The Truth About LinkedIn and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

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RelationshipsVsGoogle

Seriously though, let’s talk a little bit about LinkedIn and SEO (search engine optimization).

Realistically:

  1. If you have a distinctive name, you can easily dominate the search engines on searches for your name. Get your name, or some variation of it, as a domain. Which do you really want to send people to: your LinkedIn profile, which has all kinds of other stuff on the page that isn’t you, or a personal home page where you control all the content?
  2. If you don’t have a distinctive name, you’re going to be competing with all the other Jane Smiths (or Scott Allens) on LinkedIn. That may give you a leg up on all the people who aren’t in LinkedIn, but guess what? If they’re not in LinkedIn, they’re probably not trying to get ranked well. Being in LinkedIn is no advantage – your competition (from a search engine perspective) are in there too.
  3. If you’re going after rankings for keywords, not your name, your LinkedIn profile can’t even begin to compete with a blog. Sure, the blog is more work, but if you’re serious about being #1 for “extremist idealist” or “search engine optimization Jacksonville”, then LinkedIn is just one teeny-tiny piece of the puzzle. Start with a blog – that’s going to get you a lot farther with Google than LinkedIn ever will. And if your blog isn’t ranked higher than your LinkedIn profile for your target keywords, you’re doing something wrong.
  4. There is some benefit from the outbound links on your profile – they are indexed and followed by search engines (make sure you have set the links on your profile to be publicly visible, or that won’t be the case). However, links posted in Q&A or groups don’t give any link juice — they’re run through a redirect filter at LinkedIn.

Bottom line:

LinkedIn is for relationships, not search engine optimization. Can it have some minor SEO benefits? Yes, but it’s way down the list in terms of strategies.

Let’s keep the focus where it belongs. Otherwise we end up with this.

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8 Comments

  1. Awesome article and very valuable information. I really injoyed reading. Especially for us (SEO challenged) people it can be very confusing what to do to get higher page ranking.

    Blogging is good, but I recently heard that it is better to have a WordPress blog (for SEO ranking) rather than one at Blogger. So I am in the process of switching.

    Any comments?

    Cheers,

    Ilka ;o)

  2. Ilka:

    Blogger does now support things like URLs based on the titles of the posts and hyperlinked post titles, which they didn’t used to. If you’ve had a Blogger blog a long time and haven’t changed those things, that’s a must.

    Assuming those things are implemented, the main difference between a WordPress blog (on your own domain, not at WordPress.com) vs. Blogger is that of being on your own domain, and that’s definitely going to be better for SEO purposes than being on a hosted service.

  3. “All” things Linkedin?

    How Linkedin groups apply SEO techniques differently?

    Inbound Marketing Has a #6 Google Page Rank on Linkedin groups.
    Search Engine Land has #0 Google page rank on Linkedin groups.

    Some Linkedin Groups even have #7 page rank for Google.
    How did they apply SEO techniques differently?

    Search Engine Land Linkedin Group Page:
    http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Search-Engine-Land-53266?trk=myg_ugrp_ovr

    Although the 3 links on our Linkedin profile are 302 redirects with no linkjuice, are there any backlink benefits from being the owner of certain Linkedin groups, or by posting blogs or webpages in certain Linkedin groups?

    Inbound Marketers Linkedin Group Page:

    http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Inbound-Marketers-Marketing-Professionals-21005?trk=myg_ugrp_ovr&goback=%2Egmr_68961%2Eamf_68961_86919996%2Egmr_68961%2Egde_68961_member_142721992

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