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!

National Online Recruitment Awards, NORA – how does it look like in UK?

In Ireland we have our NRF that gives awards to the recruitment agencies (NRF members only) and within those there is an Award for the Best Recruitment Web Site.

Then we have the Golden Spiders awards that again one has to pay €150 per site to get ‘Nominated’, so the real good work of start-ups is never seen there. Recruiters actually rarely feature there at all with the exception of national job boards that use it for branding.

UK has National Online Recruitment Awards – NORA. In 5 days NORA will be announcing the winner in the long list of categories. Here is a full list of categories and 5 shortlisted candidates for the awards in 2011.

The Finalists for the National Online Recruitment Awards 2011 are as follows:

 

Best Generalist Job Board
Jobserve http://jobserve.com
Jobsite http://Jobsite.co.uk
Monster http://monster.co.uk
Reed http://reed.co.uk
Totaljobs http://totaljobs.co.uk
Best Specialist / Niche Job Board
Gradcracker http://gradcracker.com
Women in Technology http://womenintechnology.co.uk
British Medical Jobs http://www.britishmedicaljobs.com/
Creative Pool http://creativepool.co.uk
Jobsgopublic http://Jobsgopublic.com
Only Marketing Jobs http://onlymarketingjobs.com
Prospects.ac.uk http://www.prospects.ac.uk
Executives on the Web http://executivesontheweb.com
Best Regional Job Board
Brighton and Hove Jobs http://brightonandhovejobs.com
Graduates Yorkshire http://graduatesyorkshire.co.uk
NI Jobfinder http://nijobfinder.co.uk
S1 Jobs http://s1jobs.com
STV Jobs http://jobs.stv.tv
Best National Recruitment Agency
Manpower http://www.manpower.co.uk
Laurence Simons http://laurencesimons.co.uk
Office Angels http://OfficeAngels.co.uk
Randstad http://randstad.co.uk
Spencer Ogden http://spencer-ogden.com
Best Small Recruitment Agency
Dylan http://www.wearedylan.com/
Heat Recruitment http://www.heatrecruitment.co.uk
Aspire People http://aspirepeople.co.uk/
Lipton Fleming http://liptonfleming.co.uk
CK Clinical http://CKClinical.co.uk
Detail 2 Retail http://detail2retail.com
McCarthy Recruitment http://mccarthyrecruitment.com
Paramount Recruitment http://paramountrecruitment.co.uk
Best Major Employer
Army Jobs http://armyjobs.mod.uk
BBC http://bbc.co.uk/jobs
G4S http://careers.g4s.com/
LV Liverpool Vistoria http://jobs.lv.com
Nestle http://nestlecareers.co.uk
Best Small Employer
Advanced Resource Managers http://arm.jobs
Breakthrough http://breakthrough.org.uk/jobs/index.html
Fairbridge http://fairbridge.org.uk
Innocent Drinks http://innocentdrinks.co.uk/careers
GCS http://join.gcsltd.com
Best Consumer Publication
Guardian Careers http://guardiancareers.co.uk
Herald Scotland http://heraldscotland.com/services/jobs
Express and Star http://jobs.expressandstar.com
Telegraph http://jobs.telegraph.co.uk
Manchester Evening News http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/jobs/
Best Trade Publication
Electronics Weekly http://electronicsweekly.com/Home
The Grocer http://jobs.thegrocer.co.uk
Personnel Today http://www.personneltoday.com/jobs/default2.aspx
Retail Week http://retail-week.com/careers
Times Educational Supplement http://tes.co.uk
Best Recruitment Advice Website
ACAS http://www.acas.org.uk
All About Careers http://allaboutcareers.com
Monster http://career-advice.monster.co.uk
CareerPlayer.com http://careerplayer.com
CareersAdvice.direct.gov.uk https://nextstep.direct.gov.uk
Best Newcomer
G4s http://careers.g4s.com/
HireMatch.me http://www.hirematch.me/
MoveMeOn www.movemeon.com
Nestle Careers iPad App http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/nestlecareers-hd/id451966082?mt=8&ls=1
Innovate CV
www.innovatecv.com
Best Innovation
BeKnown http://beknown.com
HireMatch.me http://www.hirematch.me/
Nestle Careers iPad App http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/nestlecareers-hd/id451966082?mt=8&ls=1
Wikijob http://www.wikijob.co.uk
G4s http://careers.g4s.com/

Advertised jobs numbers comparison

Here is a list of jobs advertised on the leading Irish job sites and the recruitment agency web sites.

Job Boards
Irish Jobs 12253
Recruit Ireland 3350
Monster 2969
Jobs 2800
Irish Times 1883
Employ Ireland 1339

Recruitment Agencies
CPL 1340
Brightwater 1291
Morgan McKinley 1178
Sigmar 671
Stelfox 627
Grafton 228
Manpower 183

Irish Jobs has by far the largest number of jobs. Actually they have about 10 times more jobs than the average competing Irish job site. Is there really that much jobs? Is that a real success story? When the numbers are so much off the scale, it always stinks a bit. Especially knowing that they own the Jobs.ie site that does so badly on the jobs numbers compared to the main site.

On the recruitment agency side there is a tight race at the top. CPL still has it top spot, while surprisingly a small company Brightwater is in second. They show more jobs on their site than a much larger company Morgan McKinley that is on the third spot. Are Brightwater really working as Busy Bees? Are they really filling 5 times more roles than companies like Grafton or Manpower? Again quite unlikely. Same as Irish Jobs web site above, the number are again just very off the chart.

Interview Questions: Tell me about yourself

According to the Monster Jobs Site, the most used interview question is:

Are you ready to answer the Tell me about yourself question? If not, you should prepare the answer for that most common interview question.

Here is the advice from Monster Jobs Site:

Tell me about yourself – This is usually the opening question and, as first impressions are key, one of the most important. Keep your answer to under five minutes, beginning with an overview of your highest qualification then running through the jobs you’ve held so far in your career. You can follow the same structure of your CV, giving examples of achievements and the skills you’ve picked up along the way. Don’t go into too much detail – your interviewer will probably take notes and ask for you to expand on any areas where they’d like more information. If you’re interviewing for your first job since leaving education, focus on the areas of your studies you most enjoyed and how that has led to you wanting this particular role.

Be aware that if this is a first question it sets the tone for the whole interview. With a well prepared and planned answer you can steer where you want the rest of the interview to go to. Get your answer ready for the Tell me about yourself – today!

Jobs.ie and EmployIreland.com on the raise

Jobs.ie and EmployIreland.com are the only two web sites that recorded a growth of the unique visitors numbers during September this year. According to Complete who collects the public data, as opposed to the marketing messages from the job boards, Irish Jobs, RecruitIreland and Monster both recorded a significant drop of traffic during September 2009.

irishjobs.ie jobs.ie recruitireland.com monster.ie employireland.com

September is the very important month in the online recruitment industry. In the previous ten years, almost all leading job boards would have a record numbers of visitors in September. The current recession is obviously affecting the online recruitment industry.

Are the social recruitment sites like LinkedIN and even twitter, or Irish start-ups like Jobs Market stealing the traffic from the job boards? It certainly seems the case, since the traditional job boards are obviously getting less traffic.

So what have Jobs.ie and EmplyIreland.com done to keep the traffic rising during September? A bit of SEO perhaps? What do you think?

Costs of Jobs Advertising

Irish recruitment websites fall into two groups. First advertise their prices online and others do not. I always wondered why is that?

Here are the prices from the Irish job sites for a single job advertising:
RecruitIreland.ie – €99
Monster – €99
EmployIreland – €149 (includes CV Database)
LoadzaJobs – €280
Jobs.ie – €390
Irish Jobs -€950

The last two sites Jobs.ie and Irish Jobs do not have their prices published online. Now I realise why! Those are the two most expensive jobs sites in Ireland. Irish Jobs almost 10 times more expensive than the rest? They must have a really great sales team….

Now in all fairness, in a few minutes on the phone Jobs.ie did drop the price to €350 and Irish Jobs gave a whopping €150 discount to a total price of just €800.

Another available option is LinkedIN where you can post a job for €195. With 34 jobs posted for the whole country, it does not seem to be a greatest place to advertise a job. Or a hidden gem?

The cost of job advertisement in Ireland varies greatly. The web sites without the pricing clearly displayed seem to be by far the most expensive. Honestly I do not see how they justify the prices. Also their sales team has to be applauded. They will look for the commitment before close of business at 5PM. They would explain it with some ‘Cut off’ imaginary time for all ads of the day. All in all, serious sales training is involved there, and it’s obvious from the first 30 seconds on the phone – when they avoid telling you the price at all costs.

Monster rethinking service offering

Monster is interested in what job seekers think of their jobs web site. Here is the mail sent to job hunters today:

SATISFIED?
LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

Dear Job Seeker,

At Monster, we are committed to creating an online experience that advances your life and your career. To help us achieve this, we would like to invite you to provide some feedback on your experience using Monster.

Our Satisfaction Survey should only take around 12 -18 minutes to complete and all responses are confidential. Start the survey by clicking the link below. Your honest thoughts and opinions are greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your participation.

Click here for the satisfaction survey »

Best wishes,

Jesse Harriot
Vice President of Research

2009 Monster – All Rights Reserved
Hillview House, 15D Gilford Road, Sandymount, Dublin 4, Ireland

How about a iPhone raffle or something similar to get people to participate? Or is Monster not really interested in what people really think. Or not that much to give them the incentive to fill up the questionnaire?

Or Monster Marketing just didn’t think of it at all? :)

How to use Twitter for Recruitment?

twitter_logo_headerTwitter is surprisingly good tool for the recruitment. You can track the conversations and when used in conjunction with LinkedIN or any other tool it shows the real time live activity of the person. As does Facebook. Monster or any other CV database will never tell you that. An application from a job site or your web site will never tell you what a person is really about. Twitter does. It also tells you what other people think the person is about. And that is unique in the recruitment industry.

Do not try to recruit by using Twitter alone. But you can use Twitter to find the conversation about topics. You can use the job skill as the topic, or even better a conference or something that has a time factor. You can find people that are talking about the certain themes – related to the job or a position you are trying to fill. Find who is talking about it, what do they talk about it and who do they talk about it to. There is your talent pool, with reference check, and a real time data about their recent activity.

Or you can put it all upside down. You talk about what you do. People who use Twitter well will know how to find you. Actually they will find what you have to offer, and that is your jobs. Talk, tweet, comment others, follow, you will get the lingo quickly. Find people that you know and respect, follow, monitor their followers. Just be active, as you would be on any networking event. Twitter is actually just one constant networking event. It is happening with or without you. It will not wait for you. You need to be in to meet the people you want to meet.

http://twitter.com/irishrecruiter

Worky

workyWorky is a Recruitment Social Network. Kind of like LinkedIN, but a few years later. Worky has no people in it jet, but has the pricing model – a bit steeper than LikedIN.

What is wrong here:

RecruitIreland goes FREE and in the same month Worky is goes live more expensive than LinkedIN, that Irish recruiters find too expensive.

Oh,… and also Flexitimers stopped charging for the jobs advertisements as well. There are clear signs more and more sites are going to go free. But not Worky. Worky is more expensive, so obviously better than LikedIN.

But Worky is global, so not in a league with Irish Jobs and Recruit Ireland. Worky is the new Monster. Actually Worky is a new Monster and LikedIN together.

Worky we wish you well!

Here is what Worky says about themeslves:

Why Worky? … The before and afterCandidates
No more dark ages of the job boards
When everybody first started using the internet it was a novelty to see jobs from the newspapers up there
It gave us all a buzz applying for a role online
And for a couple of years that model of offline or newspaper style job adverts stuck up on the internet kept us happy in the dark

But not for long
Very soon it was endless lists of jobs and endless lists of job boards, sites boasted about how many jobs they had but candidates only wanted one job and so lost heart..

Did the agency or the company get my application?
Did my application fall into a big black hole?
Who is looking at my application?
Do they like my application?
Can I not see a bit more about where this job is before I apply?
Don’t they want to know my preferences before we get off the first block?
For employers and agencies it became heartache too
Why can’t I find suitable matches?
Why do so few applicants match what I’ve asked for?
Which job board do I use?
Do these job boards spend anything on advertising?
Which one actually engages with the mainstream everyday candidates?
Along came the Upload your CV era – but full of broken promise

For candidates

Who is looking at my CV?
Is it still live?
Do I have any control?
It’s too complicated to make it anonymous?
Can my boss see my name or our company name?
For Employers

Employers grew tired of seeing that 1458 people matched their job
Grew tired of keyword searches so man who sold java coffee was matched against 1000s of java programming jobs
At last Worky…
Not a job board
Not an upload your CV mechanism
For candidates a place to create your own individual online skills profile and have it seen by every employer for free in the safe knowledge that it is anonymous until you see that they may have a role to suit. A place where once you upload your profile, you can job-hunt while you sleep.

works for candidates… Join in

For Employers A place to copper fasten the skills you want in an employee, a place where you can see with ease who matches your job financially, geographically, by skills and by work experience to name but a few. A place for employers to see first if there are matching candidates before committing to pay

works for hirers… Try it now

Any Jobs in Ireland?

Today’s announcement from one of the leading jobs sites in Ireland nicely describes what does a jobs scene look in Ireland today:

Hi All

Just a quick note to let you know we have now added some new locations;

Europe
Australia
United Arab Emirates
New Zealand
Canada
USA
South Africa
North Africa
Middle East

If you have any queries please let me know.

The jobs sites cannot really survive advertising the jobs in Ireland only. Simply there is not enough jobs in Ireland to sustain the business model of advertising jobs in Ireland only. There simply isn’t enough jobs here anymore. Irish Jobs are gone. Jobs are elsewhere today.

Welcome to the emigration wave…

Irish Jobs sites prices falling

It is interesting to see how the overpriced Irish jobs sites started reducing their prices drastically. I just saw this ad this morning, and I still think they should reduce it much, much more, but at least it is a step in the right direction… Perhaps a too small step and too late?

Monster hacked again!

Monster recruitment website is making an interesting habit of being hacked regularly. The latest hack on Friday (January 23, 2009) was interestingly managed from Monster. They posted the note on their web site that included the following:

We recently learned our database was illegally accessed and certain contact and account data were taken, including Monster user IDs and passwords, email addresses, names, phone numbers, and some basic demographic data.

This just makes me wonder if Monster did a redesign of their site since they got so much bad press lately, so they understood fixing the old web site does not work but they published a new one? And now the new one gets hacked the same month it is published?

One way or the other, I haven’t heard of ANY recruitment site being hacked so often as Monster is lately. Perhaps they should adopt some ‘Open Source’ policy, letting the job seekers know that their CVs are entering the public domain.

SnazzyJobs

I guess some people will say I like writing about the Irish Jobs boards. The funny thing is that there is so many popping out, it is almost every week you hear about a new one. This is just in the last month or so:
TheJobs.ie, JobisJob.ie, Jobs2do.ie aka Spamers, Monster Finance, urHired

So here goes an interesting one. The Irish .ie domain seemed a bit too expensive so it is called SnazzyJobs.com. At least it is Hosted in Cork, so Google.ie might actually not ban it completely, if Google Webmaster Tools is to be believed.

Here are the first impressions:
1. Logo resembles any other stock logo sample, not really inspiring (as was the case with a number of the recruiters logos earlier this year).
2. Legal Stuff – company registration number and the registered address nowhere to be seen on the site.
3. Why publish so many pages to have only Coming Soon text on them?
4. The site is actually designed in some ’90-ies style. It is really hard to read the font in the menu. Green font with the green shadow on the green background? Here are some Design ideas: Jobs Board.
5. The code is not as messy as most of the jobs sites are actually, but a bit too much of that Java code all over. It is an interesting choice to have the jobs board in php, while all the leading job boards are the powered by the Microsoft .NET. Another interesting choice is
6. StatCounter as opposed to Google Analytics? Interesting choice. I would still use both, since the speed the Google Analytics is being developed at the moment, with stuff like Data Visualisation (Google Analytics Motion Chart), will overshadow most of the aspects of otherwise very useful StatCounter.

You need to be brave to show your price list online where there is nothing really anyone can buy for less than a thousand euro. It could actually be used as a company slogan:

Snazzy Jobs
Where prices start at thousand Euro

Or maybe not?

There seems to be some 250 jobs advertised. Considering the time of the year and the (econ)comic situation in the country it is not bad really. There is also 2 jobs advertised in the last 7 days, so the site is not dead!

But honestly it will not be much more if some serious effort is not applied. The designers have decided to ignore a few important facts. SEO and Usability. The URL’s look like this:
snazzyjobs.com/jobsearch.php?ok=1&v000=&v001=1&v010=0&v011=&v101=&v111=....

To find the job search you need to click on some well hidden green button on the green background. And that button is one the single page on the site? Perhaps this is a part of the screening process: If you manage to apply – you must be a smart person, so we will look at your CV!

And,… you also need to create and account with Snazzy Jobs to be able to apply for the job. That last hurdle in the application process will definitely go well with the applicant. If banks and governments are losing the personal data, should I be leaving it on the web site that even does not confirm the company registration number required by the CRO?

Snazy Jobs we honestly wish you the best!!!

Monster Finance – New Irish Job board!? NO! Just a Recruitment Agency With a Name of a Job Board

Monster Finance Logo - What is it really?I am not entirely sure what does the logo represent, but I am afraid it stands quite well in the internal competition we used to have in the company – who will make the worst logo for a job site. The www.Jobs-Ireland.ie logo used to be in the lead, but Monster Finance is really quite an impressive contender as well!

The name,… Monster. If the real Monster finds out it might not do anything, but if they ever take a jeopardise a single client contract, Monster will put up a fight that no Irish start-up can fight against that easily. Remember when IrishJobs.ie sued IrelandJobs.ie for the same?

Since I have this ‘other’ interest besides the online recruitment (call it a hobby!), I cannot not to notice that from the SEO perspective this new Monster Finance is quite a strange recruitment web site. Probably quite a different marketing plan, since Google for example has their front page at ‘0’, and all the other pages are not rated (greyed out). Google traditionally was the driver of the traffic to the Irish Jobs Sites, and Monster Finance have decided to get it from somewhere else. Who knows they might be on to something!

Asking a candidate for the disclosure of the sex and age during the registration is a usual sign of not understanding the Irish Recruitment Market.

No phone number on the site, no contact email address, it certainly resembles the Google business model (or a two boys in the shed or a kitchen – starting their business).

But then the mystery revealed itself today, when I got contacted by Rahat, who is a Business Development Director at Monster Finance. Interestingly enough his LikedIN profile also reveals a Recommendation from: Brian Fairbrother, Business Development Manager, Loadzajobs – Independent Newspaper Group. It is kind a strange that the BDM of one job site is recommending the BDM of the other job site for his current position? Recommending the competition is certainly a noble thing. Here is a full recommendation for Rahat:

“A Strong Entrepreneur. A Manager who turns possibilities into realities. A professional that thinks out of the box and looks at Business Challenges as Major Opportunities. Rahat’s new business model will offer a High Value Added service to the Recruitment Sector. Watch this space…….”

And then you realise that Monster Finance is actually a recruitment agency – they hide that fact on the front page, but have it buried deep in the Terms in the small print.

Sometimes I wonder why is it a dream of every second recruitment agency to run a jobs board as well? I guess they think it’s easy…

Anyway as well as with any start-up jobs site – we wish Monster Finance all the best!