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LinkedIn offers 'unified' search, other value-added features; how will you benefit?

image001Professional networking site LinkedIn has unified the search experience on its site – so that users no longer need to search for people, groups, companies or jobs separately. Now one can simply type his/her query in the search box and a comprehensive results page will come up, pulling all relevant data from the site. The company also claims that 5.7 billion 'profession-oriented' searches were done on LinkedIn in 2012.

Other new features include:

Auto-complete: Works on a similar principle as Google Search, which means as you type your search term, various options will be prompted and you can choose the relevant one/s to make the search hassle free. Also, the more a user searches, the better it will get at predicting what he wants.

Suggested searches: When a user types in a search term such as product manager, he will see search queries for people/ jobs related to 'product manager' as well as a preview of top results to help him find the most relevant information.

Smarter query intent algorithm: Again a feature similar to Google. The more a user searches for content on LinkedIn, the more it learns and comprehends the user's intent and provides the most relevant results.

Enhanced advanced search: Besides getting a new look, it will be now easier to deepen your search with filters like location, company, school, etc.

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Automated alerts: Now users can also save their searches. But how does this help? LinkedIn alerts the user if/when the search results change.

"No two professionals are alike on LinkedIn. This means even if you search for the same thing as someone else, your results will be customised for you. Whether you're searching for people, jobs, companies or groups, we provide the most relevant results based on your professional identity, your network, and how the people in your network engage with LinkedIn," LinkedIn product manager Johnathan Podemsky stated in an official blog post.

The new search features will be rolled out from today (March 26) and will be available to all global users in the coming weeks.

In January this year, LinkedIn crossed the 200 million members mark and it has now members from over 200 countries and territories. The biggest chunk (74 million or 37 per cent of the total member count) of its members comes from the US, followed by India with 18 million members.

The company is also set to close its second acquisition of an Indian co-founded news-reading app called Pulse, for more than $50 million, according to media reports.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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