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July 26, 2006


Sujith Nair

Dear robert,
Thanks for the reply. However, i beg to differ on the solution provided here. Though introducing a price tag is a big brake on the spams, but its not a scallable option. There are plenty of advertisers, mostly consultants who don't mind paying for advertising. Here, its a catch 22, as you cannot filter their content and at the same time they get a license to post as many jobs (most of the times duplicates) because they are ready to pay. They are ready to do anything to increase their listings' visibility.
Also, manual screening is out of question. Its not scallable....
How do we tackle these advertisers, who are now "clients"? I know there won't be any fool proof solution for this, but i guess the solution lies in the combination of policies supported by technology. What do you think ?


Bob Wilson

Hi Sujith,

I agree with you that there isn’t a foolproof solution; and a combination of policies and supporting technology can reduce the duplicates. A couple additional thoughts …

If the advertisers are willing to pay, then it seems you have an opportunity to help them solve their problem in a way that doesn’t flood your site with duplicates. Can you offer a special service targeted at these advertisers … perhaps banner ads, featured listings, or an ad listing optimization service? If so, then you’d be working together rather than at cross-purposes.

On the technology front, Indeed seems to be doing the best job of handling duplicates and near duplicates once they’re in the database – they suppress them during the initial display, but provide a link to display all.

Best wishes!

Bob :-)

Sujith Nair

Hey bob, i believe i am not stretching this discussion too long. Its an interesting topic and therefore i cant help but take this discussion further :-) You have a point and i agree that increasing visibility of these clients through a different section like text/banner ads etc can give them a better ROI. But care should be taken that organic results are not influenced by results of those paying more.
Its a good idea to screen all duplicate advts behind a link. But now the big question is, which one to show and which one to hide. If the recent advt is shown and others put behind a link, then the relevance may go for a toss. Also, this needs to be done real time, ie, when the results are rendered.
What say? Sorry, i m playing devil's advocate here ;-)

Bob Wilson

Hi Sujith,

My thought is that there isn't a single 'right' answer. If we're talking duplicates (or near duplicates) then I'd display the most current first ... this way if there are subtle updates to the ad, users will see them, and it reinforces to the job seeker that your content is fresh.

If there are multiple duplicates with the same date, coming from different job sources, then I'd let the sources bid on which link is displayed while the others are hidden behind the dup link. It may turn out that different sources will pay different amounts to be listed first depending on the occupational category ... e.g., if a tech job, Dice might pay more to be listed first than Monster.

In the end, your decisions need to balance the needs of your customers, and support your business model.

Best wishes,
Bob :-)

Eric Shannon

free is hardly hurting craigslist --

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