The problem Google is fixing
Google may be the dominant search engine but it has been pretty much missing-in-action when it comes to major classified markets such as property, jobs and cars. Yes, Google Search indexes such content but its engine is a poor substitute for dedicated ad engines like Indeed or AutoTrader.
Classifies, you see, contain next to no hyperlinks and these are a key ingredient for Google’s search rankings - they were the sauce that Google Search used to deliver its highly relevant results right from the start. Google’s current engine flattens content to fit within its system and much context is lost in this process.
For recruitment ads Google needs technology that understands an ad.
What is the Google Jobs API?
A different approach is required for classifieds. A vertical search engine is one that has intimate knowledge about a market segment. Google started by studying the data required to match job seekers to job ads. It developed occupation and skills classifications to pigeonhole each job advertised.
This approach enables Google to differentiate an ad for a project manager from an ad for an engineer who reports to a project manager even though both can contain a similar set of keywords. Google has also brought its mapping prowess to bear and can filter job results by commuting distance - a major tech win for the new system.
The Google Jobs API enables content to submitted to Google and then searched via any service allowed access to Google's engine.
Today there are much more jobs in Google’s standard Search than in its new Jobs search.
There is also no applicant tracking system (ATS). Google does have an ATS product - Google Hire. It will be interesting to see how Hire develops in the coming years and if Google gives the product more prominence.
Google Jobs Search is in alpha, USA-only and only available to a small group of recruiters. Google is listening to feedback and deepening the product's features (it recently added support for company logos for example). Even so, my next post: Why Google Jobs API just might fail