And it could significantly affect you!
LinkedIn have changed their search algorithm, Galene has replaced Lucene...yes they even have names for them!
So why does this matter?
It matters because when LinkedIn make such a significant change as this it can completely alter how we build a profile to ensure we are easily found (which is kind of the point in having one!).
Now I'm not going to bore you with technical information here, largely because I really don't understand it! I am however going to show you one significant change that may affect what you put in your headline.
I have being doing some extensive testing (a very tedious exercise) of the new Galene search algorithm and whilst it is throwing up some very confusing results, one thing has become very clear.....
Profiles with email addresses or telephone numbers in their headlines are significantly penalised in search results. (tweet this)
Lets look at the search result below;
The criteria for this search was simply as follows;
Relationship: 1st tier only
Location: 10 mile radius of a specific postcode.
The result was 49 profiles.
4 of these profiles had either an email address or telephone number in the name or headline fields...as you can see, all 4 were in the bottom 5 profiles in the search result!
One of these profiles is Johnnie Tester - a profile I set up for testing purposes and Johnnie's profile is highly optimised for the keyword 'training', so much so that he should have come top in this search result, instead he came 45th!
I repeated this test in many different ways, using various test profiles and different keywords and all delivered the same conclusion.
So this means we shouldn't put contact details in our headlines right?......Not necessarily
The question you need to answer is this;
How many people are searching for you on LinkedIn?
I know the answer to that for my profile. As a premium account holder I can see who has viewed my profile over the last 90 days and how they arrived there and the fact is that only 15% found me via a LinkedIn search....and I'm a LinkedIn trainer so LinkedIn would be the obvious place to search for me!
The majority of people who viewed my profile found me through their homepage (probably via a status update) or 'people similar to you' or 'people you may know'. I get much more views this way.
So before altering your headline you might want to consider the downside of removing your email address.
When people find you how are they going to get in touch with you? If it's difficult or expensive (ie they have to use InMail) you might lose their interest.
It's very easy to get carried away with optimisation but it's not always the most important thing. I believe profile views mostly come from activities such as status updates, group discussions and even just viewing profiles.
There are some people who need to ensure that their profiles are easy to find however - namely job seekers because recruiters are always searching so I would strongly advise anyone hoping to be found by recruiters to avoid putting any contact details in the name or headline field.
Whilst this discovery was very conclusive, I was much less successful in figuring out why profiles get to the the top of a search result. It does seem that it has also changed but exactly how is very difficult to assess....I'm still working on it though!
I did find out one piece of interesting information that came from a very good source inside LinkedIn, apparently Galene strongly favours profile views when ranking search results - this does make sense as LinkedIn reward activity and especially engagement in many other ways and it would seem logical to also reward it in search results.
I will keep testing and digging to find out more.
Please let me know if you have any experience of new Galene search results, the more data and evidence I can gather, the better.