LinkedIn Launches Streamlined People Search

LinkedIn has a launched a revamped version of its search engine that aims to streamline the business social network’s most oft-used features. Most of the new features revolve around people-search (not surprising given the network’s theme), and while there isn’t anything particularly exciting from the user’s perspective the changes make the engine significantly more convenient (and will hopefully help the recently unemployed get back on their feet that much faster).

Many of the changes are subtle: as you begin typing names, LinkedIn will offer an autocompleted list of possible matches, similar to Facebook’s search. The engine also streamlines advanced search by presenting options in a more accessible menu (some of the features were previously available, but buried so that most users never found them). The engine is also making use of LinkedIn’s vast repository of structured data, automatically detecting when a search term is related to a name or to a person’s company and position.

One of the search engine’s most powerful new additions is persistent search, which allows users to effectively set up alerts notifying them when there is an addition to a company’s executive roster, or when an appealing job candidate is up for grabs (the feature will likely be a boon for headhunters). Before now there have been a few ways to create similar notifications (like Yotify, which we covered in September), but this is the first time that LinkedIn has integrated this functionality.