New Screenshots Show Just How Serious Google is About Job Search

Still think Google’s not all that serious about job search? Check out the following screenshot.

Yep, Google looks like it’s testing the option to provide job-search recommendations directly from its homepage. Clicking on any of the links above, circled in red by me for the sake of highlighting, takes users to search results on Google, invariably pushing people to Google for Jobs.

Jason Crowell, recruiting and retention manager at Brady Trucking, was the first I know to see these search recommendations, sharing them in a Facebook Group. “It definitely got my attention,” he said. “I made sure I got a screen grab, because I didn’t think I’d see that again. Sure enough, I haven’t seen it since.”

Crowell’s screenshot highlighted jobs that were primarily assistant in nature, like accounting assistant. Crowell added that he rarely searches for jobs online, and the only site he uses to post jobs is Indeed. He’s also a user of Google’s Chrome browser and wondered if going to Indeed translated into Google serving him the job searches on its homepage.

Fortunately, I have also seen these homepage search “buttons,” since learning about Crowell’s discovery. The screenshot above are the searches I saw. The job searches Google is serving me are way off. I don’t live or ever visit Peoria or Lancaster, although I’m sure they’re lovely places. A job for a land surveyor is also nowhere in the ballpark. And an inside sales job is reaching at best.

According to Google, when you click on the “learn more” option, searches are delivered based on search history. However, seeing just how unrelated the recommendations are, either Google’s tech has really fallen off a cliff, or it’s just testing to see how users feel about having related job searches on their homepage translates into traffic.

It’s worth noting that Google has a long history of throwing stuff at the wall to see what actually sticks. Messing with the homepage is also not something Google takes lightly, especially if we’re talking about something as inconsequential as job search.

So what’s going on here?

Unfortunately, no one really knows but Google. I reached out for comment, but no reply. It is safe, however, to say Google is not taking the whole employment thing lightly. The mere fact that it put related job searches on its homepage means it wants job search to work, even more than it’s already working, which by most accounts is working quite nicely, thank you very much.

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The next thing to watch is whether or not more users start seeing these related searches. If that happens, do the queries improve, which at this point would have to be serious improvement, because they’re currently so irrelevant. Then, wait to see if Google introduces a pay-per-click option for jobs showing up on Google for Jobs, in addition to the money it’s already making from advertisers on its traditional job search results page.

Then make it rain.

Update: A Google spokesperson sent the following response: “This is a feature we’ve been rolling out over the past couple of months to help people pick up where they left off and explore related topics of interest on Search. It’s currently limited to a small set of topics and tasks, and we’ll continue to look for ways to refine and expand this experience for users.”

Joel Cheesman

Joel Cheesman has over 20 years experience in the online recruitment space. He worked for both international and local job boards in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. In 2005, Cheesman founded HRSEO, a search engine marketing company for HR, as well as launching an award-winning industry blog called Cheezhead. He has been featured in Fast Company and US News and World Report. He sold his company in 2009 to Jobing.com. He was employed by EmployeeScreenIQ, a background check company. He is the founder of Ratedly, an app that monitors anonymous employee reviews. He is married and the father of three children. He lives in Indianapolis.