My clients and students frequently ask me what determines the search rankings on LinkedIn. Some of the ranking factors are obvious as I’ve shown in previous examples. Use your target keywords as your last name field, in your professional headline and in your profile summary. As obvious as these seem, LinkedIn doesn’t officially tell us what determines our search rank. Here is what LinkedIn officially tells us.

LinkedIn uses proprietary algorithms to rank and order the results you get when you search for people on the site.

  1. There's no single rank for LinkedIn search. Unlike the standard search engines, we generate relevance scores uniquely for each member. Even though a query will return the same results for everyone, the order is determined in part by the profile, activity, and connections of the person searching. Testing a query from a handful of users is not likely to reflect the overall rank any profile has across the millions of queries that LinkedIn has every day. A closer measure would be the number of views your profile gets, which you can learn about in the Who's Viewed Your Profile sectionon your homepage.
  2. Searcher relevance is based on a variety of factors. Relevance is a proprietary algorithm that we are constantly improving. Our goal is to optimize search results for the searcher. Before we return results, we consider the searcher's activity on LinkedIn, the profiles returned by the query, and other members who have run similar searches in determining the sort order. These, along with other factors, combine to provide us with data to improve the overall quality of our members' search results.
  3. More keywords aren't always better. Our advice would be to only include the keywords, including repeated keywords, in your profile that best reflect your expertise and experience. If you integrate an extended list of keywords into your profile, you're likely showing up in a high number of searches. The question you need to ask yourself, however, is whether members consider your profile relevant to their search. If not, their behavior as a collective group may be influencing the algorithm used to rank you in search results.

To learn more about LinkedIn's ranking factors visit—people-search


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