When you have a virtual treasure trove of personal data on more than 450 million professionals in 200 countries, along with millions of additional data points on jobs, companies, industry news, personal blogs, and more, you're sitting on a pretty powerful search engine.
With its recent announcement that every piece of content (status updates, posts, etc.) published on the platform is now easily searchable and sortable via its mobile app, LinkedIn just pulled up a chair next to Google and Bing as a legitimately powerful search engine for professionals.
LinkedIn Wants to Be Google for Professionals
The most underutilized and misunderstood part of LinkedIn's entire platform is its powerful internal search engine.
You can refine your search results by job title, industry type, ZIP code, and a bevy of other filters. You can even filter searches by where people went to college and play the alumni card!
Publishing on LinkedIn = Massive Opportunity
The recent news that LinkedIn has now made it easy for users of its mobile app to search for specific news stories and blog posts--via topic or keyword--is a dream come true for inbound and content marketing practitioners.
The key to getting your posts discovered is similar to what works on other social networks--by using keywords in your blog post title and body content and (most important) creating hashtags.
LinkedIn has made hashtags clickable inside its mobile app. For example, if you see a hashtag for #personalbranding on the platform and tap it, it will pull up a list of top blog posts and other content related to personal branding.
The Future of Search for Professionals
LinkedIn now has the financial backing and tools to make a serious run at becoming the preferred search destination for professionals. It's also wisely expanded its footprint into the freelance marketplace and gig economy, along with creating an impressive onsite content library via posts by its members, top "influencers" and media partners like The New York Times, and many others.
The stage is set, and LinkedIn seems up to performing search under the same spotlight that Google has owned for decades.
If LinkedIn can show its members how easy, valuable, and useful its internal search engine is for jobs, connections, industry news, and training, it will indeed become the world's best search engine professionals.
In the meantime, you'd be wise to start publishing as often as possible on LinkedIn, and be sure to use keywords and hashtags so your original content gets discovered and engaged by the exact clients, customers, and other professionals you want to connect with!