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.

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.

Social Networks Vs Online Job Boards…

Here are just two facts first:
1. Revenues of online job boards are falling
2. Social networks are (still!) gaining popularity

Why are job boards in trouble all of the sudden after being profitable for more than 10 years?

The troubled world economy that hit the recession in the second half of the 2008 and continued well into most of the 2009 (is it over yet???!!!) resulted in the first dip of the volume of the internet traffic. First ever actually. It is the first time since the Internet exists that the volume of the activity on the internet was smaller compared with the same month a year ago. All the iPhones and all kind of internet enabled devices did not help here. There have been far less people working (and surfing in their breaks), and far less people had time to surf during their work.

The combination of the large reduction of the job advertisements (that generate the revenue for the job boards, and also the drop in web site traffic in general – the figures of a job boards in 2009 do not look so rosy!

Social networks are a long term threat to the job boards.

The number of people spending time, and the sheer amount of time people spend on the social networking sites does not really leave much time to search the job boards. Compared to the job boards, the social networking sites are actually extremely boring. There is 0 interaction on the site really. As a job hunter you apply for a job or jobs you like, and what you get back in 99% of the cases is an automated response in the email. The confirmation of the job application. Impersonal and sterile. The social networks on the other side let you publish the content for other users (or anyone on internet) to read and see. Social networks let you say what you think (that your spouse doesn’t!). Social networks encourage you to comment pretty much anything!

You can meet new people. You can catch up with old school mates. You can check the last summer holiday photos of your cousins. You can upload your fancy wedding photos, with all the family in strange dresses in the background! You can grade photos and comment them. You can upload video from your car racing weekend. Your greatest fishing catch.

Social network is like a pub. People are talking. Social network is like a ‘Corso’, the main street boardwalk where you hang out with your friends and their friends. You can also do some business with all this people there if you feel like it. But do not really have to, since you can check how your mates commented the game yesterday. And tell them how YOU think your home club should have played.

After you got used to the way of communication that the social networks or let you by broadcasting YOUR message to the masses, the idea of browsing boring listings of the jobs on the job sites simply isn’t that appealing any more.

Social Recruitment is born simply because people are far more active on the social networks than on job boards. If Twitter wouldn’t have that many visitors and users it would be impossible to hire staff there. But the sheer volume of users on Twitter makes it a platform where you really can hire staff with the most crazy restriction anyone have ever imposed on the recruitment process – communication limited to 140 characters (spaces included!!!). Facebook is probably the platform with the largest number of useless, and distracting applications but the fact that the number of active users is larger than most of the countries in the world – makes it a perfect sourcing application for a large number or positions. LinkedIN is specialising for the recruitment itself – the social network of professionals. Even their Jobs section isn’t visited as much as all the others since it is simply boring. Visitors expect more from the social networks then the boring jobs listings. They want to contribute. They want to read other peoples contribution. They way to confirm their decisions by getting the independent views from other people with similar conclusions.

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!