LinkedIn has updated its website with a major revamp of its search function that unifies the service's multiple search functions — people, companies, jobs, and groups — into one. In addition to simplifying the experience, the new search bar includes improvements that are said to be a year in the making. This includes some much-overlooked features like autocomplete and search suggestions, as well as what's likely the most important new feature: customized search results based on your LinkedIn connections that adapt over time. Lastly, the update introduces automated alerts for saved searches, and it also refreshes and simplifies the advanced search function.
The refreshed search functionality will undoubtedly help users search for connections on LinkedIn — long the service's core offering — but it should also help promote a part of LinkedIn that the company is increasingly focusing on: content. With the launches of news aggregation service LinkedIn Today and the option to receive original, exclusive content from "thought leaders" like Richard Branson, LinkedIn has continued to show an interest in becoming a "professional publishing platform," as CEO Jeff Weiner put it last month. With overhauled search, LinkedIn will certainly hope to bring more attention to its content offerings — not just its vast database of professional connections — especially as it looks to monetize its business content with sponsored posts in the future. In the meantime, LinkedIn's new desktop search functionality will start rolling out today, and it should be available to everyone in a few weeks.