Did Indeed Hide Your Job Postings? Deduplication Explained

If you are a recruiter and you are not familiar with Indeed's deduplication process, it could make it difficult for job seekers to find your job postings and undermine your recruitment efforts. All too often, Indeed marks job postings as duplicates when the jobs are truly distinct. Fortunately in some situations, you can use better job titles to make sure your jobs are not hidden.

The purpose of deduplication is to improve search results for job seekers. Indeed collects job postings from multiple sources. When the same job is provided in multiple sources, Indeed shows one job and hides the rest. It also consolidates jobs from each company that have similar job titles and locations near each other.

Let's look at a hypothetical example. Company A has four job openings that they have posted to Indeed.

Company Name Job Title Location Posting Date
Company A Administrative Assistant Fairfield, OH March 8
Company A Administrative Assistant Cincinnati, OH February 25
Company A Software Engineer I Cincinnati, OH February 14
Company A Software Engineer IV Cincinnati, OH March 8

If someone searched for Company A's jobs, they would show up similar to this:

Administrative Assistant
Company A - Fairfield, OH - +1 Location

Software Engineer IV
Company A - Cincinnati, OH

We have removed 2 job postings very similar to those already shown. To see these additional
results, you may repeat your search with the omitted job postings included.

How did they do it? Indeed identifies duplicates using the location and the job title.

Deduplication By Location

The first type of deduplication is by location. For those jobs that have similar job titles across multiple locations, Indeed will pick one job to show and hide the rest. The locations that Indeed consolidates depends on the job search query. If someone searches across the entire US, then the query will consolidate the jobs from your company with similar job titles located in Seattle and New York into one. Indeed may or may not select the most-recently-posted job. I think it is typically the latest one, but I have seen anomolies where it is not.

In this example, when someone searches for Administrative Assistant in Cincinnati, OH, Indeed will see Company A has two positions for an Administrative Assistant. The algorithm may choose the latest job, which is the one posted on March 8 in Fairfield.

Administrative Assistant
Company A - Fairfield, OH - +1 Location

The job posted on March 25th will not show up unless the users clicks on the +1 Location link or a link to show all results. There is little that you can do if you have similar jobs across multiple locations.

Deduplication By Cleaned Job Title

The second type of deduplication is by cleaned job title. After Indeed crawls your career site, Indeed calculates a cleaned job title. They have not published their cleaning process. It is unclear whether they are using a white list of acceptable words, a black list of ignored words, or some combination. I will make some educated guesses as to how it works. They start with the job title. Then, they ...

  • Strip Roman numerals I, II, III, IV and V.
  • Remove some locations that are listed in the job title.
  • Ignore requisition numbers.
  • Eliminate some punctuation, such as hyphens and parentheses.

When Indeed processes a job seeker's query, Indeed will consolidate the results that have the same cleaned job title and select one to display. In the example, when someone searches for Software Engineer, Indeed will ignore the Roman numerals and treat Software Engineer I and Software Engineer IV as the same position. They would likely display the Software Engineer IV job. The Software Engineer I job would only be seen if the job seeker repeats the search with the omitted job postings.

If different jobs are being treated as the same, you can improve your job titles so Indeed knows to treat them separately. Use specific job titles in place of generic job titles. Use the word "Senior" as an experience level instead of Roman numerals.

If you have multiple job postings for the same job, Indeed is working to consolidate them. If Internet search engines serve as a guide, it is a bad idea to create duplicate job postings. As Rand Fishkin explains on Moz.com: "The important thing to remember is this: manipulative techniques generally won't help you, and they often result in search engines imposing penalties on your site."

Did Indeed Hide Your Job Postings? Analyze Your Own Job Postings

Right now, run a search on Indeed for your job postings. Determine your company name on Indeed and then search for your company (and location, if it's helpful):

company:"Company A"

The last number in the "Jobs 1 to 10 of XXXX" will tell you how many of your company's jobs are in Indeed's index. If you navigate to the last search results page, the middle number in the "Jobs XXX to XXX of XXXX" will tell you how many of your jobs are showing up in the search results.

Are the number of jobs in the index and in the search results what you would expect? I typically see 5-20% for retail and restaurants and 50-90% for large businesses. If it is a problem, make sure your job titles are specific, so job seekers will understand what is different between two different jobs. It's also helpful to check how your competitors are posting their jobs.

When you figure out ways to maximize the reach of your job postings, I believe you'll see that some hard-to-fill jobs were just hard-to-find job postings. Getting past job search engine deduplication is one of the obstacles. I hope this helps you in your recruitment efforts.

- John Carty

About the Author:
John P. Carty spent two years searching for a way to improve how recruiters and job seekers find each other. The result is a thesaurus of job titles with synonym keywords selected based on usage in job postings and web searches. Synonyms make job searches difficult. The thesaurus makes it easy. It is a work in progress, but hopefully it is a step in the right direction.

Views: 4878

Comment by Matt Charney on March 10, 2015 at 5:33pm

Awesome post - and great info.

Comment by John P Carty on March 11, 2015 at 8:56am

Glad you like it!

Comment by Matt Charney on March 11, 2015 at 10:20am

@John does LinkedIn do this with content in Publisher?

Comment by Wendy Matyjevich, SPHR on March 11, 2015 at 12:45pm

Good info. Thanks!

Comment by John P Carty on March 11, 2015 at 4:04pm

@Matt I don't know much about LinkedIn Publisher, because I live under a rock.

It doesn't look like they remove duplicates.  I looked at my pulse feed and Jim Yarsinsky had two articles with the same title - the first and the second.  For the second one, they just appended a "-1" to the url.

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