LinkedIn Search: Finding that former colleague of yours just got easier

October 27, 2008

I'd like to announce today the launch of our new search platform, currently released to a small percentage of our LinkedIn users. In addition, a certain percentage of the remaining users can explore the new search experience by simply clicking on the “Try LinkedIn’s new People Search” link at the top of search results pages.

As the largest global professional network, we’ve had the privilege of having millions of users enter over a billion professional search queries, and we’ve been working hard to build a much more robust professional people search engine. We interviewed lots of users and aggregated thousand of pieces of feedback. The end result is a completely redesigned search experience aimed at making it easier and faster to find the most relevant professionals that you're looking for.

Here is a quick summary of the new features that will be phased out to all of our users in the coming months:

1. Unified search results:

We eliminated the need to switch tabs if you want to see professionals outside your network. The new search will retrieve the most relevant professionals from the entire LinkedIn community.

2. More powerful relevance algorithm:

The new relevance sort not only takes into account keyword relevance but also leverages both the professional graph and the rich profile data to ensure that the most relevant professionals are always shown at the top of your search results page.

3. Redesigned search results page:

Speaking of the search results page, we've redesigned this page from the ground up to make it more readable and actionable. This includes a new streamlined look, the ability to refine you searches from a new “Modify your search” module on the right rail, easily accessible sorts and views, and the ability to take actions from the results page as you mouse over results.

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4. In Common:

"In Common" is a new field in search results that lets you see what connections and groups you share with the selected user.

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5. Saved Searches:

This is one of the most requested features. We’ll allow you to save searches and very soon we’ll let you get reminders over email if we find someone new that meets your criteria.

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6. Views:

We now offer two views as part of the search results redesign, basic and expanded. In addition, we also let you create your own view. You’ll be able to add or remove fields from search results based on what makes the most sense for your type of searches.

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7. Spell check:

We know how hard typing people’s names is. We hear it from our users and also see it in the data. As a result, we built a robust spell checker for names. We’ll expand the spell checker to other type of keywords very soon.

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8. Type-ahead for connections:

We also saw in the data that many of you use search to get to your connections quickly. In order to make it more efficient, we developed a type-ahead widget that recommends connections as you type from any people search box.

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We’ll be testing all of these features over the next few weeks as we fine tune them for full release.  Stay tuned for more here, as these improvements mark just the beginning in helping your professional people search.

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