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Social data key to winning search wars as Facebook looks to end Google's dominance

26 Aug 2011

Adzuna co-founder Andrew Hunter

Search is changing. Google's domination is under threat from Facebook and its vast wealth of user data, while niche search engines that bring together key information on dedicated areas, such as Skyscanner for cheap flights, are hugely popular.

It is no surprise therefore that more sites are entering this market and looking to take advantage of the two growing trends of social information and specific search areas.

Adzuna is one such site. Launched in late July by former employees of local advert site Gumtree and social review site Qype, Adzuna indexes job listings from large aggregators like Monster and niche employers like Buckingham Palace on one site.

The unique element, according to the firm's co-founder and aptly named Andrew Hunter, is that Adzuna also brings in information from social sites like Facebook and, most importantly, LinkedIn to provide a social context for the jobs it finds.

"There's all this information out there linking people in the job market. If you're searching for a job you don't want to broadcast it on Twitter or Facebook, but LinkedIn has all these connections that could prove useful," he said.

"You can see connections and secondary connections showing who works where and in what roles to learn more about a company, what it's like to work there, what's bad about the place, and maybe get an introduction to a hiring manager."

Job search is a big market, Hunter explains, because there are so many listings for jobs in all types of industry. By using LinkedIn data he believes Adzuna offers something different to other dedicated job search portals.

"Jobs is incredibly fragmented. On our site we index 200 sites for accountancy and finance jobs alone. Obviously people won't look on every site for a job. Indexing these jobs together is not unique, but bringing in social elements is," he explained.

Despite being in business for under two months, Adzuna has received over 100,000 visitors in the past 30 days, and the firm already has its sights on new areas to cover.

This will see the addition of property and cars, and Adzuna is also looking to move into new markets across Europe and South America, where Hunter has worked before.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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