Walter Mossberg reviews Indeed in his Personal Technology column in the Wall Street Journal today, together with Ziggs, a search engine for professionals. He says Indeed is polished and speedy…It is simply a one-stop shop for job seekers.
Unlike traditional job sites, like Monster.com, Indeed indexes more than 500 Web sites (including Monster) that list job openings, and allows job seekers to search them all from one place….The service includes some nice extra features, all free. You can set up an e-mail alert service to notify you once a day of new jobs that meet your criteria. You can e-mail pages of job-search results to friends. And you can even post a constantly updating feed of search results to a Web page like My Yahoo.
Describing his tests on Indeed, he says: you can look for all jobs in Michigan, or all jobs at General Motors, or only job openings in Michigan for engineers at GM…I was easily able to locate job openings for both white-collar and blue-collar workers all over the country. For instance, I found jobs for a drywall foreman in New Bedford, Mass.; a radiologist in Ottumwa, Iowa; and a videographer in Sacramento, Calif.
The review is not without its criticisms. He failed to find a single ‘screenwriter’ in California – a somewhat exacting search given the nature of the movie industry. None of the 500 or so websites that we index has a single one of those jobs, but please tell us if you know of any that do and we’ll make sure to include them!
He also found some duplicate results and noticed some jobs that had expired on the source site. Our de-duplication system does catch a high proportion of duplicates, however, and we keep our database as fresh as possible by including jobs just from the last 30 days. Nevertheless, we’ll continue to make improvements.
Walter Mossberg concludes that both Indeed and Ziggs provide interesting, focused information that would be hard to find as quickly or precisely on Google or Yahoo.
We have now formally launched Indeed, the most comprehensive search engine for jobs. Indeed has more fresh jobs than any other website and includes all the job listings from over 500 websites – major job boards, the top 200 newspapers, hundreds of associations and company career pages. Our press release is here.
Our launch was covered by the New York Times, amongst other places, in an article that also discusses the broader context of online recruitment and vertical search.
Thanks to everyone who provided feedback since we launched our beta in November last year. We’ve enhanced our search functionality and algorithms substantially over the last few months, in large part due to the feedback we’ve received.
Some of the features we’ve added during our beta-phase include Advanced Search, Jobroll, and Web Services for developers . We are continually improving our search engine and adding new sources of jobs to ensure that we offer the most comprehensive and relevant job search results available on the web.
Its simple to track new jobs across the web in any career niche using Indeed. Just type in your keyword string plus (optionally) location, click ‘Find Jobs’, and either bookmark your search or save it as an email alert or RSS feed. You can do fancier searches with our Advanced Search.
A lot of people are tracking career niches this way on their blogs – ranging from Steve Rubel’s interest in blogging jobs to Frank Patrick’s focus on the Theory of Constraints field.
Bloggers and webmasters can render a saved search as a Jobroll on their site – a dynamically updating list of new jobs matching their search criteria. Here’s an example.
As the ‘long tail’ of the web grows, rigid categories are becoming less and less useful for finding things. Websites that are locked into a walled-garden approach – such as eBay, Craigslist, and most job boards – still tend to embrace category searching and browsing. Search engines that aim to index as much content as possible on the web, in contrast, are eschewing categories in favor of free-text search. Yahoo came to prominence as a category-driven directory, but comparing its 2001 home page to today’s shows how its focus has shifted to free-text search. Just about all of Google’s vertical search services have no categories at all.
This migration away from categories can be understood in terms of the ‘long tail’, a concept recently discussed by Searchblog and Bnoopy. As Bnoopy puts it, search engines experience a handful of extraordinarily common queries and millions of far less popular queries. Because the millions of less popular queries cannot be satisfactorily shoe-horned into a limited number of fixed categories, the rationale for categories itself becomes questionable.
Is there any way to salvage categories, given most people’s intrinsic desire to categorize things? In our view, dynamic clustering is one of the more interesting roads ahead. Instead of using predetermined categories, this approach generates category-like clusters on the fly, enabling people to refine their searches intuitively after running a search. Clusty is revolved entirely around this concept, while Indeed is also using this approach.
Most statistics you see on the job market are pretty much useless to the job seeker. Here’s a headline from Friday: Employers Add 262,000 Jobs in Feb., Most in 4 Months; Overall Unemployment Rate Climbs. Huh? Employment and unemployment are both growing at the same time? While there’s a simple statistical explanation for this apparent anomoly – more job seekers were re-entering the job market – how does any of this help people in their job search? Not much in our view.
A key problem is that aggregate statistics don’t tell you anything about regional variation. While many regional newspapers have been trumpeting the quarter-million uptick in jobs in February, others like the Buffalo News complain that job search just got tougher.
Indeed has a simple index to explain this variation: job postings per capita. Take a look at our JobTrends map and ranking of job postings per capita for the 50 most populous metropolitan areas in the United States. Buffalo, with 6.3 job postings per 1000 people, is ranked number 38. If Buffalo is feeling pain, then it seems likely that the 12 other cities with an even lower number of job postings per capita are also struggling. At the other end of the spectrum, Boston is ranked the #1 job creator with 24 job postings per 1000 people. With four times as many open positions per capita as Buffalo, on average it’s a lot easier to find a job in Boston.