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.



The Only Question You Need To Answer To Market Successfully On LinkedIn

This applies to every post, article, or company page update you publish on LinkedIn.
Ask yourself, “what’s in it for them?”
What do your ideal customers want? Why are they here on LinkedIn? What questions are they asking? What information do they need?
And then one final question,  “How can I give it to them?”
What I find many companies do is they say they are answering that question, but when you look at what they have published, it’s “what’s in it for our company?”
You get interviews with the company brass, press releases on new equipment they have purchased, list of their capabilities, and supposed benefits customers receive from working with them.
I had a client just the other week where they were putting together a piece of content on one special type of work they could do. They put together two mock pages, one with the special capabilities at the top and one with a blurb about how the company had been in business for forty years, and the other one with the company and capabilities reversed. They canvased the company management for their opinion. Here was my opinion:
“When your ideal customer is searching LinkedIn for answers, which is the burning question their engineers and manufacturing people are looking for answers to?”
a) “Is there anyone out there that can build this special requirement we have?”
b) “I wonder if there are companies out there that have been around for forty years?”
My opinion prevailed.
If you perpetually drive yourself to ask “what do they want? What’s in it for them?” you will come up with better content and get a much better response to it on LinkedIn.
And they will come back for more.

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Homepage Feed – part 2 – fine tuning

Three micro settings to fine tune your homepage feed.

All of these changes pertain to individual people and posts you come across in your feed. The first do are done through the three little dots menu at the top right of any post. 

Here is what you can do when different problems arise: 

When you are sick of a post reappearing at the top of your screen

Solution: choose “Hide this post” 

Sometimes LinkedIn’s algorithm will decide I really should see a post and it keeps showing up at the top of my feed. Sorry, time to go. Roll your mouse over the three dots at the top right of the post in question. A drop down menu will appear. Choose “Hide this post”     

Note that this only hides this particular post as posted by this one particular person. If someone else in your network posts the same content, it will show up again.

Note that there is also a selection at the top right of the feed that you can change from “Top” where LinkedIn selects the post it thinks you want to see and “Recent” where whatever is the newest post among the people / topics / companies will come first. If you do change it to “Recent”, this selection is not very sticky and will revert back to “Top” after a day or two. 

When a connection is a serial bad poster            

Solution: unfollow them

I call this “connection jail.” If I find someone who just keeps posting content that I find no value in, I put them in connection jail by unfollowing them. The unfollow command is in the same drop down menu as the “hide this particular” update command.

Note that you can’t “partially unfollow” someone. I have had several people ask me about this. They like what the person writes but don’t want to see his or her likes and comments on other people’s posts. I am sorry, it’s either everything from that person or nothing. And I am really sorry if the person you are asking about is actually me. 

When a connection goes sour                

Solution: sever the connection

This is a favorite of mine for a couple of reasons. The first is we all make mistakes. We connect with someone and find that it was not one of our better decisions. To remedy this problem, go to their LinkedIn profile and click on the More button. Then just choose “Remove this connection”

Now, here’s the other part I like: LinkedIn keeps it quiet. The other person is not notified that you have disconnected from them. It’s all very discrete. They will never know unless they view your profile and see you are now a “2”.  

Don’t spend your time on LinkedIn with updates or people that aggravate you or don’t provide value. Your time is more important than that.