LinkedIn's "Who's Viewed My Profile?" Messes with my HEAD!

July 5th, 2010 | by Jason Alba |

You know this part on the front page, right column, of your LinkedIn Profile:

linkedin_viewed_my_profile

I get a lot of questions about this… including this one:

A client of mine who is a paid member of LinkedIn receives information regarding how many times his profile is being viewed… e.g., his “profile has been viewed 23 times” and he hasn’t received phone calls… Would these necessarily be people who are looking to fill jobs? Or might they be people who are just doing keyword searches… or searches re groups he’s a member of… or alumni… Or??

My response:

I don’t think anyone knows…. it’s a blackbox area of LI, and usually I think they use it to get people to upgrade… I recommend IGNORING that part, it can lead to false hopes or stalking (“hey, I saw you looked at my profile – should we talk now or tomorrow?” which would scare me away :p)

She continues:

what do these numbers represent?

I respond, and here’s the key:

the number of views, but NOT THE INTENTION of the viewer…

That’s they key… just because someone might have mistakenly found your profile doesn’t mean (a) they read it, (b) you are a good match, (c) they have any intention of doing business with you, etc.

A view does not indicate positive (or negative) intention!

Sorry to burst your bubble.  The best way to use that number is to see if it grows, as you optimize your LinkedIn Profile… but not as a measurement of how many people really want to talk to you.

  1. 4 Responses to “LinkedIn's "Who's Viewed My Profile?" Messes with my HEAD!”

  2. By John E. Bredehoft on Jul 5, 2010 | Reply

    What if LinkedIn offered a level of detail similar to Google Analytics, i.e., “this person visited your profile and spent 5 minutes looking at it”? Now THAT would be more valuable information.

  3. By Jason Alba on Jul 6, 2010 | Reply

    I agree that it would be valuable info, but I’m not sure if LI would feel comfortable sharing that level of detail… they seem to favor the privacy of the user, and that could compromise it.

    Also, I still think it would mislead people… what if someone saw that some major players were looking at their profile? It still doesn’t show the intent, or interest, of the major players.

    For example, you might have set up your profile so that it is SEO-optimized and you get lots of good views, but your profile is not optimized to share your story/message/brand and people are turned off once they get there.

    Is it a success (because people got there, and that’s the stat we see) or a failure (because we disgusted people and they don’t come back)?

    A google analytics-like view, with time on our profile (misleading in itself… what if I get there and then go to lunch… was I there for 2 minutes or 2 hours?) or number of repeat visits (more valuable) might help, but I really can’t imagine LI doing that…

  4. By Steve Duncan on Jul 14, 2010 | Reply

    I doubt that Linkedin will every offer useful analytics to users. There’s just no upside for them.

    But if you record these stats and graph them over a period of time, particularly looking at the ratio of views to searches, you can get insight on the effectiveness of your headline.

    Just looking at searches (over a long period) will tell you the relative effectiveness of two profiles, if there is a large difference.

    It’s better than nothing, but just barely.

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  2. Jul 6, 2010: LinkedIn’s Who’s Viewed My Profile (Part II) | I'm On LinkedIn - Now What???

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