Search is at the core of LinkedIn’s traffic strategy, representing over 22% of the site’s traffic share.
Over the past year, it would appear Google has been sending LinkedIn more organic traffic compared to the same period last year. I filtered out branded search terms and compared year-over-year search data. The results are dramatic. Google sent LinkedIn 27.53% more traffic over the months of June to November 2015 than in the same period in 2014.
As the top social business network, LinkedIn leverages personal branding to drive search traffic. From June to August of 2015, desktop web traffic to LinkedIn rose by 9.26%. Search accounted for the majority of that traffic bump, adding increasing by 16.15% over the same time period. The increase in direct traffic correlates to search traffic, while other sources remain relatively steady.
An analysis of the top search terms driving traffic to the site reveals people’s names top the list (excluding branded and misspelled queries for LinkedIn) accounting for approximately 12.5% of search traffic.
As expected, Google accounts for 95% of that organic search traffic. Search for someone’s name, and their LinkedIn profile is very likely to appear on the first page of the search results page for both standard web search and image search. LinkedIn is even optimized for more popular names, presenting an organic landing page matching a list of LinkedIn profiles with that name.
While the top social networks, namely Facebook and Twitter, rely less on organic search traffic, LinkedIn has become increasingly dependent on organic search traffic from Google. I expect this trend to continue over 2016, and I’ll be following LinkedIn’s search strategy as it unfolds.