Why Do My View Counts Go Down? 

Writing posts in the old days took longer too.

A lot of people are seeing their view counts for posting go down in the past year.  I have three possible reasons for this. 

Changes to the algorithms

Linkedin is constantly tweaking the algos to fine tune them, but the big factor here is that every time LinkedIn comes up with a new content related feature, that feature tends to get its day in the sun and those new types of content will appear more prominently in our feeds. Think of all the new content related features in the past two years – all the video options, audio features, company page post features, events, the list goes on and on. The poster child for this was Polls a couple years ago. They were everywhere. And if the LinkedIn algos are going to prefer putting a Poll at the top of people’s feeds, our regular old post is getting bumped. Not getting bumped every time, but often enough to make a difference. 

More competition

Creator Mode has certainly been a boon…for LinkedIn. Courtesy of Creator Mode and LinkedIn’s push for members to create content, there is just a lot more content to compete against. How much more? Well, let’s have a look and see.

There is a search filter I  can use on Sales Navigator called “posted on LinkedIn 30 days”. It brings up a list of everyone who has posted on LinkedIn in the past 30 days. I used it last February to illustrate a point in a webinar I ran and the number of people posting in the past 30 days at that point was 17 million. I ran the filter again in January and LinkedIn told me that over 20 million people had posted in the past thirty days. That’s over 17% more people posting less than a year later.

That doesn’t include company page posts, which are also competing with our posts to be seen. And if each of those people posted more than once, that 20 million figure may mean 40 or 50 million or more individual posts. I just checked and I have around 200 connections who post at least once a day and one connection who posted an unbelievable 126 times in the past week.

Let’s look at it another way. If each of those 20 million people only posts once a month, that is still one million posts every business day.

Subscriptions & Notifications

Subscriptions and notifications are two sides to the same coin. You can subscribe to LinkedIn Newsletters, in which case LinkedIn will notify you when a new issue is published. You can also click the little notification bell on someone’s profile, which will result in you being notified about that person’s posts. 

LinkedIn advertises that you will absolutely be notified in both of these cases, implying that if you subscribe or hit the notification bell you will not miss out on anything from the person whose content you want to see. There is some evidence that this is not necessarily the case, as I have had a few subscribers to my newsletter tell me that they are not being notified, and the little bell on one person’s profile advertised if I clicked I would only see their “top posts”, whatever that means. 

The upshot here is that if I am allocating fifteen minutes today to reading content on LinkedIn, I am first going to go and look at whatever notifications I have received for newsletters or people’s content I want to be notified about, and then if I have time, I will go and see what is being offered in my feed. 

Subscriptions and notifications are effectively setting up a two tiered content system on Linkedin, one designed around what you have indicated you want, and one designed around LinkedIn’s guesses as to what you want. Now, the main feed is not going away or being de-emphasized anytime soon, as we must not forget that is where LinkedIn’s advertisers are. I would not be surprised if LinkedIn is trying to figure out a way to get those newsletter and posts we asked to be notified about folded back into the main feed somehow. If my main feed had a mix of newsletters, posts I asked to be notified about, ads or sponsored content, and some speculative “maybe he will like this” stuff from the algorithm, that would make for pretty good tradeoff of what I would like to see – relevant content – and what LinkedIn wants me to see – advertising and sponsored content. 

So in the face of these factors, what can we do to get our content seen? Plain and simple, think less about the things you can’t control – what LinkedIn does and what other people do – and think more about what you can control: the quality of the content you are putting out yourself. Stay laser focused on what your ideal reader or ideal prospect wants to know that they don’t know now. What information will they find useful? What information will help them make better decisions? 

One other aspect worth mentioning is the long tail for content on LinkedIn, particularly articles and LinkedIn newsletters. These get saved to your profile and have a long shelf life. They get indexed by Google. Your ideal prospect can have the opportunity to find you via this content long after you have published it. I still get people commenting on articles I published on LinkedIn in 2016.