LinkedIn Impression

A quick review of the LinkedIn algorithm after posting for two weeks.

LinkedIn Impression
Photo by Greg Bulla / Unsplash

A bit late today, but here it is.

I'm not impressed by the LinkedIn algorithm. The past week I have been posting articles on LinkedIn. Hit post update, then click paste the link and write a short description at the top. Nothing too fancy since I never actually do something with LinkedIn. Frankly, I wonder if the account has ever delivered something of value to me.

So I was pleasantly surprised when the first article had 141 impressions. That's a fun metric! So as the days went on, I kept looking at these numbers. The fact that LinkedIn kept reminding me that I should write something for my Network was something that I kept ignoring because you, the reader, should not have to read a massive text before deciding to click on the article. That was my first mistake.

All major platforms measure success using one or more metrics. And in the case of most "free platforms," it's all about how long you can stay on their platform so that they can point your attention in the direction another paying customer wants. As usual, nothing is free.

This is also the case with LinkedIn impressions. The more people are willing to be "impressed," the more chance they have to serve articles/posts that people are willing to pay for.

Since all my posts are short and have a single link to the article on my blog, LinkedIn considers them low or negative value for people leaving the platform. After all, deciding to exit the platform can be done in seconds. One either clicks or ignores the link. People who dismiss it have zero interest and are likelier to quit doom-scrolling, and those who click it are leaving the site. So LinkedIn will serve my update to fewer people and thus reduce the risk.

I used SubStack before moving things back to my site, and one of the things I found curious was that it would generate images that could be used on social media. And I found this strange because on most social media sharing a link results in an embedded preview containing a cover image and title. So why would it generate those images?

After reading some SEO tips for LinkedIn, I put two things together: Sharing a link is penalized, which is why most experts say to put it in the comments, and sharing an image takes up a lot of space and is more likely to grab attention. SubStack generates these static images so that you have an embedded preview without a link that can be penalized.

So yesterday, I did something completely new: I just copied and pasted the first three paragraphs into my update. This is more lazy than usual, but the impressions increased. I still shared the link in the same way.

So yeah... I'm not impressed with LinkedIn. Many people are writing and posting things to get around it, such as creating a slideshow of 7 pictures in what could be summed up in 7 lines or sharing a video.

It also showed me how much social platforms have changed the world, you would follow people who seemed to be significant by either depth or skill, but these days, many people favor what captivates the most attention.

On the other hand, this may be the expert trap, becoming so knowledgable or skilled that one no longer sees significant skill of others. Yes, let's go with that instead. 😅