LinkedIn has rolled out Business Profiles, which let companies create a page (in the same way that their individual employees can) and use it for recruiting and lead generation purposes. While the actual links (back to the homepage or company blog) created by LinkedIn would seem like a boon to a company's SEO strategy, Erik Dafforn argues that the social network has some hurdles to clear before it can be utilized as a real search tool.
One problem is the flexibility that LinkedIn gives profile creators. Not all employees may know the company's official name and URL, and "with multiple variations (e.g., "Inc.," "LLC," ".com") in the URLs, engines will have a hard time figuring out that all these URLs belong to a single organization," Dafforn says.
Meanwhile, those personal profiles are blocked behind a robots.txt file anyway--and since the engine's crawlers can't "sign in" to view them, the biggest contributors to link popularity go unspidered. The crawlers can access the public view of a user's profile, but that's not where the full company URLs are featured.