Monster Holds Onto 2nd Place In Traffic Race But Can Hear The HotJobs Footsteps

Oops! Those numbers that comScore, the Internet traffic counter, released last week showing Yahoo’s HotJobs (profile; site) in the number two position were not quite right. The numbers have been updated and now show Monster (profile; site) in 2nd place behind CareerBuilder (profile; site).

The changes don’t affect the standing of other job boards nor the 51 percent growth in the overall jobs category, which according to comScore was still the fastest-growing content category on the Internet.

comScore didn’t explain the error, except to say in a footnote to its chart, “The December 2008 Monster.com Job Search data have been adjusted upward from 3.7 million unique visitors to 6.7 million unique visitors due to classification of additional job search-related URLs that were not originally included.”

Even with the revision in the December 2008 numbers, Monster is hearing the footsteps. Once all but written off as a player in the recruitment market, HotJobs has dramatically grown its traffic through its partnership with about half of the daily newspapers in the U.S. as well as its higher visibility on Yahoo’s homepage and its channel position.

The comScore data shows HotJobs grew its unique visitor traffic 146 percent in December 2008 over December of 2007. Monster’s traffic grew 62 percent and CareerBuilder’s increased 78 percent. The biggest gainer, however, was SimplyHired, the jobs search engine. Its unique visitor count jumped 161 percent.

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It’s no surprise, therefore, that Monster’s CEO Sal Iannuzzi told an audience of Wall Street analysts Thursday that despite the global recession, “… we feel it is a time to aggressively pursue the market share rather than retreat.” Spending on marketing, among other expenses, will push the company into the red for the 1st quarter of this year.

For the first time since 2004 Monster will air a commercial during the Super Bowl, at a cost of around $3 million per 30-second spot. It will go to head to head with arch-rival CareerBuilder whose “monkey” commercial of 2005 routinely makes the list of best Super Bowl commercials. Is the high price worth it? According to the website multichannelmerchant.com, CareerBuilder experienced a 89 percent traffic spike on the Monday after the game-day ad ran in 2005. The following year, CareerBuilder’s day after traffic jumped 71 percent to 1.45 million visits.

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.

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