Google to Issue Manual Action Penalties for Expired Job Postings

Google has refreshed its guidelines advising users that failure to remove expired job postings may result in a manual action Google penalty.

These guidelines relate specifically to job opportunities that have been published to a website using job posting markup. The new guidelines should not affect URLs/Pages for job opportunities that have not been marked up with structured data.

To remove a job posting that is no longer available, do one of the following actions:

  • Remove the JobPosting markup from the page.
  • Remove the page entirely (so that requesting it returns a 404 or 410 status code).
  • Add a noindex meta tag to the page.
  • Ensure the validThrough property is populated and in the past.

When a job posting is filled, recruitment firms can avoid Google penalties by either: removing job posting markup, removing the whole page, or adding a no-index tag to the job posting. The easiest is just deleting the redundant position.

Some will argue that a manual action is an extreme measurement to take against outdated job postings. However, this will help prevent searchers from finding and applying for roles that are no longer available.

This also asks the question — if there’s no deadline indicated on the job posting, how will Google know when it’s lapsed?

Google would presumably have to rely on its users to report expired job postings. The search quality team would then have to verify somehow that the job post is not available anymore.

On the one hand, this could limit the number of expired job postings that show up in Google Search Results. On the other hand, this sounds like a problematic guideline to enforce.

 

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