Posts Tagged ‘search’

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.

Microsoft Investing Big in Search, or Are They?

May 23, 2008

PC World and Ad Age both had articles about Bill Gates’ description of Microsoft and the battle for search.  No surprise that Microsoft is gunning big for Google, and I’d love to know what technologies they think are going to define the next generation of search.  (Besides the word “semantic,” of course.) 

Sadly, no such coverage. While confirming that Gates talked about “new search technologies and future ideas,” both articles swooned over the cash back business model that Microsoft came up with.  Wasn’t that a business model before the .com crash? There were (now dead) companies giving away computers, equity and cash as rewards for traffic. So, good for Microsoft for showing up with a 10 year old idea.  I’m sure it will work out fine for them.

But here’s my real question: What are they doing about search?  People talk about ad serving platforms and keyword management tools as “search,” but they aren’t.  What Microsoft is doing is a business model.  Not a search technology.  The way these articles spin it, Microsoft isn’t even competing on search technology. 

Gates is definitely on the bandwagon that the current approach will be replaced by more intelligence, and semantic approaches.  But does he think that they can out develop Google in this regard? Or is the Microsoft strategy to throw money at the problem? 

 

 

Boolean Search Tips

April 29, 2008

Today, the ERE Exchange ran an article giving some tips on how to use Boolean search.  To me, it was just a great reminder of how bad Boolean search really is.

For example, if you want to see somone with a bachelor’s degree in science, you type:
           ((bachelor* AND science) OR bs* OR “b.s.”)
Sadly, that won’t find anyone from MIT or other schools that call the degrees “SB.”  And Stanford awards ABs instead of BAs. As clever as the Boolean string is, it doesn’t really get the job done.

Of course, if you’re a recruiter and want to see a resume of someone who went to a top school, has 5 to 8 years work experience, and has enterprise software experience, Boolean can’t do a thing for you. 

Boolean search for job seekers is an even worse idea. Think about looking for a sales manager job.  You might also search for area manager, sales representative, sales associate, business development and a dozen other titles. And you’ll still get back jobs selling cell phones, cars, software and life insurance. 

The good news is that the feedback we’re getting from job seekers and recruiters is that with our search, they don’t need to worry about Boolean any more.