Exploring the LinkedIn Algorithm
What are the unwritten rules for publishing on LinkedIn?
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In this episode of the DevSecOps Podcast, we’re going to go off-script and explore the LinkedIn algorithm. I could tie this back to DevSecOps, and how all of us need visibility for our work, or how important it is to build a community around our ideas, but the real reason is…I find this fascinating.
One of the largest community engagement platforms in the world encourages us to play their game, but doesn’t tell us what the rules are! How are we to determine the best way to participate, when we have no idea on how to best contribute to maximizing our visibility? Because that’s the game we are playing: how do we get, and maintain, visibility for our ideas on LinkedIn. How do we grow that visibility into an audience of our peers in order to contribute and expand those ideas?
It is to the benefit of LinkedIn to give basic rules of engagement, but instead of guidelines for participation, we are punished for breaking undefined rules and rewarded for seemingly arbitrary reasons, which we then try to recreate without knowing why they were promoted. To add more complexity to the mix, the rules can change at any time. Is it a loser’s game, or are there fundamental patterns we can surface that will help give some visibility into the LinkedIn algorithm?
For years, I’ve been making intuitive guesses as the best way to work on the platform. This led me to the work of Andy Foote, from LinkedInsights, and Richard van der Blom, founder of Just Connecting. Through their research, they have found patterns that we might be able to use to expand our visibility and engagement on LinkedIn. I say “might”, because when you don’t know the rules, you don’t know when the rules change.
On May 8, 2020, Richard, Andy and I sat down to discuss their research into the algorithm that determines how much visibility your content gets on LinkedIn. Andy’s article, “The LinkedIn Algorithm Explained In 25 Frequently Asked Questions” and Richard’s investigations which turned into “The LinkedIn Research Algorithm”, were the basis for our discussion. What I learned from them immediately changed how I engage with LinkedIn. When I say “immediately”, I mean within minutes of talking with them. Stay tuned…
Resources from this episode
- Transcript of this episode
- The LinkedIn Algorithm Explained In 25 Frequently Asked Questions by Andy Foote
- The LinkedIn Algorithm Full Report by Richard van der Blom
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