Google job ads are here – now what?

Google job adsOn March 1, Google job ads came into the hiring world like a lion. Ok, not really – but it made a great opening sentence, eh? No, the first sighting of Google job ads (thanks to Tom Chevalier!) seems more like a tentative finger in the water, instead of a full-fledged rollout. As you can see in the screen capture, the implementation is almost painful in its implementation – ala Craigslist. That’s ok – as we all know, Google can do anything they want, and their visual design is often simple.

Google job adsWhen Google for Jobs first appeared many years ago, I and many others speculated that the next step would be some kind of monetization of the blue box – probably along the lines of their regular ads. I honestly thought it would happen within a year or so of the 2017 introduction – but it didn’t. Then the industry went through several years of wondering when the next shoe would drop….and waiting…..and wondering.

So why now? Since I don’t have a pipeline into the Google C-suite, I can only speculate. But my best guess is that they need the money. Google – if you haven’t heard already – has not had a great couple of years. The EU has been fining it for various and sundry privacy and competition issues, the U.S. is also breathing down its neck, and now it is facing a scenario in which AI may displace its leading role in internet search. What’s a big, multi-national behemoth to do? Apparently one thing is to start offering job ads.

But if Google decides to roll out job ads across its entire network (and this is of course by no mean certain!), what will that do to the job board industry? Here are a few possibilities:

  • Money that was being spent on job boards now goes to Google: At first, Google Jobs provided a traffic boost to niche job boards, allowing their ads for the first time to place above Indeed. That in turn helped improve the attractiveness of these job ads, which helped the thousands of sites involved. I would expect that at least some of that money will now go to Google as employers compete with job boards for the paid ad positions.
  • Job boards spend even more money on Google: Instead of giving an endless stream of cash to Google for regular ads, the job boards will double-down and start buying Google job ads to promote their own inventory. Hey, why not?
  • Indeed could simply flood the new job ads: Hey, Indeed/Recruit has a bottomless checkbook, right? So why not simply outbid everyone on all Google job ads, everywhere?
  • Google job ads become a regional headache: Perhaps Google will decide to implement Google job ads in specific geographic areas, such as the U.S. and the EU. After all…follow the money!
  • Indeed feels the pain: Maybe the Google job ads perform so well that Indeed customers forget all about CPA!
  • It’s a great big nothingburger: It is around for a while – but then for some unknown reason (such as litigation), Google decides to pull Google job ads.

What do you think? Are we at the edge of the job board apocalypse – or is it just another ‘slow news day’ in our industry? Let me know!

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