“Found You Via LinkedIn Search”

You’ve seen it often, I’m sure? When you scroll to the ‘Your Dashboard’ section on your LinkedIn Profile and click on the blue number above ‘Who viewed your profile’, you’ll see who’s viewed your profile and, in italics, how they found you. You can see more people who have viewed your profile if you pay for LinkedIn Premium. I address the question, should I get LinkedIn Premium in another post. But in summary, on the free version of LinkedIn, you only get to see the last five people who have viewed your profile.

Your dashboard LinkedIn, who's viewed your profile

But what does Found You Via LinkedIn Search actually mean?

It means someone found you after specifically searching for your name in the LinkedIn search bar. LinkedIn is, just as Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms are, a type of search engine or database after all. This is why it is important to make sure your LinkedIn name is accurate and reflective of your actual name, as opposed to a nickname. You’re only as searchable as you are accessible! I strongly believe that adding miscellaneous data to your name field will make you less likely to be found, so I don’t encourage it. It is technically against LinkedIn’s terms of service too, so be very careful if you decide to be clever with your name field. I know people who have their profile taken down as a result of making this error!

There are other features similar to “Found to Via LinkedIn Search” too.

My Who’s Viewed Your Profile Glossary

“Found you via Homepage”:

This means that someone found your LinkedIn profile after clicking on your name from a post, comment, or any link that appeared on their LinkedIn homepage feed. It’s worth noting that if the person who visited your profile has their profile viewing options in their privacy settings set to anonymous, you won’t see that they have found your profile from the LinkedIn homepage.

The LinkedIn homepage has undergone reformatting changes in its time, but its purpose remains the same. It is the first page you see when you first log into LinkedIn and displays posts published by your LinkedIn connections (mostly) and LinkedIn Company Pages that you follow. Posts from 2nd and sometimes 3rd-degree connections can also appear in your feed if the LinkedIn algorithms ‘think’ you will find them interesting or relevant. They might also be likely to appear if your 1st-degree connections react with them in some way by either reacting or commenting on them. The LinkedIn algorithm dictates which posts appear on the Homepage. You’re more likely to see posts by connections that you interact with often. On the flip side, you are unlikely ever to see content from people that you have no interaction with. And that is something very important to appreciate.

Similarly, you’re more likely to attract profile views from the LinkedIn homepage if you increase your engagement with your Connections’ content, especially content they share in the news feed.

Discover a whole host of settings hidden in plain sight that can further help you to improve your LinkedIn feed.

‘Found you via LinkedIn Profile’:

If you see this in the ‘Who viewed your profile’ setting, it means the person in question has found you after seeing a suggestion of your profile on someone else’s Profile or the person is a connection already and clicked from existing connections.

‘Found via LinkedIn Company Pages:’

This means someone found you via a LinkedIn Page you have liked, commented on, or listed as your workplace. This is why it is important to make sure you list your place of work’s ‘official’ LinkedIn page as your workplace in the ‘Experience’ section of your LinkedIn profile, rather than a blank LinkedIn Page that can sometimes be automatically generated by LinkedIn to represent the company you work for.

LinkedIn experience

Find out more about how to make your LinkedIn profile stand out.

‘Found you via Google search’

Great stuff! This is the icing on the cake. This means the person who viewed your LinkedIn profile searched for something on Google and you popped up. Your impact – i.e. your engagement and content creation – is reverberating around Google as well as LinkedIn. Good job!

This shows the power of LinkedIn, what you do on the platform amplifies your exposure elsewhere, helping you reach popular platforms like Google search.

What About That Weekly “You Appeared in 271 Searches this Week” Notification?

If you refer back to the ‘Your Dashboard’ section of your LinkedIn profile that I highlighted at the beginning of this post, you’ll notice there’s also a number of ‘Search appearances’. LinkedIn notifies you once a week saying: ‘You appeared in X amount of searches this week.’ If you click on this notification or on the number of ‘Search appearances’ in the Your Dashboard section, you’ll be greeted with more information about “your searchers”.

Search appearances LinkedIn

However, my valued LinkedIn connection, Bruce Johnson, warned in his informative newsletter, not to get too excited about your “Weekly Search Stats”.

“This just in. No one is searching for you.” Bruce wrote. “Take it from someone who knows: ‘You appeared in 271 searches this week’ is about as disingenuous a statement as you will ever read.”

He then helpfully listed 5 reasons why your ‘Weekly Search Stats’ should be ignored:

1) You are not told what position you ranked in those search results.

LinkedIn neglects to say whether you appeared on page 1 – and therefore were likely to be seen in the results – or on page 27, where you will almost never be seen. When was the last time you did a Google search and checked out every single result?

2) LinkedIn shows you five companies where your searchers work.

This has absolutely no value because you don’t know what these people were searching for when they came across your profile in results. Was it the HR department looking for employees? Was it someone researching an industry? A vendor conducting research. A salesperson trying to find prospects?

3) LinkedIn shows you your searchers’ occupations.

Again, with no context, what are you to think about this? Six percent of the people whose searches Bruce turned up in during the week before writing his newsletter contribution in question were “Founders.” Of what? IBM? Fred’s Flower Shop?! With no context, there is no value.

4) LinkedIn will inform you of what keywords they used to search.

In Bruce’s case, they were “President” and “Navigator” – a little vague! Or worse, not even words that appear in your profile at all! Weird!

5) And lastly, this is the biggest one, which links all the others together: The majority of LinkedIn users have no idea how to use search effectively.

Most people input job titles in LinkedIn’s search box rather than searching by title. People tend to search too broadly, for example by location, meaning they get too many results, most of them are rubbish! As Bruce highlighted; those are the searches you showed up in!

He provided this useful example:

He stopped writing his newsletter contribution for a moment, hopped on LinkedIn, and performed a search for people in North America. So, congratulations, if you were a LinkedIn member and live in North America, you showed up in his search results…along with 180 million other people! But the week after Bruce wrote his newsletter contribution when LinkedIn told you the number of searches you appeared in, the search he just did will be one of them!

Not helpful at all!

Why Is This Information Useful (or Not!)?

You may turn up in LinkedIn search results, but that does not mean the searchers are looking at your Profile, or even looking for you at all, Bruce concluded.

However, it’s always handy to know who viewed your profile and how they found you. Getting more profile visits means more opportunities for building relationships with people relevant to you, whether they be potential clients, business partners, suppliers, or employers, which is the whole point of LinkedIn!

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