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“Who’s Viewed Your Profile” just got an update but LinkedIn users don’t get that much extra in the way of actionable data. Just a pretty new graphical representation of the same vague info.

 

WHY ARE SO MANY BLOGGERS GETTING THIS STORY WRONG?

 

“LinkedIn Upgrades “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” Section With New Look, Better Analytics
Sarah Perez, TechCrunch, June 3rd 2013

“LinkedIn redesigns its ‘Who’s Viewed Your Profile’ page, expands analytics for Premium members”
Nick Summers, The Next Web, June 3rd 2013

“LinkedIn Provides More Insight into Who’s Looking at Your Profile”
Josh Wolford, WebPro News, June 3rd 2013

The above headlines are just a few examples of the media coverage of this change. They are all asleep at the wheel, don’t be a passenger. I’ve yet to see one article which gets this right and that’s a depressing thought. “Better Analytics”? Nope. “Expands Analytics”? Nope. “More Insight”? Nope. To be clear, this is a purely cosmetic change to the way that LinkedIn presents some of its browser data to non-paying and Premium LinkedIn members. Premium members get exactly the same data (Views, Keywords, Industries & Geography) as they did before this change, but now different graphics are employed. And yes, the marketing is slick. Non-paying LinkedIn users get a sniff of their popularity on a weekly basis. That sniff is a tease designed to get you to upgrade to Premium. I’m less popular this week you say? But why? What did I do wrong? I need to find out. Ka-ching!

 

I’ll demonstrate:

VIEWS (Old version followed by new version )

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KEYWORDS (Old version followed by new version)

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INDUSTRIES (Old version followed by new version)

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GEOGRAPHY (Old version followed by new version)

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GIVE THEM A BREAK?
I’ll cut these bloggers a break, reading the official LinkedIn announcement about this change “Check Out Who’s Checking You Out” by Udi Milo, June 3rd 2013 (http://blog.linkedin.com/2013/06/03/check-out-whos-checking-you-out/). Its easy to get swept along. You see the word “insights” and “In addition” and leap to a foregone conclusion. You could be forgiven for buying into the marketing hype of this document if you don’t have a Premium account (I do) and you don’t have screenshots of the relevant sections of the Premium account before and after the change (I do). Sloppy bloggers ought to do their homework.

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DEUS EX MACHINA
To be fair, there was a mention in LinkedIn’s announcement about being able to “filter results by week” but that’s not a game-changer imho. It’s certainly not new information to Premium users; they already had that data to make the weekly search comparative calculation. What am I supposed to do with news of a 19% reduction in my week on week Browser traffic anyway? I need more information on that stat for it to be useful. If I look at some of the analytics I can get on traffic to this blog for example, LinkedIn could do much, much more to help its users to understand who is visiting their Profiles and what it could mean (or do) for them professionally. For example:- having month on month, year on year comparative (search & view) analysis. Knowing if someone is a repeat visitor or spending x amount of time browsing you (via IP address identification). Knowing how many browsers in the same organization are looking at your Profile. Knowing how browsing begets browsing and showing that linkage, from me to you, you to me and you to your colleagues. THAT is the kind of data worth paying for. No? Solve the problem, please the audience, show me the ‘ghost in the machine’.

 

ROI (Return On Investment)
LinkedIn now shows all of its users how many times their Profile has been viewed and searched. I’ve written about the important difference between these two metrics and I’ve explained why you should be focusing on views rather than searches to measure your success in my recent blog post: “Measure Your LinkedIn ROI With Views Not Searches

 

LINKEDIN CONSULTING
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That’s all from me for this week. If you found this post useful, don’t keep it a secret. Go ahead and share this article with your own network (see those buttons on the sliding thing on the left?).

Warm regards,
Andy