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Best practices when dealing with expired jobs on your job board

Posted On Sunday, January 26, 2020

Author: David Armitage (Technical Director)

If your website has a built-in job board it’s more than likely that jobs are posted, updated, and removed from it daily. When removing jobs from your website if it’s not handled correctly two very critical problems can start to emerge.

Each job on your website has its own landing page. This landing page then gets indexed in Google and other search engines so job seekers can search for jobs and find your website. Imagine you had a job for a ‘Software Developer’ which was advertised on your website for let’s say 1 month. Within that month Google picked up on your new job post and added it to its search listings. Recently you filled that job and in turn the job listing was removed from your website.

This is when the problems can start.

I’m guessing you didn’t contact Google to let them know the job has been filled. I obviously don’t recommend doing this but if we don’t tell Google the job posting has been filled then how do this know to remove this from their search listings? If this job hasn’t been removed from their search listings, then job seekers are still going to come across the job listing and click on it. What happens next is what you need to make sure is handled correctly.

What happens when the user clicks on this job listing if the job has been removed from your website?

Bad practices I see happening a lot

The job seeker SHOULDN’T be presented with a broken link. Why? Firstly, because this is a terrible user experience. Secondly, search engines hate broken links and they will DE-value your website, moving it further down it’s search rankings. This is obviously not what you want in both cases.

Something I also see a lot and again something that shouldn’t happen is leaving the job still active on the website. We’ve all been a job seeker at some point, and we know how annoying it is to apply for jobs that no longer exist. The fact is it just wastes everyone’s time and tests their patience.

What your website should be doing!

  • We don’t want a broken link so the listing should still go somewhere.
  • At the same time, we don’t want the job seeker to be directed to the usual job details page since they will obviously try and apply for the expired job.

With that said, the best way to handle this is to have a custom landing page that lets the job seeker know that this job is no longer available. On this page it is a good idea to have two things. The first thing is to still have some basic details regarding the expired job. Possibly just the title, and summary. This will improve the user experience and help a little for SEO. The second recommended thing to have on this page is your job search form. It makes sense since we know the job seeker is looking for a job to present them with a job search function.

Too obvious? We'll here's something not everyone knows.

OK so the above is obvious. What I will tell you now isn’t so obvious and not everyone will know about it. Remember when I said you probably didn’t call Google to tell them about the expired job and that it probably wasn’t recommended? Well I might have lied a little. There is in fact a way to let Google know about new, updated, and expired job listings. The feature is called ‘Google Indexing API’.

‘Google Indexing API’ is a reserved feature of Google for very limited industries. One of them is for recruitment and is used solely to help deal with job listings. ‘Google Indexing API’ is very technical so this is something your web development team will need to help with. You can read more information about this here.

If you pass this link onto your website development team then they should be able to help get this feature implemented into your site.

I won’t go in too much detail and bore you but In a nutshell when you post, update, or remove jobs from your website you should trigger Google’s ‘Indexing API’ to let them know about this in real-time. This information allows Google to serve correct and more up to date content to job seekers.

When you keep Google updated in real-time, they will most certainly reward you for it. They will firstly index your pages much faster so if you have a job become available today then it’s going to get seen right away rather than having to wait a month or so before Google decides to re-index your website. The other bonus is Google generally rewards websites following the best practices. Follow the best practices and Google will gradually move you up their rankings.

There’s so much to talk about in this area and SEO in general. I will touch on some other very important points in future blog articles.

Please watch out for a closely related article that focuses on Google ‘Rich Snippets’. Another great Google feature that not everyone knows about.


Author: David Armitage (Technical Director)

10 Years+ experience building software, job boards, and websites for the recruitment industry.

Please feel free to contact me for a free consultation, a technical review of your website, or information regarding the services we offer.

You can reach me at or find me on LinkedIn.