Could be bad news for Career Builder and a lot of other job sites that bid on employer trademarked keywords on Yahoo!, such as Target, IBM and State Farm Insurance.
According to an e-mail from Yahoo! to its advertisers, "In order to more
easily deliver quality user experiences when users search on terms that
are trademarks, Yahoo! Search Marketing has determined that we will no
longer allow bidding on keywords containing competitor trademarks."
Considering the troubles Google has gone through with a similar trademark infringement case with Geico, this move wasn't a surprise.
The question is how much teeth will this policy have?
Where it gets sticky is the term "competitor." This is pretty cut-and-dry if we're talking Coke vs. Pepsi, but less so if it's a job board vs. an employer brand. I might even guess some employers approve of this practice, but certainly others do not, or would not. Most have no clue what's going on.
At the end of the day, it's up to employers to decide if they approve of this practice or not. Even if you're a client of a job board that's utilizing your brand in their keyword buys, ask yourself these questions:
1. How do I feel about my brand driving traffic to a site that also has listings by my competitors? 2. How do I feel about my trademark being used to build a job board's brand and traffic? 3. How do I feel about job boards running up the bid price on my trademark? (For example, Target is the third highest bidder for its own trademark at "Target jobs"):
What's new with Google Base since its initial launch?
Many of you may already use your Google Account to sign in and pay for
a number of Google services, like Google Video and Google Earth. Now
we're introducing similar functionality for Google Base: buyers will
have a convenient and secure way to purchase Google Base items by
credit card, and sellers can take advantage of easy to use transaction
processing as they manage their items. We're starting off
with a very small number of sellers, and we expect to include more over
the next several months. If you're interested in getting an
announcement when this feature is generally available ...
providing buyers and sellers a convenient and secure way to purchase
and sell Google Base items, we hope to make it even easier for people
to use Google Base to post and distribute a wide range of content, from
details about a family reunion to a used bike for sale.
I don't see a payment process directly affecting the aspect of job postings on Base, but this advancement does reflect an important progression in the evolution of the service.
Each month I receive what is arguably the best everything-to-do-with-search newsletter around, Planet Ocean. Every search guru I know subscribes to it and loves it. Each issue is jam packed with news items and tips for the pros, by the pros.
For February, they had an article about researching and obtaining links from sites that are trusted - or white-listed - in Google's eyes. It said the following:
"Besides .edu and .gov, other top level domains (TLDs) that are likely to be white-listed, or at least carry a greater degree of trust, include .mil, .museum, .aero, .int and .jobs.
"The reason these domain extensions (aka, top level domains, TLDs) tend to merit a greater degree of trust is that their use is restricted to a narrow range of verified applicants (for instance, .mil is only available to the US military)."
This is a big win for the .jobs domain in my opinion. Very big. This kind of third-party endorsement by highly respected thought leaders within search circles means a lot more than the mere speculation that's gone on in online recruitment circles from people like me.
Having the dot-jobs domain and URL categorized in the same class as .edu, .gov, etc. in search engines' eyes should go a long way in helping .jobs domain holders, which are restricted to direct employers, getting a leg-up on ranking well for targeted searches in comparison to .coms and sites of their ilk.
When Google launched its IM product, Google Talk, some months ago, it was welcomed with a rather lackadaisical response.
Yawn ... been there, done that. AOL's been doing this for how long? Welcome to the party, Google.
Google's IM solution is simple, has little of the bells and whistles its competition deploys, and integrates a VoIP offering that enables voice communications, PC to PC.
So what, right?
Well, Google has recently enabled users to archive their IM conversations voluntarily, as well as integrate Talk into its popular Gmail service.
So what again, right?
Here's the point: Google serves advertising based on the content of e-mails, which it also archives. Therefore, it's realistic to think that similar advertising will be served to users based on archived Talk conversations.
For me, IM has become much more personal than e-mail. I ping my wife, close friends and family much more often than e-mailing them. As a result, conversations tend to be more heartfelt and open.
It's life talk. And what's more 'life talk' than discussing employment. Imagine all the people IM'ing right now about how they hate their job, want to get a new job, hate their boss, want to work at so-and-so competitor, are getting ready to graduate in May, are just looking to get into a new situation, whatever.
Additionally, imagine conversations revolving around industry-specific topics. For example, search engine optimization and marketing (yeah, I know, snooze alert!) tends to be a common thread in my communications. Wouldn't that information help make me a better candidate for an SEO job opening?
I'm sure you see where I'm going with this: Another great opportunity to get in front of passive (and active) job seekers, compliments of Google.
For their next trick? Throw in the fact that Google will also be able to archive voice communications via its VoIP solution, and you can feel free to take the above scenario to a whole new level.
The content of the blog was a hotlink to TheLadders that read "100k Executive jobs in Human
Resources, Sales, Finance, Operations, Law, Marketing, Technology and
General Management at TheLadders.com."
That was it.
So what was that about?
My guess? Well, Google and other engines really like backlinks. And the copy of a backlink says a lot as to how Google ranks particular sites.
For example, if you do a search for "click here" on Google, the No. 1 result is Adobe, even though the phrase "click here" doesn't even exist on Adobe's homepage. However, it is in the anchor text, or hotlink text, on thousands of sites on the Net linking back to Adobe.
So, the goal of Marc's entry had to be for the sole purpose of giving TheLadders a backlink, complete with targeted keyword text that should help them rank better for those keyphrases.
Make no mistake, I'm not bashing him for doing this. I'm guilty too, as are a lot of people.
I simply find it amusing to have apparently no shyness at all about dedicating an entire blog entry to enhancing your primary business' Web site for ranking better.
Good for you, Marc. The backlinks to TheLadders and your own blog included in this blog (see above) are dedicated to you.
More and more SEOs are reporting seeing changes in Google's look and feel, which is obviously in its test phase for now.
Personally, I like it. It looks cleaner to me, and I don't mind the navigation on the left. Another thing to note, with the increase in real estate on the left, as opposed to the current placement above the search box, Google will be able to integrate more vertical search options, such as jobs, much easier.