As a professional using LinkedIn I’m sure you know the importance of visibility in LinkedIn’s Search Results. For example, if you’re a Financial Advisor and someone searches the keyword “Financial Advisors” on LinkedIn, no doubt you’d like to appear in those search results and optimally you’d like your profile to be in the #1 spot because that means that you’ll get the bulk of the views and clicks.
Like with search results on Google, you trust that LinkedIn will serve up results that are relevant to you based on a top-secret algorithm that you hope would take into consideration factors like: degrees of separation, number of common connections, endorsements, location, recommendations, keyword prominence etc.. (you would hope at least!)
Jeff Weiner doesn’t want you to know this….
But unfortunately, LinkedIn’s Search Algorithm is broken and instead of seeing useful results you get a list of LinkedIn blackhat spammers or at best legitimate professionals that have a borderline spammy profile because they’ve too discovered this one weird trick.
Want to know the trick?
You too can get your profile to rank #1 on LinkedIn for the keyword of your choice. The trick is simple, it’s called: Keyword Stuffing.
DISCLAIMER: Now before the hate mail comes pouring in let me make it clear that I DO NOT CONDONE doing this and HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you DO NOT do this and I’ll explain why in just a minute.
What’s Keyword Stuffing?
Keyword stuffing is exactly what it sounds like, you stuff a target keyword onto the page as many times as you can fit it in. Back in the early days of Google, keyword stuffing was a tactic used by spammers to game the search engine, nowadays you’ll be hard pressed to find a webpage that’s keyword stuffed on the first page of Google. In fact, getting caught keyword stuffing could lead to getting your website penalized and banned from Google.
Keyword stuffing is completely outdated and an unethical practice that adds no value to rankings today and rest assured that Google cracks down hard on keyword stuffing violators.
But not LinkedIn.
Let me show you this example:
1) I searched my LinkedIn network for “SEO” & find that Joe H. beats out 1,477,556 results to claim the #1 spot.
2) Wow! Impressive Joe H. must be an awesome SEO’er because he’s ranking #1. Let’s dive into his profile and explore his incredible credentials. The first part of his profile isn’t really impressive and he only has a paltry 167 connections, I don’t really understand why LinkedIn produced this result but let’s keep scrolling down….
3) And now you see the one weird trick in action. Blatant SPAM and Keyword stuffing takes over his profile….BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE.
4) WOW!! This is OBVIOUS SPAM. Could Joe being even more bold?
5) Why Yes! Yes he can! For safe measured he even stuffs: Search Engine Optimization
Now Joe actually continues to stuff these keywords into his profile for what seems to be forever. I actually stopped scrolling his profile after a minute or so because it just became too much for me.
This is an EXTREME example of keyword stuffing abuse on LinkedIn. There are also other legitimate professionals that know this trick and moderately abuse it because they claim it works.
HOWEVER, I DO NOT recommend using this tactic because even if you do get more visibility from the search results once the person clicks your profile and takes a closer look they can identify and smell the spam. Out the window goes your credibility and integrity.
Instead of relying on keyword stuffing to increase your profile views, focus instead on building real relationships, getting recommendations and increasing your group involvement to attract more visibility.
Here’s one not so weird trick for more success with LinkedIn.
Focus on quality over quantity.
And if Jeff Weiner is reading this…please fix this ASAP!
Would love to hear your comments/feedback below or on twitter.
You can follow at: @jeffzelaya