Secrets of the Job Hunt


Thursday, July 20, 2006

You can't teach an old flipdog new tricks

Monster has revived the old vertical job search site flipdog.

After doing a couple dozen searches, it appears that flipdog is nothing more than a shell over the Monster database. I can find nothing 'vertical' about it. Other than a pretty interface it appears no different than their other site: I'd say they are just using the flipdog domain to drive extra traffic to their site. My question is why did they wait so long?

If it were truly vertical it would have jobs from other sources.


Anonymous said...

Seems to me that this will be the first phase of Monsters strategy to kill job vertical search. Its fairly obvious to everyone that since Craigslist makes job postings value rapidly approach zero, and the adoption of vertical search faciliates this, the trend of vertical search which will ultimately destroy Monster and CareerBuilder's model (threatened ultimately not by Craiglist, but from employers starting to post jobs on their sites and feeding them to the vertical search engines. So if you are Monster, how do you destroy vertical search, like Indeed, SimplyHired, Jobster, etc?

Well you could just decide to block the bots (either technically or legally, like eBay with AuctionWatch in the 90's) from your site, but there are some prisoner's dilemma problems there. You lose the traffic for taking the bullet on this, while everyone elses market share grows.
You can't get everyone to agree to shut them off, because it would be collusion, etc. And it doesn't make sense to just buy them off, as they did with the original Flipdog in Web 1.0, as this technology now is very cheap and another clone will just pop right up.

So how do you destroy vertical search? well how about: Launch a vertical search portal of your own. You can draw oxygen away from Indeed, SimplyHired, etc. by out marketing them with the same functionality; or, better yet, raise the threat level for everyone, so the job boards start to block your vertical search bots AND the other vertical search bots. (As if Rupert Murdouch didn't raise that threat enough).

Jonathan Duarte said...

I think the only reason Monster did this is because they had a valuable domain name, that received OK traffic, but was underutilized for SEO purposes. By creating and SEO specific site, Monster could compete with CareerBuilder's is NOT a Vertical Search Engine, at all, as others have noted. The reality is this is just a "skin" on top of the job database. There is no other content, simply jobs.

The job board busines, like a newspaper busines, is based on circulation and exposure. Monster has to maintain a large share of "job seeker" visits, to retain its "Brand Equity" to employers, so they can continue charging their existing rates.

If job seekers start migrating to other job boards, then the "brand equity" of "Monster" will slip, which means the commoditization of the boards, and prices are going to drop.

Candidates are starting to find other job boards, like Craigslist, Indeed, etc. Many of these sites are being found through searches on sites like Google.

If Monster is going to maintain its job seeker "Brand Equity", one strategy is to dilute the Vertical Engines, while at the same time, competing with them.

Is FlipDog ever going to post jobs from any other site other than I don't think so. They even have links to "Post a Job" which point to

It's just another way to dilute the Search Engines, and essentially trick them into thinking this is another job board. This trick by Monster increases their job seeker visits, and increase the number of candidates applying to their clients jobs, etc. Because this is probably a straight SEO play, and therefore, no other marketing dollars being spent on the brand, the intent is simply to drive cheap job seeker traffic to the existing Monster clients.

At some point, we can only expect that the team writing the algorithms for the google search engine will recognize this for what it is, a duplicate of Monster is doing the same thing with CareerBuilder is doing the same with

As soon as Google catches up, expect,, and to be band from the search engine for duplicating content.

Once this happens, you will start seeing the following:
* Increased commoditization of the job board business.
* Increased traffic to the niche and professional association job boards, who currently have good content, but are overshadowed by the Big 2 in SEO.
* Indeed getting purchased, because they have great traffic, but if you own Indeed, you can stop sending traffic to anyone you want.
* CraigsList becoming even more successful in the job market,
* Niche and geographically specific job boards start increasing their share of the job seeker visits.
* CareerBuilder and Monster will be forced to increase their marketing budgets to retain their leadership positions.

C.M Russell said...

I agree, Jon, looks like a pure SEO move. Although Cheesman thinks there's more to come.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure there will be more to come. Looks nice though.