News

POV: LinkedIn Upgrades its Search Platform

Mindshare Point of View

Background

LinkedIn announced last week that it has upgraded the search capabilities available to its users to the new “Galene” platform. Designed to offer broader searches and more relevant results Galene will also return results faster. As Search is a key component that many use on the platform this is a key initiative to get more professionals using LinkedIn and to help the company build towards its Economic Graph goals.

Details/Implications

While not a major statement in itself the announcement does connect to the company’s future ambitions (announced in March 2012) to develop an Economic Graph, based on it being the leading professional network (300M+ members).

Building from the platform’s current ability to “tap into the value of your professional network” the infrastructure can map relationships to the third degree. Similar to Facebook’s Social Graph, LinkedIn believe that in the future they will be able to graph “every economic opportunity (full-time and temporary), the skills required to obtain them, the profiles of the companies offering these opportunities and the professional knowledge/people” connected to them.” A grand ambition, but the clear core driver is the requirement to get more people and companies onto the platform.

By upgrading to Galene there is an increased likelihood that more users will join due to the ease of finding, connecting and gaining benefits from their professional networks. With the increased numbers LinkedIn advertising is likely to become more tempting to advertisers.

At the same time, Galene is seen by LinkedIn as offering “Search as a service” and is being used to drive multiple applications and products – People Search, Job Search, LinkedIn Recruiter and even customer service and advertising support. So in the next few years we expect to see some advances to LinkedIn advertising which currently has many good features but doesn’t always give advertisers the returns they wish to see.

Summary

Clearly, upgrading its Search capabilities is serving several purposes which combined could help LinkedIn achieve the Economic Graph they strive to develop. As Facebook remain an important player in the digital advertising space due to their Social Graph, LinkedIn’s Economic model could become an even more important one for the B2B arena. Simultaneously, with more companies and people using LinkedIn there are dual benefits to advertisers – better targeting for their advertising and the increased ability to better find and recruit talent.