Last week, Google added an intermediate page to job links and other submissions to Google Base. Instead of pointing directly to the URL that was submitted for the job – the user will now first land on a “jump page” so that the user can get “more information” before clicking on to the destination page. While the change does affect the job listings – Google Search, Froogle, or Google Local will be unaffected by the change.
“This change allows us to experiment with how you browse and search on Google Base and see related items. The item details page enables you to see all the attributes and labels attached to the item and provides links to items with similar labels. We want to measure how this navigation changes the number of searches and other ways people will use it. In the future we plan to test a number of other navigation changes in order to optimize the Google Base experience,” wrote Bindu Reddy, Google Base product manager, in the Google Base blog.
Google can now decide where to send the user – to another Google page or the actual URL the user requested. Honestly my first reaction was to say “the nerve of them – a search engine not sending you where you want to go is ridiculous.” How far will Google take its ability to redirect users and make links disappear? While there are not AdSense ads on Google Base jump pages yet – this adds additional pages to serve ads in the future. This is clearly good for Google, but for content providers, this could impact overall traffic coming from Google Base listings. Will this lower the response to job postings?
I see their developing model as being similar to the online yellow pages. I predict that down the road, these intermediate pages will not only be used for additional Ad space, but they will also begin charging or up selling their interactive maps; adding logos and pictures; videos about why they are a great place to work; RSS feeds; Social Networking etc.
Now this might be a controversial take to “internet purists” to whom this change is automatically offensive but, we need to keep in mind that Google isn’t a nonprofit organization and Google Base was not meant to be a search engine. Google is utilizing its amazing search technologies to offer a directory type product. They are not giving recruiters a “free” listing because they want to squash the big money-making Monster Boards for all the recruiters out there. Google is figuring out how to make a business out of this space too.