While doing some job portal analysis I got surprised at some job portal ignorance (can I call it web innocence). When the world is talking about higher level canonicalization, Indian portals are violating basic web(Google) guidelines.
First violation – Google ads in email
This is not done by timesjobs.com but another big job portal. I have posted the query on WMW to get expert views on this violations. Let me quote the post,
I just got an email from a very big job portal, they had adsense inside the email. I knew it is illegal to have adsense in email (Google book sec 5.v, so I clicked on it to see the effect.
I saw that these ads were not from Google (but was labeled as “Ads by Google”) but they were links to pages created for Google adsense. Pages with no content, just plain ads. Also very targetted ads, so I suspected the use of google_kw (I think they are premium members, so they might be allowed to use google_kw). Also these pages were hosted on IP based site without any domain name.
Can premium members create such pages which are
- without any content, only ads, targeted based on google_kw?
- hosted on ip based site than a branded domain?
- (sending such links through emails using Google’s name?)
Browse the complete discussion at WMW.
I did forward the suggestion with WMW link to job portal representatives but I am yet to receive any explanation. I do not intent to forward this to Google as my intention is to help, not to do harm to any startup business.
Second violation – Duplicate domains by timesjob(s).com
I was very surprised to encounter such a basic mistake by one of the top Indian sites. timesjob.com and timesjobs.com (one with an additional “s”) having the same content. It is a complete mirror site, I signed up at one and was able to login to other. Also both share the same DNS server (making it a little more against the rule). The strangest thing to happen was a common cache for both the sites, they both share the cache of timesjobs.com. I was very curious to know the reason behind it (can be a bug with Google). I forwarded this query some senior fellows at WMW and Google. Here are some of the responses.
A WMW senior (whom I respect very much for his great experience)
Both domains do resolve to the same content, and without any redirect. There is no root listed for timesjob.com in google. I can see why they got it wrong, but the did get it wrong. I meant that site site:timesjob does not show the domain root. I’ve seen this before when sites do not do a proper redirect and just source the same content for two domain names, both with a 200 status. I’m not behind the scenes at Google, but I’m guessing it’s something in their duplicate content checking that crosses this up.
When I forwarded it to some Googlers, here is (casual and informal) response from them
Ah! Okay 🙂 My guess is that there previously was a redirection in the past, and since the pages are still identical, our bot hasn’t corrected itself. Not high priority since both caches would look the same :P.
But just in case, I’ll ask a colleague to check it out.
It is always advisable not to have different domains with duplicate contents for the following reasons:-
- Duplicate content issues which can cause big time problems to both the sites.
- Unwanted links distribution: Some sites may link to timesjobs.com and some may link to timesjob.com, which can dilute the real strength. Link strength is very important to stand the web competition. Why give such a chance.
- IMO it doesn’t help in branding as well. Users may not appreciate it either.
Search Engines (esp Google) are important as they are termed as the web starting point.