Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Google for Job Search

July 14, 2008

According to Doug Berg, people ran more than 100 million job related searches on Google in June. The average month has 124 million searches.

Let’s have fun with math.  If each search took 30 seconds, that means on average, people spend more than one million hours a month job searching with Google. Ouch!  Talk about a tough way to spend your time.  When you do the kinds of searches he describes, like “Nursing Jobs New York,” you unlikely to get a job that’s even close to what you want. Yet 14,800 people ran that exact search. 

Are these people really job hunting? I think so.  33,100 people searched for “Construction jobs California,” but only 390 people searched for “construction jobs America.” If some people were looking for economic statistics, the America searches would be more common.  As it is, you’d think California is also too big to get the right results. But people don’t get that.

What this tells me is that a whole lot of people don’t really know how to use search tools like Google, and don’t really know how to job search.  Or maybe, they’re just so used to really crummy results when they search, that they’re happy with the kind things Google comes up with. 

Either way, a million hours seems like a lot of time to spend being disappointed.

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Don’t Search for Employment

June 12, 2008

Here’s an example of where keyword search fails.  At news.google.com, I typed in the word “Employment.”  The number one result is an article about Australian employment, so I add a “-Australia.” I rerun the search and the number one result is now about India.  I’m not in India or Australia and Google knows that.  But they can’t do anything about it.   Everyone in the whole world gets the same results.

Besides, if I want articles about employment in the United States, why not search for “United States Employment?”  OK. 

The results come back with almost nothing about employment, and a fairly random scattering of topics. (Actual results are below.)

What’s going on?  I’m not sure, but I suspect this: The word employment shows up in thousands of articles, so it can’t be used to rank results. Same goes for “United States.”  Google doesn’t know what to do.  So it uses an algorithm to determine which stories are the most popular.  My search terms are essentially ignored at this point and the algorithm takes over. I end up with popular articles that include my too-common words.

This is an example of where conceptual search would blow away keyword search. Imagine if Google knew concepts related to employment, like unemployment, jobs, economic growth, layoffs, etc. Then, it could score an article based on how much the content includes employment related concepts.  It might still have issues, but I’d bet an article about how to wash tomatoes wouldn’t be in the top 5. 

Trovix is really great at finding jobs for people because we understand concepts related to employment.  So we can show you what you’re looking for. 

Anyways, here were my top 5 results for “United States Employment.”

1.  US Still Leads the world in Science and Technology. (RAND study about R+D spending in the US.)

2. A 21st-Century Profile: Art for Art’s Sake.  (NY Times article about how many artists there are in the US.)

3. Lawmakers ponder next step for E-Verify.  (Bureaucrats in Washington DC try to keep illegal immigrants out of the workforce.)

4. Produce Safety And Security International Ohio Facilities Will Be Operational To Provide Certifed (sic) Food Safe Tomatoes And All Fresh Produce Items (Press release from a company that is washing their tomatoes before selling them.)

5.  Legislature acts to opt AZ out of RealID.  (Another state says no to a federal ID card.)

Microsoft, Yahoo and Search History

May 5, 2008

Seeing Microsoft walk away from Yahoo made me think of a funny story in John Battelle’s book, The Search.  He tells about how Vinod Khosla tried to get Excite to buy Google.  (This is in 1997.  Excite was a very big deal back then.) 

Fortunately for himself, Larry Page had too much vision, and set a price for Google that was way too high.  He wanted the sick amount of $1.6 million. (Yes, million with an M.  I think he had his eye on a studio apartment in East Menlo Park.) 

So, here’s a case where a search company wanted too much for itself. But they were right in the end.  The question is if Yahoo, if turning away Microsoft, is also going to be right in the end.  Personally, I doubt it. 

Here’s how I see it. Google had unique and powerful technology that solved a real problem that lots of people had: how to find stuff on the Internet.  They just had to grow that into an empire. (Which they did.) Yahoo has a huge amount of traffic. But that isn’t anything all that special.  It’s just traffic.  And it will go away when tastes change. 

Technology is what creates the winners of the future.  Traffic is something that is farmed for money. It’s amazing to me that in 1997, no one saw how valuable the Google technology would become. At the same time, when you think about the big internet players that didn’t have technology (AOL, Netscape, Excite), it makes you wonder if people will be equally amazed at what offer Yahoo walked away from.    

Google Celebrates Earth Day

April 23, 2008

It looks like Google shut down an eco-friendly search engine on Earth Day. (Click Here) To be honest, I’m on Google’s side of this one. The story is that they were fronting Google search results with their own ads and then promising to plant trees if they make money.  Sounds specious.  I hadn’t been following the whole eco-friendly search engine thing, but it sounds like there are plenty of companies jumping on the bandwagon.  Like the guys that have the background be black instead of white to save electricity.  

I guess the internet is a great playground for people trying to make a buck without actually trying to make a product.  Perhaps these guys should try to get honest jobs. (I know a great website that could show them great search results: www.trovix.com