Google Enters Job Listings Fray

November 21, 2005
Search giant Google launched its new listings service last week, and within hours bloggers and recruitment professionals were already attempting to predict what it means for the Monsters and CareerBuilders of the world.

Google Base, as the new listings service is named, lets users post or upload virtually anything into a database, tag it with descriptions like a location, job title, company and so forth and make it accessible to the world all at no cost.

CareerBuilder was one of Google's launch partners, posting hundreds of jobs on the site and offering a testimonial to the new service that said, in part, "Feeding our jobs to Google Base further extends our distribution network, providing employers with added support in marketing their open positions."

The company later e-mailed its clients bragging about the additional exposure their ads would now have: "All jobs are posted to Google's site--giving exposure to 80 million more Americans."

Yet even as CareerBuilder was telling recruiters and hiring managers how good Google Base was for them, financial analysts were predicting that the service would alter the listings business forever.
Peter Appert, an analyst at Goldman Sachs, wrote, "If Google eventually charges for listings, or if advertisers find they get adequate results posting directly on Google and can bypass paid listing services aggregated by Google, the economic implications will be dramatic."
At the same time, recruitment marketer Joel Cheesman was offering 15 reasons on his blog why posting job listings to Google is a good idea--including the fact that it's free.

In the short term, all this will probably not affect company recruitment at all. While there is no reason for a large employer not to post jobs to Google Base automatically, it's going to be some time before the site has enough reach to be an effective recruitment tool. Appert, for instance, estimates it will be 12 months before Base has an impact on any listings sector.

The longer-term impact could be to drive down--possibly all the way to zero--the cost of posting a job online.

Job search engines like and already are leveling the advantage that the paid job boards have enjoyed by aggregating their listings with those from corporate Web sites and hundreds of other sites and displaying them based solely on their relevance to what a job seeker wants.

But as more and more jobs get indexed, getting a company's job opening noticed becomes the challenge. The best recruiters will turn to search-engine marketing for visibility and targeting. Examples of that can be seen now. A search on Google's regular site for "Dayton Ohio jobs" includes an ad for taxi driver jobs at
One company,, is now offering to help recruiters write and post those so-called "contextual text ads." The program, TalentScope, costs $495 per ad.

As Cheesman notes in his blog: "I fully expect the strategy of optimizing job descriptions to gain in importance and for this to be very good for companies like mine."

--John Zappe