There were 5.7 billion professionally oriented searches on LinkedIn last year, according to LinkedIn product manager Johnathan Podemsky in a blog post announcing the improvements. "Today, search on LinkedIn is getting even smarter and more streamlined," he wrote.
These improvements are among several that LinkedIn has made recently to its platform, including an update to LinkedIn Jobs.
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Here are 10 things you should know about LinkedIn Search.
1. Unified Search.
Probably the most important thing about the new LinkedIn search is that the tool is now conveniently unified. Before, you had to search separately on people, companies or jobs. Now you can type what you are looking for in the search field and results will be pulled from across LinkedIn people, jobs, groups and companies.
2. Auto-Complete Added.
As you type in your search terms, LinkedIn search will predict what you are looking for and autocomplete your term.
3. Suggested Terms As You Search.
LinkedIn now provides suggested terms as you search. This will be useful for, say, when you are searching on "editor" jobs, not realizing that the hotter term now is "content developer."
4. Smarter Query Intent Algorithm.
According to LinkedIn, the more you search, the better and more relevant search results will get.
5. Better Advanced Searches.
LinkedIn's new advanced search capabilities make it easier to expand your search by using filters, such as company or location.
6. No Mobile Support.
LinkedIn's new search capabilities won't be crossing over to the mobile app, unfortunately.
7. Within LinkedIn's Walls.
LinkedIn's new search might be expanded -- but not so far to include the Web at large.
8. Saved Searches.
Now you can save your searches, saving time and resources when, say, looking for new jobs or new employees.
9. Automated Alerts.
You can set up your saved searches so that LinkedIn will alert you when results change.
10. Searches More Like Facebook, Google.
Although LinkedIn's new search capabilities do not extend beyond LinkedIn's virtual four walls, they do increase its ability to compete with the likes of Google and Facebook, especially with Facebook's new Graph Search features.
LinkedIn's new search capabilities will start rolling out to members in the next few weeks. Do they sound useful? Let us know in the comments section below.
Follow Deb Donston-Miller on Twitter at @debdonston.