The LinkedIn Algorithm

Over the past several months LinkedIn has made significant updates to the way we view content, if you’re a regular user you may have noticed a shift. The changes to the algorithm will mean that some content will be rewarded whereas some will have a noticeably lower reach.

People have grown tired of seeing selfies and the kind of content you might expect to find on Facebook. “People tell us that they find it most valuable when content is grounded in knowledge and advice, and they find it most valuable when the content is from people they know and care about.” says Alice Xiong, one of the directors. So it shouldn’t really be a surprise to learn that content has now been made much more visible from the accounts that you already follow.

However to complement this, and as a way for content to be reached by people who you don’t already follow, there is an emphasis on content that is informative and knowledge based. The aim is to help users feel that they being more productive and more successful as a result of the content they are seeing. Since this change there has been an increase of 40% more people seeing knowledge based content from outside of their network.

But how do we define this kind of content? The post should speak to a clear audience, but it should also be about a topic that you as a creator are an authority on. LinkedIn is trying to bring us the highest quality content, so the algorithm will be in your favour if you post about your area of expertise. So no more shouting about things you aren’t qualified to talk about if you want the algorithm to reward you favourably. If a small business owner continues to post about the weather, or what they think about politics, no one really wants to know, do they?

Engagement has previously been a contributing factor to the success of a post, meaning that similarly to other platforms, lots of comments would increase the reach. This encouraged a surge of comments which would simply agree with the post by way of provoking an engagement spike, rather than creating space for discussion.

For the new algorithm, the comments need to be meaningful and include a more detailed response rather than a one word reply. LinkedIn is also aware of who these comments are coming from, comments from the right people will be a green flag and your reach should grow as a result.
“It’s very rare for someone to stand up with a megaphone and shout to the whole office and everyone’s like, ‘Great, I want to hear more from this person yelling at us with this megaphone,'” says LinkedIn editor Dan Roth. “So, if stuff’s not going viral in the workplace, it shouldn’t be going viral on LinkedIn.”

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