Connecting to thousands of people helps you get found!

So let’s check this out.  If a LinkedIn user indiscriminately connects to thousands of people, can they be “found” better?

Let’s start at the top…

How do LinkedIn users search?

LinkedIn novices search with the little magnifying glass found in the top right corner of every page – this performs a basic search for the text entered as keywords.

More experienced LinkedIn users (or those that have read “The LinkedIn Personal Trainer” or some of the other articles on this web site) click directly to the “Advanced” search page.

You enter your terms and LinkedIn give you the results.

Thousands of connections

First – lets define this.

Those that recommend the indiscriminate connection philosophy for LinkedIn have no theoretical maximum number of connections – they’d like to connect to tens of thousands if they could.

But – LinkedIn has a practical limit that users start running out of invitations after 4-5,000, which is why these users will often ask you to invite them to connect – because they have no more invitations left to send.

So we’ll suggest that our indiscriminate connectors have 4,000 connections – reasonably doable by most users and it should be easy to work with.

If you connect to 4,000 users (that you don’t know) you will be “easier to find”

I’ve re-phrased the statement to help us explore it.

Sometimes specifics help clarify situations…

Rocket science

So – if it’s easier to find people when they have more connections, I should be able to test this – with a search for rocket scientists!

My constructed search is for the term “rocket scientist” – quotes included – to find LinkedIn profiles that include the term “rocket scientist”.

456 profiles

That number seems rather small considering the more than 65 million people that use LinkedIn, but maybe there really aren’t that many…

The very top result – has the title “CEO and Chief Rocket Scientist“, is a social marketing professional, and does in fact have more than 500 connections. She is a 2nd degree connection to me. Hah, you say – Steve has been dis-proved!

The second result – has the title “Rocket Scientist & (in between stick throwing) Senior Risk Analyst”, doesn’t appear to be a social marketing individual, has 500+ connections and is also a 2nd degree connection to me! (this isn’t looking good)

The third result – is in fact a “Rocket Scientist” in Munich, has 17 connections, and is outside of my network!

Shocking – how can that be? Perhaps there is nobody else left within my network…

The fourth result – is a “Social Media Rocket Scientist“, has 220 connections, and is a 3rd degree connection of mine.

The remainder of this first page: 460 (in), 1(out), 5(out), 6(in), 1(out), 3(out). [connections (in/out of my network)]

Among the remainder of the 100 profiles that I see, is a woman (in the 52nd spot) that is a third degree connection of mine with 29 connections. Yes, she’s in the result, but dozens of individuals fill search slots in front of her – these other people have less than 10 connections, and are in no way connected to me.

How can that be?

Because search results are ordered by relevance

The default search order on LinkedIn is relevance, and having a “better” profile is much much more important that having connections.  Having connections does not make you more “findable”.

Yes, LinkedIn allows you to select the order, and options include Relevance, Relationship, Connections, Relationship + Recommendations, and Keywords. Relevance is the default.

So – if I really wanted to find people that had a lot of connections, I could find them – but what does that prove? Why would finding someone that fits the criteria I’m using and enjoys connecting to 4000 people be any more helpful to me?

Most people looking for you for a specific reason want to find someone that meets the criteria of being just like you – and for no other reason.

The best way to be findable on linkedIn is to use LinkedIn Profile Search Optimization – that I talked about at the end of last year.

That’s how you get found more often…

I’m listening

And here’s your chance to chime in – did I miss something here?

To your continued success,


Steven Tylock

Social Media Rocket Scientist