You might know your Google ranking, but do you know your ranking on LinkedIn?
Glen Cathey is the Boolean Black Belt, and he says your LinkedIn ranking is pretty important, yet “defies logic.”
When he searches for himself on LinkedIn, he’s the last, not the first result.
“Am I somehow penalized for having a detailed profile, more activity and a high number of connections? Of course I can’t say for certain, but it’s worth noting that from the search results alone, it appears so.”
When he searches for a connection, that connection is the last result.
“It’s as if the higher keyword frequency of Eric’s name is actually penalizing his search rank.
“In this case, the #1 result doesn’t mention ‘Eric Jaquith’ as ‘keywords’ anywhere – the name is only mentioned in the name field. He’s a 3rd degree connection with 17 total connections….Susan, the #2 result, mentions his name twice and she is a 3rd degree connection with 4 connections….Wendy, the #3 result, mentions Eric’s name once and she is a 2nd degree connection with 500+ connections….Eric’s own profile mentions his name 4 times, he’s my 1st degree connection, has 500+ connections and he is ranked last…Coincidence?”
He found a response on LinkedIn’s site. The response is somewhat mystifying, including the words:
“More keywords aren’t always better. Our advice would be to only include the keywords (including repeated keywords) in your profile that best reflect your expertise and experience. If you integrate an extended list of keywords into your profile, you are likely showing up in a high number of searches…ask yourself whether members consider your profile relevant to their search. If not, their behavior as a collective group may be influencing the algorithm used to rank you in search results.”
In short, on LinkedIn, just as on the Web, keyword stuffing is a no-no. But if Glen’s 1st-degree connection is ranked lower than a person he’s never met, it’s possible that LinkedIn’s system for determining who’s gaming the system is a bit…over-aggressive.
On the bright side, we imagine recruiters are more likely searching LinkedIn for keywords like “writer” or “PR professional” rather than your name.
Update: For what it’s worth, I’m the first “Rachel Kaufman” I see when logged in, and the seventh when logged out.