Is This The Biggest LinkedIn Search Change Ever Made?

In an announcement, LinkedIn have revealed that they’re changing LinkedIn search and increasing the visibility of your extended network.

Hurrah, no more part-hidden 3rd level connections! When the change to LinkedIn search is rolled out you’ll see their full names, which will save a lot of time. For the average user, this announcement is music to our ears.

Is This The Biggest LinkedIn Search Change Ever Made?

But, if you’re using LinkedIn for recruitment, without paying and running many searches, you’ll be affected by the introduction of the new commercial use limit. LinkedIn is being vague about when it kicks in but when it does you’ll be encouraged to upgrade.

Which will lead to 3 main possibilities…

Recruiters will pay

It costs LinkedIn to provide the service. It saves you money, if you are using LinkedIn and filling roles. So maybe they deserve your money?

Even though LinkedIn removes great features, which irks me, I also think there are many benefits to upgrading if you’re using it frequently. Especially, if it means you’ll get ‘unlimited searches in your extended network’ though that in itself sounds cagey.

There’ll be a surge in fake profiles

I can see how recruiters will see this as a logical option but wonder if LinkedIn hope to avoid this somehow.

In this post they say “…starting today, we’re making it possible for all members to find who they’re looking for– whether they are in your 1st, 2nd or even 3rd degree networks.” So what happens to those that used to be called “out of network”?

Time will tell but if having few connections has minimal impact on search results, I predict a rise in fake accounts.

Recruiters will X-Ray more

Searching LinkedIn from Google has always been a great way to get around the hiding of full names for 3rd level connections and, with the new limit, it will still be a great alternative after this change.

Reasons for it:

  • Google searches LinkedIn profiles as if they are a web page so search results don’t depend upon your network.
  • Better visibility of profiles that are incomplete, which can often be missed on LinkedIn.
  • …and of course, no commercial use limit as you won’t be searching within LinkedIn.

Reasons against it:

  • Google searches LinkedIn profiles as if they are a web page! That can lead to off results.

Of course, there are numerous other possibilities, like switching networks, but time will tell how it’ll play out.

What do you think of this change to LinkedIn search?

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Katrina Collier

Katrina Collier is founder of Winning Impression, since 2009 she’s been showing companies how to add social recruiting to their hiring methods and job seekers how to use social media to land their dream job. When not out walking her dogs in London UK, or indulging in her Instagram addiction, she can be found speaking and writing about social recruiting. Connect with Katrina.


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