July 25, 2021

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Google adds direct apply markup and new editorial guidelines for job postings

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Google has announced a new property to the job posting structured data and updated its editorial guidelines for job postings in Google Search. Google said “today we are announcing a new structured data property and new editorial content policy.”

New editorial guidelines for job postings

Google has updated and added new guidelines for job postings in Google Search. The new guidelines are a new content policy that “include guidance around obstructive text and images, excessive and distractive ads, or content that doesn’t add any value to the job posting,” Google wrote. This includes that the job listings “should also follow basic grammar rules, such as proper capitalization.”

Why the change. Google said these new guidelines will help the search company “improve the quality of our results and develop new functionality within the product.”

October 1, 2021. Google said it will give job posters time to prepare for these new guideline changes. Google said these new guideliens go into effect on October 1, 2021.

Google advice. Google published these top tips for ways for you to improve job seeker trust, they include:

  • Verify that there are no scammy or spammy job posts on your site. These are job posts that don’t represent a real job opportunity. Make sure that you only markup pages with a single and actionable job opportunity.
  • Ensure a good user experience. According to our users, sites with poor user experience are those that ask for user information when it is not necessary, have poor quality pages (for example, excessive or obstructive ads), and/or have complex application processes (for example, lead to many redirects). Poor user experience also reduces application completion rate.
  • Remove expired job posts. Don’t leave a job post open if it is no longer accepting new applications. Applying and not hearing back from the employer is a common complaint of job seekers. When you remove the job from your site, make sure to also remove the markup or update the  validThrough  property. We encourage the use of Indexing API to update us on the change. Landing on an expired job post, especially after a few redirects, is a very frustrating experience.
  • Make sure that the job’s posting date is genuine. Users use freshness as a signal to assess if a position accepts new applicants, chances to get hired, attractiveness of the position and more. Don’t mask old jobs as new ones and don’t update the  DatePosted  property if there was no change to the job post.
  • Don’t include wrong or misleading information in the job post or the markup. This includes incorrect salary, location, working hours, employment type, or other job specific details. To avoid this make sure that the job post describes the job correctly and that the markup is an accurate representation of the job post.

New direct apply property

Google added a new direct apply property to the job posting structured data. This property gives websites an optional way to share if your job listing offers a direct apply experience right from Google Search.

Google defines a direct apply experience in terms of the actions that are required from the user to apply to the job. This means that a user is offered a short and simple application process on your page without unnecessary intermediate steps. If the user has to click apply, complete an application form, sign in or log in more than once in the application journey, it means that you aren’t offering a direct apply experience.

Here is a graphic that illustrates the methods for direct apply:

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Google noted “since we are still developing how we are using this information, you may not see any appearance or effect in Google Search right away.”

Why we care. If you offer job listings on your web site, you will want to make sure you comply with the new guidelines and that your job listings are in accordance with the spirit of those guidelines. The policies will be forced starting October 1st.

And the direct apply feature might help you capture more job applications quicker and from more trusted job seekers, so give it a try.


About The Author

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Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here.
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