LinkedIn on Monday launched an upgraded search offering that unifies different categories and aims to help users sift through its trove of professional networking content more quickly and effectively.
“We’ve unified the search experience so you no longer need to search for people, companies or jobs separately. Now, all you need to do is type what you’re looking for into the search box, and you’ll see a comprehensive page of results that pulls content from all across LinkedIn, including people, jobs, groups and companies,” wrote Johnathan Podernsky, product manager at LinkedIn, in a blog post today.
In addition to making search more centralized, LinkedIn is also seeking to speed up the process through features like auto-complete of search terms, as well as “suggested searches.” For example, typing in “product manager” will bring up other search queries for people or jobs related to product manager along with a preview of top results.
The updated search service also learns from what you’ve searched on LinkedIn, so the more you search, the more it understands your intent over time to provide the most relevant results. To narrow a search, the interface allows people to use filters like location, company, school and other terms. Users can also save searches and get alerts when results are updated.
The company emphasized the ability to deliver more relevant, personalized results. “No two professionals are alike on LinkedIn,” wrote Podernsky. “This means even if you search the same thing as someone else, your results will be customized to you.” That is, they reflect you your professional identity, your network and how the people in your network interact via LinkedIn.
LinkedIn’s search upgrade comes two months after Facebook introduced Graph Search, its own search revamp, with a similar goal of boosting engagement on the site. Most of LinkedIn’s efforts in that regard have been focused on enhancing content offerings, such as redesigned profile pages and the launch of its Influencer blog network.
But a more useful search tool for the 200 million-member network would serve the same purpose, potentially driving up the total of 5.7 billion queries LinkedIn had last year. In particular, the new service could encourage people to do more job searches, which in turn might benefit LinkedIn’s recruiting business, which accounted for more than half its revenue in the fourth quarter.
TechCrunch pointed out that it could also help convert more people into premium subscribers, since regular users are limited to three saved searches. The updated search service, which is rolling out today, doesn’t yet extend to mobile or include results from the wider Web. But with a growing share of LinkedIn’s traffic coming from mobile devices, it would not be surprising to see it expand beyond the desktop.