LinkedIn Takes Endorsements Very Seriously for Search Results

Endorsements push you towards the top of LinkedIn search results.

by Donna Svei on June 17, 2013

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post noting that using the same key word repeatedly, say 116 times, in your LinkedIn profile can push you to the top of a first level connection’s search results for that key word. I noticed this after I did a key word search and got curious about how people came up where they came up. 

The table below shows my first page search results and positions (SERP) one through nine on that page. As you can see, the person in first position on page one used my key word 116 times in her profile. But look at the person who came up in position 6. He only used my key word five times. Slacker. I wondered how he made it to page one. Oh, do you think it had anything to do with his 625 endorsements for my key word? I do.

Clearly, all of my page one results were people who are first level connections. So, if you want to come up in an early page of someone’s search results, it’s REALLY IMPORTANT to be a first level connection. Beyond that, when you look at the numbers below, the number of times you’ve been endorsed for the key word MATTERS. To get to page one here, it took an average of 186 endorsements! You only had to stuff my key word into your profile an average of 73 times to get to page one. And recommendations, those more meaningful attestations of your awesomeness, it only took an average of 36 of those to get to page one.

So, like it or not, getting yourself to a prominent place in LinkedIn search results appears to be mostly a numbers game. I say “mostly” because positions 4 and 5 somehow made it onto page one without much in the way of numbers. I haven’t figured those out yet.

If you want to drive traffic to your profile via your position in LinkedIn search results, it looks as though it’s smart to grab every meaningful and meaningless endorsement you can. Note too that this argues for having a large network because people can only endorse you if they’re first level connections.

If you’re driving traffic to your profile via means other than search results, and you want to have credible endorsements, see this. As always, you have to know what you want to accomplish by being on social media to make good decisions about how you manage your social media presence.

BTW, please don’t hesitate to invite me to connect on LinkedIn here. My email address is The more I know about my readers, the more relevant I can make my blog.

I’m an executive resume writer (LinkedIn profiles too) and interview coach. Save time. Get hired. Email me at or call me at (208) 721-0131.

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16 Comments on "LinkedIn Takes Endorsements Very Seriously for Search Results"

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5 mos 1 day

Terrific point! Thank you for commenting.

5 mos 7 days

I spend an hour plus per day on LI and have looked at countless profiles. I have high appreciation for well developed and maintained profiles. Most of the profiles with lower number of endorsements give the impression of neglect or lack understanding that in this age your online profile is really your first introduction opportunity.

5 mos 21 days

Hi Chacara,

Wishing you good luck with that! Be sure to get video/stills of yourself behind the podium to add to your LinkedIn profile.


5 mos 21 days

Early next month I’m speaking at a national conference for career development professionals (NCDA) and the topic is related to using social media to move up in Google rankings.

Donna Svei
6 mos 7 days

Good question. Thank you for asking.

I’d rather have 99+ endorsements for 10 skills than scattered endorsements for 50 skills. I think when you hit 99+ endorsements for a skill, then the people looking at your profile actually do take notice. You don’t see that many endorsements very often so they can set you apart.

To use the endorsements as an example does it really make them look credible if you reduce. Since everybody knows the limited value of the endorsements most people probably don’t consider the skills you are endorsed for.

1 yr 3 mos

Hi Donna, Nice article. Could it be that LI factors in the years of experience as well. 80% of LinkedIn users are above 35. This means that many users are not social media savvy and cannot gather tons of endorsements, because their colleagues are not active LI users. However, they have tons of relevant experience based on their added information. LI probably accommodates a percentage of first page users to be from this category. This is obviously a hypothesis, but maybe you can test it.

Hi Govind, Thank you. In my experience, years of experience doesn’t come into play. Donna

1 yr 6 mos

This is interesting.

I look at the top 3-5 endorsements to get a sense of what:

a) the person says that they can do, and b) what their community says that they can do.

That makes a lot of sense Michael. Thank you, Donna

Mike Stay
2 yrs 4 mos

Nice thought provoking article but I have to disagree with the suggestion to reduce or eliminate anything which reduces the chance of coming up on top of the search results. So long as you don’t pollute your profile in a very aggressive way with repetitive keywords which make it look bad it is always a good idea to be found provided your profile represents you adequately.

To use the endorsements as an example does it really make them look credible if you reduce. Since everybody knows the limited value of the endorsements most people probably don’t consider the skills you are… Read more »

Kurt Schusterman
2 yrs 4 mos

Thank you for the good article. Do you know how to get some lesser endorsed skills and expertise key words served up to others to endorse?

Hi Kurt,

That is a terrific question. I don’t know how to get them “served up.” If anyone else does, I hope you will share! It’s OK to ask people you feel comfortable endorsing (and asking) if they would endorse you for those skills and offer to help them emphasize any skills they feel are underrepresented on their profiles.


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