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LinkedIn’s Search Algorithm? How To Get Ranked On The 1st Page!!

August 30, 2014

There are over a billion searches a year on LinkedIn. While it’s true that many of these people search for individuals and companies, they are also searching keywords.

These LinkedIn search results are sorted by “relevance.” Relevance is LinkedIn’s very own algorithm. “Relevance” sorts by the following criteria:

1st level connections with profiles that are 100% complete (or close to it) and have the most in-common connections / shared groups, ranked in descending order
1st level connections with the fewest in-common connections / shared groups, ranked in descending order by profile completeness
2nd level connections ranked in descending order by profile completeness
3rd level connections ranked in descending order by profile completeness
Shared group members (outside of your network), ranked in descending order by profile completeness
Everyone else (those outside your network), ranked in descending order by profile completeness

Optimizing your profile can help you get your profile and message in front of the right target market more often than your competitor. So what does this mean to you? Because this is the default for search results and the vast majority of people aren’t even aware that they can change it, it’s extra important to:

a) Be a 1st-degree connection to as many people as possible (i.e., grow that network).
b) Have a profile that’s 100% complete.

This means including a profile picture, a professional headline, your last two jobs, etc. LinkedIn will walk you through the process and let you know once your profile is 100% complete. Anything less than 100% completeness is not only hurting you from a search ranking perspective, it’s also less-than-impressive to anyone who happens to read your profile…

A LinkedIn profile has many different sections, but LinkedIn’s Search Algorithm likes some of them better than others. Where possible, populate the terms you want to be found for within the following areas in your profile:

a)   Name
b)   Headline
c)    Company name/Website
d)   Job Title
e)   Summary

This is why it’s so important to have a 100% complete profile. If these key fields are blank or filled with generic terms, then you fall to the bottom of the search rankings.

Think about all of the different ways of saying the same thing and be varied in your language when writing your profile. Maybe you’re a recruiter… There are so many different ways of saying the same thing: recruiter, recruiting, recruitment, sourcing, staffing, talent, search, headhunter, etc. If you’re not using a variety of terms and keywords, then you may not show up in search results.

Use these terms throughout your LinkedIn profile in meaningful sentences. Do NOT just keyword stuff them into your profile in one big run-on sentence of nothingness. Use them in the correct context so that the terms are meaningful and won’t turn off your audience once they arrive at your profile.

A spammy profile, even if it turns up at the top of search results, is never good for your personal or professional brand. Here is an example of what not to do:


linkedin_spam_2


With this in mind, go ahead now and think about which search terms are most important and relevant for your business/industry and then search LinkedIn for those keywords.

1) What was the result?
2) Which page did you show up on?

Regardless of the page, you showed up on, take a moment now and write it down. Now if you didn’t show up on the first page of results, update the 5 key sections listed above to include those relevant terms and then search again. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you shoot up the ranks!

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