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Australia’s Careers OnLine

By Stephen Spry

It’s like taking a trip in a time machine writing this… ‘cos I’m going back to the fairly “early” days of the Internet in 1995 (well, the Internet as we know it)… when Australia’s FIRST careers web site was launched!

Yep – that was mine! In the heyday of 14.4k modems and dialup!

Fair Dinkum Maaate 🙂

Careers OnLine was “launched” in July 1995 and was developed because of my interest and work in the Career Education field dating back to 1979…

It proved “promising” enough in the next few months to enable me to resign from my teaching job in November 1995, and become a full-time Internet entrepreneur (able to live off my long service leave etc for quite some time before I really “needed” to earn some money)

The site originally contained just the teaching “masters” I had developed for sale to schools back in the early 1990s… obviously updated for use on the web by people of all ages… and contains a LOT of info about Choosing a Career, Job Information, Finding Jobs, Applying For Jobs, and Job Interviews.

I even tried to include Positions Wanted and Positions Vacant notices on the site way back in 1997 I think… but it was a tad too early for that market then… however Australian Positions Vacant notices were reintroduced a few years ago when I implemented some RSS feeds and borrowed them from a major Aussie job site. This section has now been enhanced even more by using the feeds from major aggregators

It’s amazing how the “technology” changes 🙂

The other significant change on the site was during 2007 with the introduction of a Career Links section – where currently there’s a directory of some 600+ employment links – and also a motley collection of career articles (where I should add more on a regular basis)

Originally it was intended to sell advertising space – ala “Careers Fair” – on the site… but that was way too innovative at the time and flopped considerably. It meant that I had to do “other” stuff to earn an income, which is talked about in other articles here.

Interestingly… the site hummed along earning next 2 nothing (except a lot of link love) until 2003 when Google announced their Adsense program. And within two months I had established a good (over $1000) monthly source of income from Adsense. It quickly grew to great heights, at times averaging between $2500 to $3500 every month for several years. The Adsense income just from that site is still reasonable today (2010), but nowhere near as exciting as it used to be as it does require a LOT more effort to achieve decent results from Adsense these days.

To chase those Adsense earnings, I continued to add content of all sorts – links, articles, vacancies etc – in an effort to build the number of pages available for people to view… which has resulted in continued growth in the number of people visiting the site on a regular basis!

Nowadays – some fifteen years on in 2018 – Careers OnLine continues to earn a (much) smaller income from Adsense, along with some advertising income from text links by people who want to take advantage of the excellent positioning of the site.

What needs to be done here?

Well… in keeping with the principle of “not fixing something unless it is broken”… I am reluctant to do much to the site except perhaps for a general “tidy up” and maybe a redesign of the theme.

What I have found in the past is that if you add whole a new section, you actually “dilute” the visits to the older sections of the site, which takes a long time to recover. And, if you are not careful and give people too many choices to make, they tend to close the window completely as it becomes too hard to make a decision on what to look at!

So maybe I might look at offering some more “direction” to control where people go on the site a bit better.

It would also be useful, as mentioned earlier, to add more career articles to the site – these consistently bring in good traffic from the search engines. So maybe I might play with WordPress there and convert the existing section over to that format to make things easier.

More recently – in early 2017 – I did do that WordPress installation, and am (still) in the process of converting a lot of the original content (hundreds of pages) over to the new “format”. It all takes time, but it seems to be working OK as I have also been concentrating on making the content a lot “thicker”. I felt that a lot of the content – while valuable – was “thin” in the eyes of search engines… so have re-written a lot of material and thrown a lot more (relevant) words on each page LOL

And yes… I am doing a lot of deep-linking to each of the subsections of the site from here, to hopefully provide just a little more SEO love to my search results.

So… go have a closer look at Australia’s Careers OnLine now and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Stephen Spry