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LinkedIn change that affect us all!

LinkedIn change that affect us all!

LinkedIn change – This article is for all of you using LinkedIn for the purpose of developing your personal brand or marketing on behalf of a business. It takes 7-8 min to read but it will change the way you use LinkedIn if you didn’t already did.

Over the two last years LinkedIn shows a 50% increase in viral activity. More than two million posts, videos, and articles are now filtered, ranked, and displayed in the feeds of LinkedIn’s nearly 650 million members.

“We’re always about individual professionals doing business with their network. We want to get all of the world’s professionals on LinkedIn. We should be relevant to professionals everywhere.”

The philosophy of LinkedIn according to founder Reid Hoffman.

LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman
Relevancy before activity and frequency.

Although the philosophy behind LinkedIn has not changed, the ranking algorithms have. Changes that have great impact on the perception and use of LinkedIn. The main difference is the adjustment to favor relevancy before activity and frequency.

Why did LinkedIn change the algorithms?

What is an algorithm – when defined simply is a set of rules for solving a problem in a finite number of steps. An algorithm can perform calculations, data processing and automated reasoning tasks. They are used frequently within computer science/programming.

As any social network LinkedIn needs to encourage engagement and retention. Problem was that last year in October 2018, LinkedIn realized that the they are building a network that strengthens the already strong (the authorities), even more.

“More and more people are using the feed and giving feedback to their network’s posts: our members generate tens of millions of viral actions (likes, comments, and re-shares), and the number is increasing more than 50% YoY. However, we found that these increases weren’t equally distributed. In fact, at the beginning of 2018, we were in danger of creating an economy where all the gains in viral actions accrued to the top 1% power users, while the majority of creators who don’t receive much feedback were receiving less than ever.``

With that in mind it is easy to understand that if LinkedIn didn’t change the algorithms, the interest to engage would decrease as to jeopardize the foundation and whole value of LinkedIn. Therefore the new algorithms are set to better promote posts from more users in order to encourage discussion among a wider scope of people. The LinkedIn change was necessary.

The LinkedIn change – from network to audience

Before the changes main key to LinkedIn success was to create a network. Today that’s’ not enough. You must change mind setting from network to audience. Using the term of Audience instead of network you automatically add the aspect of relevancy. So, in a summary LinkedIn is trying to value you and the relevance you can show within your network.

LinkedIn Audience
The goal of feed ranking at LinkedIn is to help members discover the most relevant conversations that will aid them in becoming more productive and successful. Relevance is determined by our objective function which optimizes for three main components: The value to the member, the value to the member’s network (downstream effects), and value to the creator of the post.

A few rules to follow

When reading the statement from LinkedIn below please consider what it really means.

The more valuable the conversation, the higher in your feed the post will be. How do we know if it’s a valuable conversation? We use the framework People You Know, Talking About Things You Care About.

What you should understand from that statement is that You need to target before going wide, and niche/ deep before broad. LinkedIn needs to understand who you are, what’s your fit to your audience. Then those factors are balanced every time you make any comment, post, create hashtags, and publish articles. The more clear you are the easier for LinkedIn to understand for whom do you make a value.

The over-all rule – Be clear and consistent!

If i would pick out some general rules I would choose:

LinkedIn rules

When engaging

Most LinkedIn “experts” say engage, engage engage… That’s true but again even more important is relevance.

Relevance is determined by our objective function which optimizes for three main components: The value to the member, the value to the member’s network (downstream effects), and value to the creator of the post.

Prioritize with whom

When LinkedIn ranks your feed, they look at who you’ve been interacting directly with (eg comments and reactions). Then LinkedIn consider your profile to understand the relevance based on common interests and experiences. But also, things like who you work with.

LinkedIn wants to find the common denominator

There are many ways you can signal what you’re interested in: the most obvious ways are joining groups, and following hashtags, people, and pages. Along with posts from your connections, you’ll also see these posts in your feed. If a connection uses a hashtag you also happen to follow, it gets an extra boost!

To summarize

It is quite interesting how perhaps the biggest changes of LinkedIn could pass without awareness from most members. Maybe it’s because it the changes took place in June just before the summer. I want to be clear that I welcome the changes hindering LinkedIn becoming a new Facebook. There are simply no reason to just post a nice image or a phrase without meaning to your audience anymore. Although you get likes and comments you always have to consider the over-all value, because LinkedIn does. And as said before, the key to success is to change mind setting and use the term audience instead of network.


I welcome all comments and feedback. Especially your way of thinking how this will affect the use of LinkedIn for the purpose of selling. It would be interesting for me as it is the topic of an article to come soon.

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