By Strac Ivanov. M.B.A., President and Co-Founder of Vicinity Jobs
It never fails to amaze me how many employers are willing to pay close to $1,000 to post a single job on someone else’s web site, yet use technologies that make jobs advertised on their own web sites virtually “invisible” to the web. Many of them may not be even aware of the fact that the jobs they advertise on their web sites are off limits to search engines. Having your postings inaccessible to search engine crawlers means that you are missing out on a huge free opportunity to reach job seekers.
As a general rule of thumb, if the only way for someone to see what job openings you have available is to click on a button or fill in a form somewhere on your web site, then the job postings are off limits to conventional search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Live.com. Including direct links to your postings on other pages of your web site is necessary, but it does not guarantee that they will be visible or relevant to search engines. A number of factors matter, including the URLs of the individual postings, the way the pages are coded, and, of course, the content of the postings.
Vertical Internet search engines for jobs, such as VicinityJobs.com, Eluta.ca, and WowJobs.ca, are usually more flexible and can go around certain online forms. But many employers unknowingly use technology platforms that are specifically built to prevent search engines from accessing the content of the job postings that they publish. An example are technologies that will only display the content of your posting to visitors who got to them through a certain “path” (typically through the web site’s title page).
Whatever the perceived “benefits” of blocking job search engines from seeing your job postings, they are vastly outweighed by the disadvantages. Vertical job search engines are hugely popular among job seekers and don’t cost you a dime. For example, on VicinityJobs.com, we typically receive over 80,000 visits per month from job seekers in the Greater Toronto Area alone. Having your jobs indexed by our search engines and included in our search results means that we will send you potential candidates for free. Blocking us from accessing your job postings guarantees that you will get less applicants to choose from.
So what can you do? Here are my recommendations:
- Get someone with solid understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) concepts to review the career sections and tell you if any of these limitations apply to you.
- Ask the right questions when selecting an online job advertising technology platform. Be extra careful, especially if it comes from companies that also sell recruiting services or run major paid job boards. The benefits to them of limiting access to postings on your web site are obvious: The less candidates you get on your own through your web site, the more likely you are to buy extra recruiting or job posting services.
- Contact job search engines proactively and request from them to monitor the career section of your web site.