LinkedIn's search updates bring it closer to Facebook, Google+

Now more than ever, the search infrastructures behind social networks are getting smarter (and more competitive).
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

LinkedIn is rolling out a number of upgrades to its search engine with the intention of making it smarter. Basically, that means more and better results faster with less work involved.

In some regards, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company is playing catchup to its social media competitors.

For example, the new features include search functions we have already seen elsewhere, such as auto-complete for search terms, automated alerts for saved search queries, and suggested search terms.

But other infrastructure-related updates, such as the smarter query intent algorithm (which actually learns queries to better understand the user over time), reflect a growing trend among social networks these days.

LinkedIn's updates puts the professional social network on a more level playing field with the likes of Facebook -- the latter of which has been seriously ramping up its own search infrastructure to better compete with Google (or even Microsoft's Bing). Just look at Facebook's constant publicity for Graph Search and the Unicorn infrastructure underneath it.

Thus, Internet users are going to start expecting (if they're not already) search engines to work harder for them by stringing together all of the information they're offering up in the first place.

While there are the addition of more blanket-like features such as suggested search queries (which doesn't seem very personal), LinkedIn product manager Johnathan Podemsky stressed in a blog post on Monday that the search engine has been revamped to understand each individual user on the site:

No two professionals are alike on LinkedIn. This means even if you search for the same thing as someone else, your results will be customized to you. LinkedIn’s search efforts are founded on the ability to take into account who you are, who you know, and what your network is doing to help you find what you’re looking for. And we’ll continue iterating on this with better ways to surface new kinds of content across Linkedin as well as more personalized results.

The smarter search engine is rolling out to LinkedIn members starting today. It is slated to be available globally in "the coming weeks."

For a closer look at LinkedIn's smarter search engine, scroll through the slideshow below:

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