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!

LinkedIn: Follow a company button

If you are still wondering why have you placed the Facebook ‘Like’ button on your home page this will be interesting for you!

If at some stage you got bored checking how many Facebook ‘Likes’ your page got and you have offered an iPhone draw when you reach 10 000 ‘Likes’ this is even more relevant for you.

Remember that job site dressed in social network that have sent you those nice young people to show their fabulous Recruiter Package? The one that cost more than your total advertising budget? Well they would like you to place their button on your Home Page. And guess what-they do not want to you pay for advertising them on your home page. They want to help you get the more followers on their platform. Why? So that they can sell those to you. In a lovely Linkedin Recruiter Package.

LinkedIn Follow Button

Quite a strange sales model from LinkedIn, isn’t it?

Google did something similar some 6 months ago asking all web site owners to put a ‘Google+’ Button. Blogs accepted it because of the simplicity of installation of it. Does it drive any substantial traffic or bring any other benefit? Well no.

Do you think web sites will not get the LinkedIn Follow button?

If you decide to place a LinkedIn Follow button on your page, here are the three nice formats you can choose from:

Will LinkedIn Follow button slow your web site? Yes.
Does the speed of the site affect the site ranking in Google? Yes.
Will you site drop in Google index because you have placed a LinkedIn Follow button. Yes, a bit.

I have to admit the ‘Like’ from Facebook was more original than any of the copycats. They could have really came up with something better in all this time!

Free Irish Jobs Sites

There is more than a ten of Irish jobs sites that advertise themselves as free Irish jobs sites. Advertising the jobs is free. Some of them would then try to charge if a recruiter or employer tries to engage with the job candidate, and most of them would just send the job applications and CVs for free to the employers as well.

There are a number of business models here – where if an employer wants’ a extra exposure on the front page, he can pay for that. Or banner advertisement are available, or in most case Google AdSense is there on the site to monetise the web site traffic.

Job Aggregators would even go a step further, where not only that the job publishing is free, but they will also take the jobs directly from your job site for you.

Then there is a few dozen Irish jobs sites that are not really advertising that the job advertising is free, but if you ask nicely, you can get your jobs advertised on them for free with no problem. Those are usually smaller and niche web sites that cannot attract enough web site traffic to be able to charge for it. They usually start with a Free Trial for job advertising for all the employers and recruiters. Then they hope the jobs advertised will build the required amount of job seekers on visiting the site that the job board owners will be able to sell that traffic later on. When that does not happen, and it doesn’t in most cases, the pay per click advertising is usually brought on in the form of Google AdWords to try to keep the job hunters visiting the jobs site. When the budget for that is gone – the job site usually turns silently in the free job board – with some sort of monetising the web site traffic like Google AdSense.

The majority of the Irish Jobs sites end up in this category of free jobs sites – simply because they cannot attract enough job hunters to be attractive enough to the job hunters.

How to find where to advertise your jobs for free?

Search for jobs in Google. When you see a web site with no physical address and just a form to fill to contact them, or a mobile phone – you just found a free jobs site. The exception might be only the site owner is still finding it hard to realise that his jobs site is not really head on with the top Irish jobs sites (as he hoped for) but silently become a free Irish Jobs site.

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?

The most powerful marketing tool for a job seeker is…

… when all the personal branding channels are combined.

In no particular order:
1. Social networks presence – descriptive public profile combined with the active participation in discussions.
2. Personal Blog
3. Presence on the Corporate Blog
4. Any online publication (indexed by Google)

The real power of all your online presence is in the ability to connect all those channels together. Ad your friends and co workers in social networks, drive them to your blog for more status updates, get them subscribed to your RSS feeds and twitter. From your RSS and tweets send them back to your questions and discussion on your blog and social networks, and increase the readership in every jump from one media to another.

Personal branding practice as above replaces the necessity to look for a job on jobs sites. The recruiters will ‘know about you’ already anyway. Just blog daily, and publish one article or a question in the social network of your choice (relevance to your target industry).

Resumark: CV, Jobs, Free!!!

resumark_logoResumark brought in a nice new business model in the online recruitment industry. The concept is essentially borrowed from the Google AdWords – Google AdSense model. While Google pays the web site owners to show the Google AdSense on their sites and charges the Google AdWords clients to pay per click for those same adverts Resumark does the same with the CVs. Job hunters upload their CVs and get paid each time someone downloads the CV. Anyone can search the CV database for free, and gets a preview of the CV for free only. If you decide you would like the contact details as well – you pay to Resumark. Resumark in return pays the cut to the owner of the CV.

Just in case you did not get it, here is how Resumark explains their online recruitment and CV database business model:

Get Paid to Post Your Resume!

Post Resume or create it online using our free Resume Assistant. Make $1 every time an employer downloads your resume!

Search Jobs that match your profile and join the fastest growing Job 2.0 Network!

In today’s economy even job search monsters are not enough. Invite friends and earn money together when their resumes are downloaded.

And for the recruiters and employers:

Free Resume Search & Job Postings

Search Resumes for Free using Google™ search technology. We give you full access to the entire resume database.

Pay only for the resumes that you choose to download. Compare to other services.

Post Jobs for Free and have them automatically distributed to major jobs sites and networks reaching millions of job seekers

Regardless if the business will work or not, Resumark is a step from the usual recruitment jobs sites. Time will tell if it was a step in the right direction. But what needs to be applauded here is the courage and the innovation in the online recruitment industry.

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?

Two recruitment agencies go out of business for every new job board

New recruitment web sites in Ireland are popping up. About 2 a month in the last 12 months. Recession stimulates the jobs sites creating somehow.

The new sites try to be unique somehow. All trying to solve some problems that either recruiters or employers or job seekers seems to have. The real problems Employers have right now are far most related to financing the redundancy packages. The secondary problem is managing the volume of low quality applicants. Recruitment agencies have a problem that there are no jobs for them to fill. No jobs to advertise on the expensive job boards they prepaid. There are two recruitment agencies that go out of business for every new job board that pops up!

Since recruitment industry has shrank by 2/3 of its headcount nationally, there is basically no money left in it. So a new job boards are looking for someone else to charge for their services. And there is just one more type of the user of the job board – The Candidate. A new recruitment video jobs site is thinking about exactly the candidate as the source of their revenue.

I am against of charging applicants in principle. When you finished your school, did you have money to spend on presenting you to the potential employers? The result is that the service provider of such video application web site would advertise jobs in the coolest companies, and all the poor applicants would pay to upload their videos there.

The end result is that a poor applicant would be a few applications or euro worse off. The Google’s and the other brand names employers would get another trillion applications, and someone in between would get very rich.

As a principle I am far more fond of the Robin Hood principle where you take from the rich (employers) and give a free service to the poor (candidates).

TalentTank.ie

talenttankieWell the recession does not seem to have any impact on the creativity of the Irish future jobs board owners. TalentTank.ie is the latest proof of that. While some of the largest ones are changing their business models drastically:

  • Jobs.ie adopted Google AdSense advertisements, and is selling pop under traffic (those popup windows that open behind the main window with some unrelated (usually dodgy) web site
  • IrishJobs.ie selling pop under traffic
  • RecruitIreland.com giving it away for free to any employer to advertise
  • TalentTank.ie has a quite different business model from a day one. This is what they say about themselves:
    In essence, TalentTank.ie is a web-based platform that provides both Individuals and Employers to quite simply make a difference in this current down-turn.

    TalentTank.ie will also explain the details:

    Talented Individuals register with TalentTank.ie to offer their talents and skills for free, for a couple of hours or days a week for a specified period, so as to demonstrate their skill sets. Employers in turn register with TalentTank.ie to avail of this free pool of resources in turn driving productivity with out any additional cost over-head.

    Basically it is a free labour for the Employers. As TalentTank.ie say – ‘no cost’.

    Thereafter, having demonstrated their net worth to their Employer colleagues, Individuals then have the opportunity to onward and directly network with potential Employers, in effect bypassing costly recruitment agencies and enabling a quicker and more cost effective route to employment for both parties.

    Recruitment agencies are being bypassed to avoid their cost as well. So Employers do not have to pay for the staff or the recruitment.

    This initiative will allow Employers become more competitive in terms of reducing labour costs and driving skills-base, which if adopted cross sectors and industries, will contribute significantly towards establishing a foundation for recovery. And of course, as an Employer’s business grows, so to will the need for new Employees.

    Employers are getting staff and the recruitment of the staff for free so they will be more profitable and as ThinkTank.ie page say – establish the foundation for the economic recovery. Staff and recruitment costs written off profit margins shoot up, and Ireland becomes competitive again. The roar of the Celtic Tiger can be heard running back towards us!

    Or did I not get it right somehow? Do you get it?

    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!