semi obscure ranking system. And in the world of SEO, nothing is really that straight forward!

What does Alexa web site ranking number mean?

What does Alexa say about their ranking number? They say that the Alexa number associated to each web site is its ranking in the overall global web traffic. So site with the Alexa’s No. 1 is the web site with the most visitors, and as the ranking number grows the lower you are on the list of the sites based on the number of visitors. So the smaller the Alexa ranking score, the more traffic your web site has (according to Alexa).

So here is the same list of the 29 Irish recruitment agencies and the www.JobsBlog.ie within them so you can use it as a benchmark. There are some results that are just “screaming out” in this Alexa web site traffic ranking list. I’ll let you be the judge of it yourself:

URL

Alexa Rank

http://www.cpl.ie

291100

http://www.morganmckinley.ie

336866

http://www.hays.ie

803824

http://www.brightwater.ie

874987

http://www.peoplegroup.ie

1274311

http://www.Vantage.ie

1441180

http://www.eolas.ie

1769945

http://www.jobsblog.ie

1817137

http://www.icds.ie

1854172

http://www.frsrecruitment.com

1997184

http://www.EdenRecruitment.ie

2428334

http://www.collinsmcnicholas.ie

2595232

http://www.hrm.ie

2811817

http://www.recruitmentplus.ie

3457055

http://www.careerwise.ie

4564311

http://www.Stelfox.ie

4828821

http://www.Recruiters.ie

4831059

http://www.rftgroup.ie

5312061

http://www.3qrecruitment.ie

6804532

http://www.MatrixRecruitment.ie

8119435

http://www.accountancysolutions.ie

8669731

http://www.gempool.ie

8720144

http://www.solasconsulting.ie

9507536

http://www.hudson.ie

12469855

http://www.enterprisepeople.ie

12578768

http://www.placeme.ie

17197072

http://www.qedrecruitment.ie

18446204

http://www.harmonics.ie

18661080

http://www.Sigmar.ie n/f
http://www.Brompton.ie n/f

Why are there two web sites that have no data in Alexa? I have absolutely no clue.

Now, if you compare the Alexa ranking above and the two lists we have looked at before: The Google PageRank and SEOmoz MozRank, there are some obvious similarities. It is especially obvious towards the tops of the lists. The same recruitment agency web sites feature the top spots, and there are no “Big Surprises” there. If you r site is high in one listing, it is high in the other two as well.

Recruitment SEO: 29 Irish recruitment web sites SEO Ranking by mozRank

102 people have visited the Recruitment SEO: Google PR yesterday, where I listed the 29 recruitment agency web sites based on their Google PageRank. It even stirred some comments and discussions in the social media. Mostly on LinkedIn as it is expected since the recruitment social network LinkedIn is a “natural habitat” for an average recruiter.

The Google PR has it’s quirkiness. It is fantastic and horrible in the same time. It needs to be looked at relative to each web site as opposed to the absolute ranking number. That makes it almost useless to the people outside of the search engine optimisation industry. This is why so many people dismiss the Google PageRank. It is not the easiest to “get” actually.

Today we will look at the same group of the 29 recruitment agency web sites and this blog www.JobsBlog.ie and compare them a different by third party ranking mechanism. We will look at the ranking by the SEOmoz: MozRank. Here is what the SEOmoz site says about the MozRank:

What is MozRank?

MozRank represents a link popularity score. It reflects the importance of any given web page on the Internet. Pages earn MozRank by the number and quality of other pages that link to them. The higher the quality of the incoming links, the higher the MozRank.

How is MozRank Scored?

We calculate this score on a logarithmic scale between 1 and 10. Thus, it’s much easier to improve from a MozRank of 3 to 4 than it is to improve from 8 to 9. An “average” MozRank of what most people think of a normal page on the Internet is around 3.

How can MozRank be improved?

A web page’s mozRank can be improved by getting lots of links from semi-popular pages or a few links from very popular pages.

Note that MozRank is all about links. The number of links to your web site and their link quality. It is very safe to assume that a higher MozRank results in the larger amount of the referral traffic – from the web sites linking to your site.

Recruitemnt   Agency mozRank
http://www.morganmckinley.ie 6.22
http://www.cpl.ie 6.17
http://www.hays.ie 6.11
http://www.Vantage.ie 5.84
http://www.eolas.ie 5.62
http://www.brightwater.ie 5.49
http://www.hudson.ie 5.42
http://www.gempool.ie 5.04
http://www.jobsblog.ie 5.01
http://www.peoplegroup.ie 4.95
http://www.3qrecruitment.ie 4.93
http://www.hrm.ie 4.92
http://www.frsrecruitment.com 4.84
http://www.placeme.ie 4.74
http://www.harmonics.ie 4.56
http://www.Sigmar.ie 4.34
http://www.rftgroup.ie 4.33
http://www.collinsmcnicholas.ie 4.29
http://www.careerwise.ie 4.15
http://www.icds.ie 4.09
http://www.EdenRecruitment.ie 4.08
http://www.Brompton.ie 3.9
http://www.qedrecruitment.ie 3.75
http://www.Recruiters.ie 3.69
http://www.accountancysolutions.ie 3.68
http://www.recruitmentplus.ie 3.63
http://www.Stelfox.ie 3.55
http://www.MatrixRecruitment.ie 3.43
http://www.enterprisepeople.ie 2.71
http://www.solasconsulting.ie 2.67

Notice the difference and the similarity of the SEOmoz MozRank ranking of the 29 recruitment agencies above and the Google PageRank ranking from the blog post yesterday. How to judge if your MozRank is good compared to the other recruitment agencies? This blog http://www.jobsblog.ie/ has a MozRank of 5.01. The general rule you can adopt is – if your company web site is below a personal blog, you might want to do something about it.

Any surprises in the recruitment agency web sites ranking by SEOmoz MozRank above? Do you find it more or less relevant than the Google PR ranking?

Personal Branding and Digital Footprint

Creating your personal and or company brand is a delicate act on the social networking sites. You really need to be genuine, positive, honest, and stand behind anything you say. And that is something in the contradiction with the main task – being Active. What do you say on a web 2.0 sites – if you have nothing to say that day? You know you need to be active and communicate with others. The long term success of that contribution you make to the social networking – depends on the Quality of your contribution. If you have nothing to say – say nothing.

Quality of your online content
It took me a lot of time to learn that. After some time (and numerous mistakes!) I have realised that it is sometimes worth far more to post once a week on a blog than once a day! The quality of the content is actually far more worth than the quantity. If it takes a week to write a good article, do not rush it. Do not force yourself to publish when you do not have something of a value for your audience.

Digital Footprint
All you say (write) on the Web 2.0 sites will stay there, and will work for or against you in the future. It will always be easy to put your name or your company name in Google and check what you are all about. Your name associated with something you are not proud while publishing it – will most likely hurt you at some stage in the future. Carefully choose what photos you publish, and how you represent yourself on the web. Your digital footprint is there to stay!

Release your Marketing Message
The social networking sites like LinkedIN, Twitter and Facebook and blogs let you publish your ideas, thoughts and opinions. Define who you are and what you are. Then define who your target market and the audience are. List the topics you know about and they want to hear about. Bring your original marketing message in the mix. Do not push it on your audience. Leave it there for them to take it.

Let Go of your Marketing Message
This is what worries most of us. Corporations are shivering with just the idea of it! What do you mean by letting go of our (so far always tightly controlled) marketing message?

In the Social Web, the users will take your messages and give their spin on it. Here you are getting crowd generated picture of your brand. Your only made the initial input and slightly steering and maintaining it later on. Your audience – the crowd will decide if they like your message, and will contribute to it.

Candidate Digital Personal Branding
Your CV is great tool to open the doors. But it gives you what you want to say about yourself. This is why recruiters ask for references. To check up and make sure all you wrote is true, and that there isn’t something important missing.

In the Digital world of the Blogs and Social Networks – it is all about the public opinions being formed around yourself. It is about the number of people you are connected, about the ‘qualities’ of this connections. It is about the quality of your contribution to the public communication. It is about the response from the crowd on your social communication contribution. Does the crowd like you? Do they value your professional opinions?

How do you measure your Digital Branding success?
When the people you do not know, not your co workers, not friends or family, simple people who find you online – publicly show respect to your work and you – you must be doing a lot of good! It doesn’t happen overnight! You will need to invest a lot in creating a digital brand. Regardless if that is yourself or your company brand. It takes time.

The Social Web is changing. Remember MySpace? Remember Bebo? Both are gone. Have you started with Google Wave, or did you decided that you will be left behind? Social media tools are changing. You need to change your skills to be able to follow the change. Your message although always the same in its essence will have to be adapted for every new web publishing and collaboration tool that comes around.

Conclusion and a Real Life Personal Branding Example
Related to the recent article about the Internet traffic on Job Sites, I asked the LinkedIN Users for their input via the LinkedIN discussion: Irish jobs sites traffic comparison chart. Here is just a short few sentences I got as a reply:

Thanks Ivan and admire your humble approach. I suspect this combined with your vast knowledge and being a genuine nice person is how you have gained my respect and trust of so many others also. You have not become one of the market leaders for no reason…

…Hope to catch up with you again at the Christmas drinks.

Would like to hear how other niche and generalist job boards are doing, if you’d like to share….

MD of one of the Irish Jobs Site

When you start getting positive comments like this from the ‘crowd’ – people you are not associated to in any way, they start forming a Digital Image of your brand. Competitors recognition as in this case is of the utmost importance – that was the reason I have chosen this comment in front of all the others. It is a bit like the eBay and the recommendations it introduced smartly in ecommerce. People trust brands that are positively spoken about online.

What will you do today to create a Digital Image of yourself that you desire?

September records highest number of new jobs in Ireland in 2009

Premier Group Irish Employment Monitor:

The Premier Group Irish Employment Monitor, which measures the pulse of the Irish professional jobs market, registered a 31% increase in the number of new professional roles coming onto the market during September 09 versus the previous month (August 09). This was the highest number of new professional job vacancies recorded in any one month so far this year.

  • During September 09, the volume of new professional job opportunities within Ireland increased 31% compared with August 09 to 4,764. This was the highest number recorded in any one month so far this year.
  • However, this was still 58% fewer new roles than a year ago (September 08)
  • The number of professionals who began their search for a new role during September 09 rose 55% versus the previous month (August 09).
  • This was a drop of 28% compared to the same month the previous year (September 08).

Read the full press release and Jobs Ireland Blog.

Does your CV and LinkedIN Profile Match?

Your LinkedIN Profile is most likely a copy of your CV. If a recruiter does a ‘Background Check’ to verify your CV the same data will be on your LinkedIN ‘Published’ online Profile, and that is great. Your CV is all true. The issue with the CV and the LinkedIN Profile being the same is a missed opportunity for a job seeker.

Your LinkedIN Profile should tell far more than your CV does to a recruiter.

What to include in your LinkedIN Profile?

Link to your Blog. On your blog you can show all different qualities a recruiter is searching for:
Expertise in a subject
Communication skills
Writing skills
Presentation skills
Team Building skills
And much more!

Links to your Twitter account where your conversations with the other influencers in the market and subject matter expert are published and visible are the next essential part of your LinkedIN Profile. Your network of known people and especially their recommendations are what sets you apart from the thousands of other applicants for the same job.

The CV opens the door. It invites the recruiter to start the research about you. Make sure your social media and social networking presence is the extension of your CV. If your LinkedIN Profile is a copy of your CV, it doesn’t really have a great value. It is also an opportunity missed.

Silicon Republic review of Jobs Blog

silicon_rep-logo Silicon Republic, Ireland’s leading technology news web site published a nice review of Jobs Blog:

Ivan Stojanovic works in the recruitment industry and operates EmployIreland.ie. JobsBlog.ie is where he waxes lyrical on the topic.
He keeps us up to date on the latest seminars, talks, new sites and companies, and tackles issues like ’10 don’ts for job hunters on social
networks’.
His top tip? Make sure nothing embarrassing shows up when you Google your name.

Thanks Silicon Republic for the nice touch!!!

Irish Internet Association: Internet Entrepreneur of 2009 Andrew Molony GreenJobs

Life must be good in the Recruitment sector in Ireland!

Irish Internet Association have chosen the best Internet Entrepreneur of 2009: Andrew Molony – GreenJobs Ltd
andrew-molony-greenjobs-iia-net-entrepreneur
GreenJobs is a jobs site with companies that want to brand themselves as green companies. Jobs boards are easy to do. You just need to:
make a fairly simple site where recruiters can publish jobs and job hunters can apply for jobs
get recruiters to publish jobs
get lots of job applicants to apply for those jobs
send your monthly invoices to the employers!

Alexa.com might not be the best way of measuring the traffic on a web site, but it is still the only one. Here is a small comparison to show you where the GreenJobs site is today compared to this blog for example:

GreenJobs.ie Traffic Rank 2,001,799
JobsBlog.ie Traffic Rank 496,356

Now how to read those numbers? Simple! Alexa.com gives the numbers from 1 to the most popular site on the web (Google.com). The bigger the number the lower the site is on the Traffic Rank list. That tells you that advertising your job on even this blog will have a far greater reach than advertising on GreenJobs web site.

I am really interested who sits on the panel of judges for the Irish Internet Association – Internet Entrepreneur Award?

Here is an Alexa ranking comparison the other new web site Worky.com that is online for a few weeks only:

Worky.com Traffic Rank 420,296

Worky.com is already more popular than JobsBlog.ie! And has more jobs. And is a really nice looking web site. And is backed up by Ray Nolan, who KNOWS what he is doing!

Here are the questions I cannot answer myself:

  • So why has Irish Internet Association decided GreenJobs better than Worky?
  • In the year where two thirds of recruiters have lost their jobs IIA decides that the best Irish Internet Entrepreneur is a Jobs Board owner? In a year that recruitment as such almost did not exist (compared to any other year in modern Irish history)? Was there no one else?

Blog = Jobs Offers?

Will a good blog make you a magnet for a good job offers? Tom is the IT guy, who writes his blog for a few years not. His experience does not really show that having a good blog will make you attractive to the Irish recruiters. Is Irish recruitment industry a bit ‘Old Fashioned’, and glued to the Job boards and traditional advertising media? Do people in Ireland get a job via LinkedIN? Well definitely not in the numbers they should. What is missing from the whole recruitment process is the usage of the web outside of the job boards for searching the candidates. Blogging and social networking in general do not play any important part in the recruitment in Ireland.

At least not jet.

Until someone ‘understands’ it and just dives into the Gold Mine of the free Profiles, blogs, professional networks….

Prosperity Blog – The Winner of The Best Recruitment Agency Blog in Ireland Award 2008

Welcome to the:

The Best Recruitment Agency Blog in Ireland Award 2008

Irish Recruitment Agency Blog Awards 2008

In not that strong competition between the Recruitment Agencies in Ireland

The Winner of The Best Recruitment Agency Blog in Ireland Award is:

Prosperity Blog

Prosperity Blog - The Winner of The Best Recruitment Agency Blog in Ireland 2008 Award

Ta – daaa!!!!!!!

This is the first Blog used for the recruitment purpose I have found by any Irish Recruitment Agency. Well done Prosperity!!!

Matt’s Blog Post on ‘Recruitment in Ireland, Competition vs. Cooperation, and Facebook‘

I do not know Matt (the author), but an interesting read under the title:

Recruitment in Ireland, Competition vs. Cooperation, and Facebook

From Matt who describes him selves as:

I’m working as a consultant, creating new marketing and digital strategy solutions for the company…

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…

Declan Fitzgerald’s (Lead Technical Recruiter in Microsoft)Blog

It is interesting to see how Microsoft employees know how to blog only, and I mean ONLY about Microsoft. They might stride to a game of golf, but in general, every single blog post from a Microsoft employee is about the Glorious Microsoft. No other company managed to ‘swing’ the employees as well as Microsoft does.

Declan is a Lead Techincal Recruiter in Dublin. Check the blog yourself:

http://internationaltechjobs.spaces.live.com/

www.joinmicrosofteurope.com is brilliantly designed using’…. something tells me I will disagree, but let’s not jump o conclusions, perhaps this Silverlignt is not as it looks like, just another Flash. I will be writing about SilverLignt as a development platform for a recruitment agency web site early in the next year. It would be interesting to see if Silverlight can challenge WordPress (on php!).

WordPress has a built in RSS – What about Irish jobs sites?

The WordPress blogging engine that is blog is written on has a built in RSS feed. The RSS feed is under the URL:


http://www.jobsblog.ie/Jobs/rss/

Subscribe to JobsBlog.ie RSS Feed


Which is exactly where you would expect it to be!

Anyway, a RSS feed is what you can send your job hunters to subscribe to on your job site. Most of the good job boards do it, but Irish Recruitment Agencies and the Direct Employers especially fail here graciously.

Just imagine where your recruitment web site feed (RSS) that delivers a new job to the RSS readers as each time you post a new job.

So exactly what Google XML Sitemap does to the Google search engine results page (SERP), where you can ‘push’ your new page in the SERP instantly, the RSS ‘pushes’ the new job to the RSS reader like Microsoft Outlook 2007.