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Yahoo's job scraping: Cannibalizing the industry?

hotjobs.jpgHere's our Mercury News story (or here) about how Yahoo's online job division, HotJobs, plans to announce that it has taken the bold but controversial step of finding more job listings for its users by scraping them off the Web sites of employers.

The move has been blogged about in recent days, but the company launched it officially today with a press release. We talked with HotJobs General Manager Dan Finnigan.

The move is significant because it is the first time one of the big three leading job sites -- HotJobs, Monster and CareerBuilder -- has incorporated free listings into its database. Until now, the three have required payment from employers, and that's what keeps them in business.

``This is clearly a stake in the ground,'' said James Holincheck, analyst with Gartner Research. ``I think there will be cannibalization. The question is how much and how fast.''

Forrester analyst Charlene Li tells us HotJobs is generally considered in third place, behind Monster and CareerBuilder. She looks at overall user traffic, because Yahoo doesn't break out HotJobs' revenue and profit numbers.

This latest move, Finnigan tells us, will allow Yahoo to put a new "jobs" tab on its Yahoo search page. We'll see it starting tomorrow (Wednesday)

Other links:

Greg Sterling
Joel Cheesman
Charlene Li (Forrester) shows some examples of HotJobs' new listings, and covers the recent action in this area, including Jobster's acquisition of WorkZoo.
Jeremy Zawodny (Yahoo)
Gary Price (SEW)
Gary Price (SEW) continued, mentioning Monster and its similar scraping technology, FlipDog. In fact, we had known about this, but couldn't fit it into the story. Reason we didn't look at it closely is because it apparently was always run as a separate site, and doesn't seem live anymore.

And while we're talking about Yahoo, here's news that Steve Rubel broke a few days ago, about how Yahoo has prepared an RSS search tool.

Updated: Corrected typo. Thanks Joel. Added more links.


One quick comment - in your article, you note "Job scraping is fairly new". Not quite. One of the first job-scrapers was the legendary 'Junglee' (founded 1996), which was eventually bought by Amazon. A company called 'Careercast' made a reasonable business of this in the late 90's, and since that time, this particular wheel has been regularly re-invented with incremental innovations in smarter crawlers and better search engines.

ranjit padmanabhan on July 12, 2005 2:23 PM
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Hey Matt -

Thanks for including Simply Hired in your article on Yahoo's vertical search announcement. Certainly appears the space is getting interesting, eh?

One comment: in the article section titled "start-ups follow suit" where we're mentioned, to be accurate Yahoo followed *our* lead, rather than the other way around. Similarly, the Jobster-Workzoo acquisition announced today is chasing the tail of the LinkedIn partnership we announced back in April (which you also reported on: http://www.siliconbeat.com/entries/2005/04/26/job_hunting_try_using_your_connections_online.html). We were the first company to integrate vertical search with social networking, and also first to integrate Netflix-style ratings for job search.

But beyond the follow-the-leader features race, the next set of milestones we're working on go a lot further than just great search technology. Over the next few months as we drive towards our production launch, the features we're delivering focus on apps & content that create a great overall jobseeker experience, not just a great search experience.

And as vertical search matures further, this is where we think differentiation will be established -- the companies that *combine* & integrate structured search with great apps & great content will be dramatically more successful than just those that live by search alone.

For more thoughts on this topic, checkout info from the Vertical Leap search engine conference we hosted last month:
and our Top 10 Rules for Vertical Revolutionaries:

regards, & congrats on the WSJ article ;)

- Dave McClure

Dave McClure on July 12, 2005 4:32 PM
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Thanks Dave. We love our editors, and they are more often right than wrong. They spruce up our stories, and correct all kinds of errors. But sometimes they get things wrong. They threw in that section heading, without running it by us. Sigh.

Matt Marshall on July 12, 2005 5:37 PM
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Nice article, Matt, but for the record, it's JOEL Cheesman, not John.

Joel Cheesman on July 12, 2005 7:53 PM
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Corrected! Sorry about that, Joel.

Matt Marshall on July 12, 2005 8:49 PM
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Doesn't seem much different from the search engines scraping any ole site. And now companies are being educated that they do not need to pay for HotJob listings.

pwb on July 12, 2005 9:16 PM
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On the topic of corrections:

Indeed beta-launch: November 30, 2004
Simplyhired beta-launch: March 16, 2005
Yahoo/Hotjobs new job search engine launch: July 12, 2005

Paul Forster
http://www.indeed.com - one search. all jobs.

Paul Forster on July 12, 2005 9:43 PM
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well, if we're recording the history of job search aggregation, maybe a few more:
* Flipdog founded: January 2000 (maybe earlier)
* Flipdog acquired by Monster: June 2001

and also:
* Flipdog founder becomes SimplyHired advisor: fall 2004

(agreed you guys were first *recently* Paul, but FlipDog was before all of us. perhaps other precursors as well, according to Marc Cenedalla)

David McClure on July 13, 2005 5:58 AM
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This has ramifications beyond employment sites, it accelerates the process of cannibalizing newspaper classified ads (a $16.6B market) that Craigslist, eBay and others have started. Read more at my blog on the topic: http://thinklocal.blogspot.com/2005/07/yahoo-accelerates-classified-ad.html

Mike Hogan on July 13, 2005 8:06 AM
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Since this is my first with a blog, who can give me the real beat about Jobster, now? Are they any better than Linkedin or others when you are the job seeker?

Ray on July 14, 2005 2:06 PM
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http://search.jobsteve.com/sltcojdnc/ mattordealskirt

serious on July 27, 2005 3:45 PM
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