Thursday, August 21, 2008

Web Secret #7 - LinkedIn

LinkedIn is Facebook for grownups. It is an online network of more than 8.5 million experienced professionals from around the world representing 130 industries. Joining LinkedIn is easy and takes under a minute. Most people use LinkedIn to “get to someone” in order to find a job, build a career, or grow their business. But LinkedIn can also be used to:

1. Improve your Google PageRank

LinkedIn allows you to make your profile information available for search engines to index. Since LinkedIn profiles receive a fairly high PageRank in Google, this is a good way to influence what people see when they search for you.

To do this, create a public profile and select “Full View.” Also, instead of using the default URL, customize your public profile’s URL to be your actual name. To strengthen the visibility of this page in search engines, use this link in various places on the web. For example, when you comment in a blog, include a link to your profile in your signature.

2. Enhance your search engine results

In addition to your name, you can also promote your blog or website to search engines like Google and Yahoo! Your LinkedIn profile allows you to publicize websites. There are a few pre-selected categories like “My Website,” “My Company,” etc.

If you select “Other” you can modify the name of the link. If you’re linking to your personal blog, include your name or descriptive terms in the link, and voila! instant search-engine optimization for your site. To make this work, be sure your public profile setting is set to “Full View.”

3. Ask for advice

LinkedIn’s newest product, LinkedIn Answers, aims to enable this online. The product allows you to broadcast your business-related questions to both your network and the greater LinkedIn network. The premise is that you will get more high-value responses from the people in your network than more open forums.

Bonus Hint: Want more hints about LinkedIn? Check out "Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn", a blog entry posted on "How to Change the World - A practical blog for impractical people".

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