Is Google going after Monster.com?

Google has quietly started offering more links to its own job listings at the top its organic search results. Search for “San Francisco jobs,” and Google displays a little dashboard within the search results to specify your search further.

See image. The search works for numerous cities, from Los Angeles, to New Orleans and Chicago. Google also offers the feature on more specific job searches, such as “Chicago accountant jobs.”

googlejobs.jpgGoogle, which aggregates the jobs in its GoogleBase service, has been testing this out since at least last year, but industry players like Jobster chief executive Jason Goldberg and ZoomInfo‘s chief operating officer Bryan Burdick said they’ve seen the feature become more prominent in recent months. We’re not certain, as we’ve just noticed it now. Paul Forster, who leads Indeed, which aggregates job listings and so is a direct competitor with GoogleBase, says he hasn’t seen a significant change, but did say Google would provide a better experience if it points to more services than just its own job database. He said Google is pointing to third-party services in sectors such as travel (see here) and stocks (see here). Google could not be reached immediately for comment, but will update when we hear back.

It’s early, but it’s a potential threat to other job aggregation start-ups like SimplyHired, too, and perhaps even the biggies like Hotjobs, Career Builder, and Monster. Those latter companies have huge brand recognition and sales forces that give them an edge, but Google’s position as the dominant search engine could make job-seekers default to Google for reasons of habit alone.

Along with a link to Google’s job listings, two bars appear below the link. In one, you enter your location and in the other, you pick your desired function (type/sector of job) from a list. Right now, this list is not comprehensive, representing 11 job function categories. Further, Google’s database contains only 3.5 million listings from a handful of sources, including Job.com and Career Builder. In fact, it feels half-baked.

Jobster’s Jason Goldberg certainly doesn’t think its a threat to his business:

“We think this is great as we distribute every job posted with Jobster to GoogleBase. Unfortunately, our metrics show that GoogleBase has performed very poorly as a source of candidates thus far compared to other sources…it could become a great alternative to traditional job boards and a great channel for upstarts.”

Against the big incumbents, Google has a long way to go. Monster, for example, has a huge database, a rong brand, and a number of features, like its salary calculator, that keep people coming back. It also has a sales force on the ground. But having a long way to go is not really a problem for a company with billions of dollars of working capital, some of the best minds around and a staggering number of users that already use Google every day. Then again, it could just wait around and buy a company that fits.

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