Is what they are asking for OK, and does it affect your other marketing? Here is what Google says about why it wants your job data to be structured to meet its needs.
Google says #1:
Structured data: You can improve the job-seeking experience by adding job-posting structured data to your job-posting web pages. Adding structured data makes your job postings eligible to appear in a special user experience in Google Search results. You can also integrate with Google by using a third-party job site. For employers and job content site owners, this feature brings many benefits:
A prominent place in Search results: Your postings are eligible to be displayed in the dedicated Job Search UI, featuring your logo, reviews, ratings, and job details.
More motivated applicants: The new user experience enables job seekers to filter by various criteria like location or job title, meaning you’re more likely to attract applicants who are looking exactly for that job.
Increased chances of discovery and conversion: Job seekers will have a new avenue to interact with your postings and click through to your site.
Adding structured data: Pretty much all recruitment websites delivered by UK vendors have structured data, so the info is a bit misleading. Pages have structured data in most cases, but it is the way the structured data is delivered that GFJ needs you to change so it can do its thang.
This is where the data you may want can come into conflict with Google for Jobs’ needs. This conflict can, in our view, also affect data needed in the store that works best for other marketing. Though we need to test this now it is here in the UK, a concern we have is with archive job data. We have, over the past 14 years, seen this used to great effect to rival job aggregators in Google SERPS (the natural search results you get). GFJ say they don’t want archives, so this would affect those doing normal SEO, or receiving the benefits of SEO without actually knowing.
A prominent place in search results: If all 32000 recruiters in the UK, or all 1000 recruiters who place, say, SAP staff, all follow the rules, and say 30 recruiters have the job at the same time, how does GFJ decide which of the 30 of you to put in the prominent position on its service? It has suggested it de-duplicates jobs – so whose get deleted? Day one testing of jobs and we have found duplicate jobs – so when does de-duplicating start?
Job-seeker confusion: Given that in other parts of its justification for its service it says that job seekers are confused by pages which list a set of job results instead of the actual job they looked for, why would they not be confused by the GFJ page, which is itself a page of job results? It has yet to tell us how it will priorities the results. Our guess is it will do what Indeed has done: asked for £2000 a month to have sponsored or manipulated results.
Job-seeker motivation: How does GFJ make a job seeker more motivated? I mean, they are on Google search engine looking for jobs. Are they saying the job seeker is less motivated to work for you if they found the job via Google Adwords, Indeed, job boards, your own site, etc.? Reeks of assumed marketing intelligence rather than fact.
Increased chance of discovery: The logic used here is that because Google is large and gets job seeker traffic, if it puts a product/service online you will get more. But this logic only tells you the partial truth of the real situation.
Google says #2: Create a job posting
- Ensure that Googlebot can crawl your job posting web pages (not protected by a robots.txt file or robots meta tag).
- Ensure that your host load settings allow for frequent crawls.
- Make sure you follow our guidelines.
- Add job posting structured data to your web page.
- If you have several copies of the same job posting on your site hosted under different URLs, use canonical URLs on each copy of the page.
- Test and preview your structured data.
- Keep Google informed by submitting sitemaps.
- Your sitemap informs Google of additions, changes, or removals to your job postings. We recommend updating your sitemap any time you make changes to your job postings. To update your sitemap, send a GET request to the following URL: http://www.google.com/ping?sitemap=location_of_sitemap. For example: http://www.google.com/ping?sitemap=http://www.example.com/sitemap.xml. If you have a high change rate, which means you have more than 100,000 job postings or more than 10,000 changes per day, contact us.
Google has a notorious track record of crashing servers with frequent crawls; recruiters who have the £2.99 a month WordPress hosting may well find their sites crashing under the weight of a Googlebot gone crazy.
What they say also conflicts, and they later say they give no guarantees that the crawl rate will be as you want/ask for later in their explanation of the service. So if you are not all being crawled equally, where is the equality of the service?
Google says #3: Remove a job posting
Jobs that are no longer open for applications must be expired in one of the following ways. Failure to take timely action on expired jobs may result in a manual action.
To remove a job posting that is no longer available, follow the steps below:
Do one of the following actions:
- Ensure the validThrough property is populated and in the past.
- Remove the page entirely (so that requesting it returns a 404 or 410 status code).
- Remove JobPosting structured data from the page.
- Submit a new sitemap to Google by sending a GET request to the following URL:
- http://www.google.com/ping?sitemap=location_of_sitemap. For example: http://www.google.com/ping?sitemap=http://www.example.com/sitemap.xml
- We ingest the entire sitemap and recrawl the pages with lastmod times that are more recent than the last time those pages were crawled.
Submit a new sitemap to Google by sending a GET request to the following URL: http://www.google.com/ping?sitemap=location_of_sitemap
Remove expired jobs. Sound advice. I mean, why would a job seeker want an expired job?
Unless you understand SEO methods which gain you job seekers. What a decent SEO would do is have the expired job page converted into a useful page for the potential visitor. Examples of which would be to match the expired job to other jobs you have like it. If you do this, you start to rank well for what are called long-tail job seeker results.
Google says #4: Add reviews about employers
If you collect reviews about employers, you can add review snippet structured data. The following guidelines apply to review snippets for employers:
After adding review snippets structured data, register your interest. Ensure that itemReviewed points to a schema.org/Organization that represents the company being reviewed.
This works for recruiters if they are retained or the sole supplier, otherwise they are asking recruiters to tell the candidate who their client is before they have authority to act as the candidate’s agent. Which is commercial suicide for most agencies.
So is GFJ really a level playing field for recruiters, job boards and employers if some of what it uses to rank or rate jobs is not open to recruiters?
Google says #5: Content guidelines
Job postings must be valid. A valid job posting allows a job seeker to apply for an available role at a company or agency directly online.
- Floor manager at a particular department store. Company is valid, and it’s a named role.
- Checkout associate for a particular grocery chain. Company is valid, and it’s a general role.
- Clerical job for a placement agency. Although the final company is unspecified, the agency is the hiring party and is described.
- Recruiter ad with an apply flow where the company is unspecified. This is acceptable because the role is well-defined and the company does exist, even if it isn’t revealed. In this case, the hiringOrganizationproperty must be blank.
- A restaurant hiring kitchen staff in a single posting. Though the job titles may include positions such as line cooks, dish washers, waiters, the overall role is the same and they’re subject to the same hiring process.
- A barista posting that is always hiring. Blanket postings for “always hiring” jobs are acceptable.
- Career fair invitations
- Recruiter advertisements without a way to apply
- Resume drops that collect candidate data, but aren’t currently hiring
- Advertisements for your business disguised as job listings, such as broad career pages or other offers for services
- Job postings that require payment to interact with them because job seekers can’t apply directly online
- Providing false links that ask job seekers to apply that are substantially different from what job seekers would see browsing your website
- Job postings for a job that is no longer hiring for the position (expired jobs)
- Job postings that are seeking employment instead of offering employment
- Job postings that direct users to a list of jobs. Job postings must fairly represent the hiring organization and job to be performed by the applicant.
The good news here is that they say recruiters can leave out who their client is.
Google says #6: The following is a list of their demands for the job data
What do we do with clients who say you can’t advertise the salary? Why no option for benefits? My last salary was OK, but my benefits were worth over £15k.
Google says #7:
This list of what is needed for the job description is at odds with some sectors. Does a forklift truck driver advert for a 3-week shift at a warehouse in Solihull need to explain you need 3 GCSEs?
For employment type, have we to start speaking American? Do we tell our Interims they are now temps, sorry, “TEMPORARY”?
Google says #8:
On the one hand, they say recruitment agencies do not need to give up their client names, then they have two ways that names can be given away. The obvious Glassdoor review example, and the not so obvious data request for the postalCode. In the UK, this, when used in conjunction with other Google products like their maps, will list employer names on the map. A growing trend and a recognised risk with adding a Google map postcode radius search to your job ads.
Google says #9:
The job title logic they have invented is easily confused. Right now, if you are looking for a Murex Developer in Frankfurt, you can put that in your job title, and it plays out when candidates seeking Murex jobs in Frankfurt make searches in Google – as the result come out in the free organic listing if you know how to set your recruitment website up for basic SEO principles. So meeting the needs of GFJ is in conflict with other forms of web marketing.
Conclusion: a note from our founder
I get one of two reactions when I point our GFJ is not as simple as being compatible or not. The first is “thanks for pointing this out”, the second is some suggestion I am anti GFJ.
So, to be clear, I have devoted the past 24 years of my working life to trying to make things better for recruiters. The working life I have left is all based on services and approaches to make recruiters’ lives better.
If GFJ can do that, cool with me. For now, I want more detailed answers, or more of a tested strategy than the plot of the Kevin Costner movie ‘Field of Dreams’, because you may well build structured data into your jobs post and the candidates may very well come, but you may also get naff all and a bill from your website vendor, or the suggestion you need to change vendors and then still get naff all.