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Google Job Search Engine: the Starter Guide

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Google knows everything- including how candidates want to shop for job.

That’s why the company’s launched its Google Job Search Engine last year in the US, and now in the UK as well, as of last July.

And it makes sense: Google’s business is to make information available in the richest, most user-friendly format possible. It’s ideally positioned to build a job search engine, and for that reason, the company’s move will probably shape the way employers and recruiting agencies structure job descriptions for years to come.

How job descriptions get on Google

First, a quick intro to this new candidate-focused job search engine. If you’ve ever looked up flights, restaurants, or even recipes on Google, you’ve come across rich search results.

google job search engine rich search

The Google search engine works in the same way. When a candidate types in job search keywords, such as “marketing jobs in London”, one of the search results is a link to the Google Jobs Search Engine.

google job search engine example

The information in that enriched search result comes from two sources:

  • Platforms that have partnered with Google, like Glassdoor, Linkedin, Monster, Direct Employers, iCIMS, Glassdoor, JazzHR, Madgex, ZipRecruiter... to mention a only a few.
  • Job postings on HTML pages that are built in a way that google can recognize and index in the job search engine.

Therefore, your job descriptions need to either be set up the right way, with what is called “structured data”, or to at least be published on one of the partner platforms. While your team can usually manage the latter, you might want to involve your organization’s IT department with the former. Just make sure to share these guidelines with them beforehand.

How to rank high on Google Jobs Search Engine

The ranking algorithm of this search engine will likely try to reward companies who provide the best experience to job searchers, the same way Google’s general search engine rewards accurate, detailed, and useful content.

This means including all the details below somewhere on the page, in addition to the role description itself and the usual company overview, even if they might be obvious to the candidate:

  • Company name
  • Job contract type
  • Date posted
  • Job location- with a detailed address
  • Subheadings of each section of the job description (such as responsibilities, requirement, company overview…)
  • Salary information & job Benefits
  • Deadline for applying

Better SEO, more clicks

A big change brought on by this job search engine is the necessity to think about job descriptions the way marketers think about online content. Job postings have to take into considerations the demands of SEO and the unconscious behaviors of candidates online.

Before starting to write a job description, do a quick survey of what keywords the competition is using to describe the role. Ensure you’re using the most popular variations throughout your copy.

Subheaders usually rank content higher on Google when they contain relevant keywords, and Google’s Job search engine seem to reward well-formatted job descriptions, so you could re-emphasize your keyword in each subheader, for example: “Marketing Content Manager key skills”, “What does the Marketing Content Manager do?”, while making the whole description better organized. Two birds, one stone.

Another good piece of guidance is to keep in mind how candidates will read search results on the job search engine. Shorter job titles of an average of 20 characters, with important information in the first or second word, get more clicks.

Why details matter on the Google job search engine

The job search engine filters jobs based on detailed information such as date posted, salary range and company type.

google job search engine filters

Think of all the filtering options offered. Does your job description contain information detailed enough to trigger all of those filters?

Job searchers are able to look at jobs filtered by location through Google Maps, for example, so a specific address for the posting is necessary. Be similarly specific about things like seniority level, full-time vs part-time, and industry, for example. This level of detail is definitely necessary because, for jobs appearing on multiple sites, Google will link to the most complete one.

Candidates also have the possibility of setting up alerts for specific jobs, so they can get notified when a new job is posted. If you have an iterative hiring process in place, perhaps through an agile recruiting cycle, then you can take advantage of what you learn from earlier iterations to replace existing postings with better one. Don’t just mindlessly repost the same descriptions to appear multiple times in candidates notifications- that will just irritate candidates.

Google Job Search Engine: AI, AI everywhere

Because it’s Google, AI and Machine Learning are of course involved. How does that affect recruiters?

Mostly, as Google’s Machine Learning algorithms observe how candidates search for jobs then click on links, the search engine will slightly adapt what keywords yield what results. Where only “Content marketing manager” showed your job descriptions before, new search queries like “working in content marketing” might start showing job postings as well. If your competition includes these keywords and you don’t, your ranking will suffer. This is something you can monitor manually for now, but keep an eye out: keyword monitoring tools that are specific for Google Jobs are sure to crop up soon enough.

Writing job descriptions: Not just for machines

Recruiters need to cater to the requirements of google’s algorithm for sure, but this doesn’t mean they are suddenly excused from making job descriptions attractive to candidates as well. As usual with any content that is part of the candidate’s journey, we still need to write job descriptions that are informative, targeted, and on brand.

Tone and wording can convey a lot. The same task can be described in ways that appeal to different candidates, depending on the focus it is given:

"You’ll be expected to collaborate with your colleagues on candidate communications to ensure the candidate experience is genuine and relevant - formal, centered on candidate experience"


"You will keep your teammates in the loop so no one is left out of candidate conversations, and the hiring process is as efficient as possible- informal, focused on teamwork and efficiency"

The excerpt below is an example of how to optimize job description copy for search engines without murdering its readability and attractiveness for human candidates.

google job search engine example job description

It includes specific keywords for the role, and detailed information about the day-to-day job, but also highlights personal values that the team is looking for, all in a conversational tone that reflect the company culture.

No job description template can universally work for all companies, but with the introduction of the Google Jobs Search Engine, we’ll definitely see a standardization of the information available in job descriptions going forward. If recruiters want jobs to rank high enough for candidates to see them, they will have to conform to these new standards.

And all in all, this added transparency can only benefit both parties: candidates will know more about the companies and jobs they’re applying to, and in the long terms, companies will only receive applications from candidates who are the right fit for them.

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