Posted November 25, 2008 3:25 pm by with 7 comments

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By Carrie Hill

Today professional networking platform, LinkedIn announced some upgrades to their on-site search features.

They’ve provided more ways to find people.
I think this is a good advance as I have been frustrated in the past looking for a particular person’s profile. Previously it seemed necessary to find someone who was connected to find their profile. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – but it did add some frustration to building your network.

An expanded the search space.
That header was confusing for me – but I figured it out. They’ve decided to eliminate the tab switching for a people search from in-network to out-of-network. They now retrieve the most relevant professionals from the entire community. My question how is relevancy determined?

A relevance-based algorithm to provide results suited to your network.
Great idea as the particular person you’re looking for with a very common name might actually be harder to locate. John Smith who is an SEO is more relevant to my network than John Smith who is a metal artist.

An “In Common” feature
This feature pointed out a number of people I had shared connections with – but not direct connections to. This could be helpful for finding someone higher up or even subordinate in a company if your contact isn’t reachable or available.

Save a Search
You can now save a search and have LinkedIn email you when they find someone new who matched that search criteria. I’m on the fence about this one. Can some spammer do a search for “cooking” and send me an invite to their “Buy my cookbook” group because my profile says I like to cook? Elementary example – but you catch my meaning.

Different Search Result Views
You can now see a basic and expanded view of your query results. Not sure what the purpose of this is – besides yet another choice you can make. Sometimes there’s too much detail – know what I mean?

Auto-Fill Widget
I do like the type-ahead widget that allows me to find my connections quickly – but when I FIRST tried it I thought it would automatically search all people in the LinkedIn system as the header for the search was “People.” That could be clarified a bit I think to say “Search Connections.”

All in all some interesting things from LinkedIn. I’d love to be a fly on the wall in a few months and see how many people actually used or adopted all the changes and how well they were received.

Carrie Hill is the SEO Team leader for Blizzard Internet Marketing where she specializes in optimizing travel, tourism and lodging websites.