7 thoughts on “A Good Idea, Indeed. You’re Simply Hired.”

  1. You are right, but there are some critical differences between what Yahoo/Hotjobs is doing and the approach we are taking at Indeed. Yahoo/Hotjobs is using its ‘web results’ only as backfill, so its paid listings are ranked first in search results. While it is obvious it is being done to maintain the existing Hotjobs business, this paid inclusion approach leads to a dramatically different user experience compared with Indeed, whose entire search results are ranked strictly by relevance. Moreover, Indeed’s job index is far more comprehensive and its job data is much fresher than the web-sourced job data of Yahoo/Hotjobs.

  2. If I’m looking for an inanimate thing, the search approach to the world, which is throw everything possible at me, and give me the tools to sort through quickly, works just great. Because the thing itself, or, more exactly, the information about the thing itself, has no “incentive” to give me wrong information, Google works great. When I’m searching for information about an apple, all the orange information out there doesn’t try and pretend to be more apple-like to get my eye.

    But when it comes to people, the part that job-seekers like: show me all the jobs out there that *I* want to see, is exactly the part that the job listers *hate*. Because as a job departs from the bottom percentile in terms of pay, status, fun, or requirements, the number of inappropriate applicants proportionately increases. It’s as if the better and shinier apple you’re looking for, the more peaches and pears and oranges you get showing up in your results claiming to be a Red Delicious.

    Anyway, don’t mean to fill up your comments section, so a longer post here:

  3. simply put: great search is about RELEVANCE.

    while i applaud Yahoo for recognizing that vertical search is *better* search, i’d agree with Paul they haven’t delivered on the relevancy metric that’s critical to the searcher. instead they’ve chosen to order results based on advertiser monetization, not searcher relevancy. i would say great search engines need to aim higher.

    furthermore, vertical search isn’t just about doing a basic meta-search — it’s also about using structured data & metadata gathered from other services to increase relevance. the SimplyHired partnership with LinkedIn is a great example of a mashup that combines job data & social networking data to help make it easier for people to find a better job.

    anyway, here’s my take on what it really means to be a leader in vertical search: Top 10 Rules for Vertical Revolutionaries. we covered a lot of this stuff at our recent Vertical Leap conference on vertical search.

    – dave mcclure
    “less crap, more jobs”

  4. Well, we have an all-star panel in here. Dave – I really enjoyed your talk at the Vertical Leap conference.

    I worked for monster.com a couple years back (before deciding consulting was less stress for more money 😉 )and I really think that what scares them most is not new job boards, or even new entrants to the market, but Yahoo! or Google simply making it easy for corporate websites to tag there postings so that they are found more easily by the major search engines.

    Why can’t IBM just post all its jobs on its own corporate site and tag or submit the site to Yahoo!/Google/MSN. Many companies that post on job boards make job seekers register and go through their own online application process for data storing purposes. Users would simply use a search modifier in the search box of the big three (e.g. “Emp”) to target a search to job postings only. Of course the local search technology is not quite there, and it will take some marketing to get the job seekers to use Yahoo!/Google/MSN to look for jobs, therefore justifying investing a companies investment on time to submit listings.

  5. I agree wholeheartedly that great search is about relevance, and further agree that Yahoo! may not have done as good a job as either Simply Hired or Indeed.

    However, the fact remains that THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO. From Yahoo’s perspective, “good enough” is OK because they have the golden eggs: traffic and awareness. To be Zen for a sec: “If a user doesn’t know that there’s a better option, then is there a better option?”

    As Gary Price has said over and over again, the primary difficulty in vertical search is awareness. Subtle differences won’t cut it in this space — it takes major improvements, stickiness (read: value) and a tipping-point in awareness that happens fast enough to compete against other entrants.

    I think that Simply Hired and Indeed have found a problem that needed solving — in fact, we’ve decided not to build it ourselves primarily because they’ve done a good job with it. However, my question is: have they executed fast enough? Or has the market tipped… in the wrong direction?

  6. hey Russell –

    you’re right, we think they did a *fine* job over there… and we hope they keep resting on their laurels. and they keep diluting their organic results with paid inclusion. and charging for listings. and not indexing monster & CB. while our traffic grows @ 300-400% per quarter.

    tipping point “indeed”… er, sorry, i meant tipping point simply hired.

    – Dave “let sleeping giants keep sleeping” McClure

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