Google Job Ads - Where in Europe First?
4 min read

Google Job Ads - Where in Europe First?

Google Job Ads will soon launch in the US. Where will we see Google Job Ads first in Europe?

With the anticipated rollout of Google Job Ads in the US, the question is: Where will we see Google Jobs Ads first in Europe? 

While the U.S. market might see a quicker launch due to a relatively more accommodating regulatory environment, Europe's complex legal landscape demands a more measured approach. Google's strategy would involve balancing innovation with compliance, ensuring they adhere to local laws and societal expectations.

We have no information about when and if Google Job Ads will launch in the EU. The uncertainty around the launch date of the product in Europe compared to the U.S. can be attributed to several factors:

Regulatory Environment: 

Generally, Europe's regulatory framework is strict, especially with GDPR and antitrust laws. Google might navigate these complexities to ensure full compliance before launching, especially given its experience with recruitment-related antitrust probes.

Market Differences: 

The European job market is diverse, with varying labor laws and recruitment practices across countries. This should not be underestimated. Although it is a relatively simple product, tailoring Google Job Ads to suit each market requires careful planning, localization, and much time invested. 

Antitrust Scrutiny: 

Given Google's dominance in search, launching a job advertising service might attract additional scrutiny from European regulators concerned about market fairness and competition. This is a big one. 

Here is a reminder about what happened once Google Jobs launched in EU countries in 2019. 

Twenty-three job-hunting sites, including Stepstone, Jobindex, and Jobware, wrote to the EU’s Competition Commissioner asking Google to remove its job listing tool from its search results. The sites claimed that Google unfairly promotes its service and pushes its pages down in search results. Back then, they feared Google might start running ads on the search tool and eventually exclude third-party job listing sites. Today, we know the sponsored product will not be part of Google Jobs but a separate feature.

Memory refresh: 

Google’s job search tool faces complaints from rivals in Europe
Job sites claim their own pages are being pushed down in search results.

Privacy Concerns

In Europe, where privacy concerns are exceptionally high, Google must ensure its job ad service aligns with strict data protection and privacy regulations. Although Google Job Ads should not have a complex privacy profile, we don’t know how much personal data will be used in the tracking and ad suggestion. 

So, now that we set the foundation, we are returning to the original question. 

What is the first European country to receive Google Job Ads?

Predicting the first European country to receive Google Job Ads after the U.S. launch involves considering multiple factors.

First, there are just two countries where a launch makes sense – Germany and the UK. The main drivers are market size, digital infrastructure, focus on tech development, and economic status. 

The Netherlands and Sweden are also a good target, but they represent too small markets. My bet is on the UK.

Let’s have a deeper look.

  1. Market Size: The UK's diverse and substantial job market is ideal for testing and perfecting any innovative technology before expanding to the rest of Europe, including new job advertising models.  
  2. Regulatory Landscape: Post-Brexit, the UK's distinct (and flexible) regulatory environment might offer a smoother entry point for Google than the EU's stringent data protection and antitrust laws. 
  3. Language Advantage: With English as the primary language, there's ease of localization and communication, making the UK a practical first choice for US companies. True, the labor market is slightly different than in the US, but in the case of job ads, this is a lot easier compared to launching in Germany. 
  4. Tech-Friendly Market: The UK's strong tech sector and digital infrastructure make it a fertile ground for innovative services like Google Job Ads. It's a tech-savvy market ready for the next big thing. That is not precisely the case in Germany, where recruiting tech was mainly stuck in 2015.
  5. Adoption of Performance Marketing: The UK is deeply integrated with the existing programmatic job advertising providers like Appcast. Recruiters are used to performance-based advertising, and a product like Google Job Ads, which supports bidding and PMAX, will be accepted from the market. Compare this to Germany, where most revenue is still from job postings; the winner is clear.
  6. Past Precedents: Looking at Germany's resistance to Google Jobs (the organic jobs product) in 2019 I outlined above, Google might opt for a more welcoming environment to launch its new service.

The UK's market seems safer for the first EU launch of Google Job Ads.

In conclusion, while Europe offers many opportunities for Google Job Ads, the UK stands out as the likely front-runner for the European debut. It combines regulatory ease, market readiness, size, and strategic advantage.