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Jobs Site Indeed Tries New Ad Tools as Google Lays Off

Hundreds. It's a time of ups and downs in the online ad game: Indeed is trying something clever and new, even as Google layoffs hit its ad business.

By Inc.Arabia Staff
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BY KIT EATON@KITEATON

Indeed may be known as the leading job listings website, but it's actually had a side hustle as an ad business for a while--selling job ads on its website to third parties.

Now it's expanding its efforts with what it's calling Specialist Media Networks. These send employers' job ads out across other websites, and target specific industries. The goal is to help employers reach the right kind of potential employees, and also to send more ad money to Indeed. Meanwhile Google, long an online ad industry leader, has laid off hundreds of ad staff. Is the ad industry changing? Here's what makes Indeed's move different:

Indeed's first Specialist Media Network is aimed at technology professionals. Paying Indeed users that opt into the scheme will see their job adverts pop up on a long list of sites that appeal to tech-centric minds, including publications like Wired. 

This is a form of targeted advertising, of course. Targeted ads are one of the mainstays of the current digital advertising business. Despite the controversy, targeted ads allow ad partners to be more sure their ads are appearing in front of consumers who are more likely to spend money on their products. Typically the targeting happens when ad companies build up a profile of a user, including using cookies. In our enlightened, privacy-centric time of course, cookies are problematic.

Indeed has seemingly found a way to dodge such controversies and deliver targeted ad placements via this curated system. It's also tapping into a trend: Raj Mukherjee, Indeed EVP and general manager, said recent tech industry layoffs are changing how employees are looking for new roles. They are shunning traditional job listing websites, and are more open to ads on sites that they habitually read. Advertising job positions on a tech news website also allows employers to get their message in front of people who may not be actively looking for a job, but who nevertheless may be tempted to apply if they see a relevant ad. Indeed is keeping control of the job application process, too, since a click on these new embedded ads takes an applicant to Indeed's site to complete the application.

Indeed's news landed at the same time that Google reportedly laid off "hundreds" of staff from its ad sales team. The new layoffs come after a slew of recent Google layoffs across different divisions--moves that stirred up criticism of CEO Sundar Pichai, partly for making decisions that drove the layoffs, and partly for how he handled staff questions on the matter. 

An internal memo about the fresh layoffs, obtained by Business Insider, suggests the majority of job cuts will be hitting Google's Large Customer Sales unit, which, as its name suggests, sells ads to larger-scale enterprises. Instead the team that had formerly specialized on selling ads to smaller clients will become Google's core ad system. This could be seen as an implication that Google is sensing a sea change in the advertising business, with more income potentially coming from small-scale advertisers versus traditional giant corporate customers.

Combine these developments and it suggests the online ad industry is changing as fast as tech giants are themselves changing. The change may even be particularly favorable to smaller companies, especially if Google is courting their business. Small businesses using Indeed to advertise job positions also may choose to try out its new targeted ad solution. It seems well-placed to appeal to potential Gen-Z staff--these youngsters live their life online in a way different from previous generations, and seeing job ads pop up on already familiar publications chimes, in a way, with the sort of new ad-placementinfluencer culture they are familiar with.

Photo Credit: Getty Images.

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