A LinkedIn feature that should be ignored: Your weekly search stats

Why being a grain of sand in this photo can be like being found in LinkedIn Search Results


This just in: No one is searching for you.

Every week, LinkedIn slips you a notification that says something like: “You appeared in 412 searches this week”. You can then click on it and go to learn more about “your searchers”.

Take it from someone who knows: “You appeared in 412 searches this week.” is about as disingenuous a statement as you will ever read. 

Here are five reasons why “Your Weekly Search Stats” should be ignored:

  1. You are not told where you ranked in those search results. LinkedIn doesn’t say whether you were on page 1 – and likely to be seen listed in the results – or on page 27, where you will hardly ever be seen. When was the last time you performed a Google search and reviewed all the results?
  2. LinkedIn shows you five companies where your searchers work. This has absolutely zero value because you don’t know what these people were searching for. Was it the HR department looking for employees? Was it someone researching an industry? A vendor doing research? A salesperson looking for prospects?
  3. LinkedIn shows you what your searchers do. Again, with no context, what am I to think of this? Six percent of the people whose searches I turned up in last week were “Founders”. Of what? IBM? Fred’s Flower Shop?
  4. LinkedIn will tell you what keywords they used to search. In my case they were VP Marketing, Coach and Consultant. The last time I was a VP Marketing was the late 90’s.
  5. And this is the biggest one, which ties all the others together:

Most LinkedIn users have no clue how to search effectively. 

They put titles in the search box instead of searching by title…they search too broadly by geography…and they get too many results, most of them garbage results. Those are the searches you showed up in. 

Let me summarize with an example: I just stopped writing for a moment, hopped on LinkedIn and did a search for people in North America. So congratulations, if you are a LinkedIn member and live in North America, you just showed up in my search results….with 180 million other people. But my search will be one of the ones you showed up in when you get your weekly search stats next week. 

You may turn up in LinkedIn search results, but that does not mean the searchers are looking at your profile. Or even looking for you at all.

I publish weekly newsletters on using LinkedIn for Sales, LinkedIn for Marketing and Advanced LinkedIn Strategies and Tactics. Each of these 3 is typically a two or three minute read and contains useful ideas you can put into practice right away.