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Google Jobs New Guidelines: Stay Compliant and Visible with Botify

11th May 2018Frank VitovichFrank Vitovich

Google recently announced some new guidelines for inclusion in Google Jobs to help improve the overall user experience with this Google Product.

Violating them could result in manual action from Google and/or prevent your site from appearing in Google Jobs.

Any job listings website should be obsessed with ensuring they stay within these new guidelines outlined by Google. With Botify, you can ensure you’re compliant and visible in the SERPS by complying with the new guidelines. HTML-extract-v2-size1

New Guidelines - What’s Changed, and How Does it Affect Visibility?

The following three guidelines are all new to Google Jobs:

  • Expired jobs must be removed
  • Structured data should be placed on the job's details page
  • All job details should be present in the job description

    Botify makes it easy to ensure all of Google’s new guidelines so that your listings keep occupying that prime SERP real estate!

Auditing Jobs Structured Data

Let’s start with the easiest to audit - Jobs structured data. Botify automatically collects structured data for the most popular data types, including jobs.

To make sure that your URLs have Jobs structured data present, all it takes is a quick filter to find all of your job listings pages that have (or don’t have) the Jobs Opening main object. frank1

You can take your auditing to the next level to ensure you are giving Google as much data as possible in your listings if you combine some filters with a metrics table. This allows you to track how many of your listings have specific values within Jobs structured data over time as well.

In this example we can see what values are missing within all pages that have the Jobs main data type and then the action on updating these listings.
frank2

Remove Expired Jobs

To remove a job listing, Google’s given three pretty simple methods for doing so:

  • Remove the URL and return a 404 or 410 status code to Google
  • Leave the listing URL live but remove the structured data
  • Leave the listing URL live with structured data but include the “validThrough” field with the correct date of expiration of the listing

    With Botify, you can make sure your listings meet any of these criteria.

If you remove a URL and return a 404 or 410, Botify won’t find those URLs in a crawl of your website as long as you remove links to those listings. If any of them are still linked in your site structure though, you can simply take a look at how many of your URLs in the listings segment return either a 404 or 410 status code and monitor them over time.

Removing a job listing might not be the best method though. For instance, maybe your listings end up getting a lot of backlinks. Who wants to have a lot of backlinks pointing to 404’s or 410’s?

Should you remove the structured data on your listings but leave them live on your site, all you need to do to ensure that these URLs stay within guidelines is run a quick filter to find all of your URLs in your listings segment that do not have jobs listings structured data.

This is a very quick filter in the URL Explorer. Something as simple as this will do the trick: frank3

Now, some would argue that having separate rules for when structured data is and isn’t present could present a development team with an unneeded challenge.

Enter the “validThrough” field in your structured data. Instead of removing pages or structured data, is you just use this field in your job listings, you will stay within guidelines with relative ease.

Botify extracts this field for you on every crawl so if it’s present on your pages, we’ll find and we can easily set up a report to find all of your job listings that have a expiration date in the past or to find any job listings your have live on site that do not have this field present. frank4

Once the jobs are removed, Google also says to resubmit your listings sitemap by sending a GET request to the following this URL.

Make Sure All Job Details Are Present in the Job Description

The last step in the process of ensuring compliance with Google’s new guidelines is to make sure that all jobs details are present in the job description. All Google is requesting here is that any information that you include in your jobs structured data also appears on the page.

In short, they don’t want anyone stuffing more information in the structured data than what is visible to the end user. For instance, if the salary is present in the structured data, it should be present on site as well.

Because we’re already pulling in your structured data we already know we don’t need to set up any html extracts for that data. If you want to go the extra mile to ensure compliance though, you can set up html extracts to pull in all of the visible on-page elements on your jobs listings and match them with the values found in your structured data. Botify’s new CSS Selectors html extract rules make setting these up pretty painless.

  1. Look at your latest crawl and find all of the different jobs listings fields we found in your crawl by going into the URL explorer and finding the jobs structured data. frank5
  2. Once identified, head on over to your project settings and set up extracts for the information that you’d like to validate on your crawls.
  3. After your next crawl is completed, you can easily add any of your newly set up extracts as columns and compare them to the values we already collected from your structured data.

    Now Let’s Tie This All Together

Once you have everything in place to track your Google Jobs compliance, you can make life a lot easier on yourself and combine a few key KPI’s into a single Custom Report that gets emailed to you automatically upon completion of every crawl.

  • Number of job listings URLs without jobs structured data present
  • Number of job listings URLs with each jobs structured data value present
  • Number of job listings URLs that have expired
  • Number of job listings URLs with each of the custom HTML extracts you have set up to ensure we have found the same number of URLs with each extract as we have each structured data value

    If you are responsible for the SEO on a job listings website, staying within Google’s guidelines for inclusion in Google Jobs is critical. Botify is here to help make sure that you are compliant and stay compliant with each crawl!