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LinkedIn follows in Facebook’s footsteps, gets a search makeover

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 2.28.34 PM copyLinkedIn just got a little more like Facebook (again). The networking hub announced a revamped, improved search engine today, with several substantial new features – a move that may boost engagement, and help the company keep growing.

As product manager Johnathan Podemsky explained, “We’ve unified the search experience so you no longer need to search for people, companies, or jobs separately. Now, all you need to do is type what you’re looking for into the search box and you’ll see a comprehensive page of results that pulls content from all across LinkedIn including people, jobs, groups, and companies.”

Now LinkedIn search has auto-complete, and gives you advanced searching options, so you can filter down your results based on location or business type. It also lets you set up automatic alerts, so if you’re gunning for a specific position, you know the instant it opens up. On top of that, LinkedIn introduced a “suggested” search, which shows you example queries based on what you type into the engine.

The advanced search option

The advanced search option

Search is a crucial component for successful social networks, and LinkedIn may have taken a cue from Facebook, which recently launched its own massive search project with Graph Search.

As the most professional of the large social networks, LinkedIn has hooked over 200 million users based on its ability to help you network. It’s definitely more of a niche service than sprawling social sites like Facebook and Twitter, but this new search feature shows how the site is trying to widen its appeal. You can search for a wider variety of content with greater ease now, which fits in with LinkedIn’s push into content production and aggregation. Instead of just focusing on profiles, LinkedIn lets users post relevant stories and media, and the redesigned search will let people stay within the site to find articles they want to read, or company profiles.

LinkedIn’s strength is networking, and people frequently use the service to search for jobs or companies they like. LinkedIn’s blog cites over 5.6 billion professionally oriented searches last year, so fine-tuning the search will have a big impact on how people enjoy the site.