For search engine optimization experts in the staffing industry (aka ‘Staffing SEOs’), eliminating traditional advertising costs like Monster is job #1.
So we watch with great interest the latest search engine trends as discussed by the big names in optimization like Search Engine Land, Matt Cutts, ThinkSEM and Aaron Wall and the brouhaha over an impending change to Google search results alternately known as the ‘Brand’ or ‘Vince’ update.
The controversy surrounds whether the Vince update is a deliberate attempt by Google to favor established brands or is simply a tweak intended to make the search experience more relevant. Internally at Google every tweak or code change goes through extensive testing and data analysis, so it’s possible that what Matt Cutts and the Google programmers see as simply a quantitative improvement actually reflects a less understood reality that people want to go directly to the source or brand as opposed to directory sites.
Let me illustrate with an example of a hot job category, civil engineering. Obama’s stimulus package has created a sudden rush for road construction companies to have projects that are ready to have the shovel meet the dirt. A company has two choices to proceed. One is that they list their job out on Monster or Career Builder paying big dollars for a post. The other is to list the job natively out of their own career website on niche job board. Let’s compare the two approaches.
With Monster, you pay a fee to post the job and wait for candidates to find the post and register. Once registered these candidates become fair game for every other engineering company to come in and poach. So you pay double, one to cough up the bucks for the post and once to telegraph the availability of the candidates to competing recruiters.
With your own job board, you set up a web page called “MyJobBoard.CivilEngineers.aspx” that pulls job data fresh from your database every time a candidate visits the page. You advertise that page using all the normal tools for search engine optimization. For example you tweet about it on twitter, you blog about it on your corporate blog, you write articles about it for press releases and related industry sites. Now, each new job gets exposure automatically without having to repost it anywhere AND it doesn’t cost you anything AND candidates that respond to it by registering are EXCLUSIVELY yours.
Exclusive access and less cost! It’s no wonder that staffing SEOs are gleeful about Google’s embrace of fresh content from original sources and the Vincent update that discounts aggregator/directory sites like Monster.