How Does LinkedIn's Algorithm Work? (Richard van der Blom)

LinkedIn expert Richard van der Blom has released his 4th annual Algorithm Research Report for the platform. This 57-page report comes from analysis of nearly 10,000 posts over 4 months, and reveals statistically significant patterns in the current behavior of LinkedIn’s algorithm.

Check out the full report here, then read on for some key findings, highlighted by Richard himself.

Insights that stood out immediately (original post)

  • Less reach for 99.9% of all the users

  • Less impact for dwell time, although still important on text posts

  • More content of the same author in your feed

  • Two phases where engagement can boost the growth, the first 90 minutes are crucial

  • Hashtags between 1 and 10 show almost no difference, we advice 3 - 5

  • Negative engagement slows the growth of your reach

  • After publishing a post, stick around to engage yourself in your feed

  • Explore Creator Mode, it can help!

  • Newsletters, although huge potential, are down in reach and engagement

  • Engaging Company Pages perform 3x better than those who only publish

  • Use 7 slides for your Document Posts

  • Some formats outperform others, choose wisely

  • Ideal Video length between 20 and 60 seconds, square format

  • Impact of your Social Selling Index (S.S.I.) on reach declined further

  • Reposts and shares bring additional audience to the original post

  • Only 5.2% of all members is publishing content on LinkedIn (increase with 0.4%)

  • Ideal post is 400 characters less compared to 2021

6 steps to get more reach for your post (original post)

First of all…

Engagement in the first 90 minutes is hugely important to kick-start the growth.
Some elements to get more eyes at your post from the first second:

  1. Increase followers (in Creator Mode); they are included in your first batch

  2. Get more people to ring your bell, so they get notified

  3. Respond to all comments with your own comment in these first 90 minutes

  4. Tag or notify people that you want to engage on your post

And then we have the next 6 steps:

  1. After publishing make sure you stick around some minutes to engage yourself on posts from your network. Be aware that only your first act of engagement is taken into account for the algorithm (!)

  2. Although impact of S.S.I. score is declining (check your own score with the link in the comments), members with a score of 70 currently still reach up to 25% more reach

  3. Don’t post s**tty low-engaging content. The algorithm remembers the performance of your last 10 -15 posts and will reward you with more reach when you have a growing engagement. One bad post will not harm you, but 3 or 4 low performing post will result in a drop of initial reach

  4. Tag “accelerators” if you know they can contribute insights to your content. Drag them into the discussion, but only if you know that they are up for it.

  5. People re-sharing or reposting your post will help you get significantly more reach. This is a huge different compared to last year’s research where the impact was almost non-existing

  6. Make people save your content, ring your bell, send you a connection request. Because all 1-on-1 actions with your content or profile will prioritize you in their feed for at least 2 to 3 weeks. Now you have a chance to stay there!

And an additional Tip: Use a LinkedIn Signature at the bottom of your posts

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21 Tips for getting your content seen (original post)

1. Make it personal
Personal stories, including selfies, are hot on LinkedIn.
People do business with people, so make sure they get to know and see you.

2. Post frequently, but moderately!
The good news is that one author can now show up with multiple posts in the feed.
But your post needs time to grow! It will get a boost after two hours and eight hours.
Don’t post within 18 hours from your last, since you will cannibalize your average reach per post.

3. Nurture your own posts for better results
Important to respond to (all the) comments in the first 12 hours.
LinkedIn loves the interaction between authors and audiences.

4. Ideal post length
Ideal post length is between 1,200 and 1,600 characters (roughly 15-20 lines).
Keep your audience engaged (aka reading) for better results.

5. Don’t drop and leave—stick around
LinkedIn values your time and input.
Get more eyes on your own content by engaging with at least 3-4 posts directly after you have published yours.

6. Creator Mode will grow your followers and reach
But you need to post at least 2-3 times a week and make sure your content resonates with your audience.
Relevancy is key!

7. LinkedIn Newsletters—maybe you don’t need one
Reach and engagement has gone down.
Maybe it’s better to wrap your content in a slide deck, video, or text post, since they get more instant reach?
Or do both!

8. Different formats, different results
Favorited by the Algorithm:

  • Slide decks (PDF)
  • Video
  • Polls
  • Multiple-picture posts

Less reach for:

  • Posts with external links
  • Celebrate occasion
  • Articles

9. Ingredients for the perfect post

  • Use a trigger in the first 3 lines
  • Have a Scroll Stopper
  • Write at least 8 lines of text
  • Use hashtags (3-5)
  • Tag people and companies
  • Think of a call to action

10. High reach for slide decks (aka document posts)
Use between 5 and 9 slides, use not more than 30 words per slide, include pictures (selfies), and make it visually appealing

11. 3 tips to improve the performance of your video content
Create snackable videos between 20-60 seconds, square format, and subtitles.
Most importantly, upload it native to LinkedIn.

12. Check your Social Selling Index (SSI)
LinkedIn rewards members of an SSI over 70 with more reach.
Check your score via:

13. Use between 3 and 5 hashtags per post
Don’t forget to include hashtags (-30% reach) but don’t overdo it (more than 10 also -35%).
Position, and number of followers has hardly any influence.

14. Avoid negative engagement on your posts
People that unfollow you, remove the connection, remove being mentioned in your post, or report your content will stop the acceleration of growth of your post.

15. Only your first action of engagement counts(!)
You might want to reconsider your behavior on LinkedIn.
First a “Like,” then a “Comment”?
It will kill the positive impact on the algorithm a comment normally has.

16. The first 90 minutes is where the magic happens
LinkedIn analyzes all posts.
They will share yours with your frequent readers, your inner-circle of highly engaged followers.
Make sure you’ll get them to engage in the first 90 minutes, it will sky-rocket your reach.

17. Don’t be too quick with editing or commenting
Don’t be the first one to comment on your own post.
And don’t edit that typo in the first 10 minutes after publishing.
It will lead to a penalty in reach.

18. Be creative with external links
Want to drive traffic from LinkedIn to your website?
Put the link in the comments (after 10 minutes), or edit your post and add it (-10% penalty).
Or just be brave and include it in the original post using the 6 ingredients for a perfect post (see Tip #9).

19. Be consistent
Are you posting regularly?
If you take a break and don’t post for four weeks, your next 4-5 posts will receive about 35% less reach.

**20. The Tag Mafia
Tagging multiple people (for the wrong reasons) that don’t engage? Penalty!
Tagging yourself in the post? No benefits!
Better to tag people in the comments.

21. Get access to more LinkedIn tips
Follow Richard on LinkedIn.
Ring the bell.
For all the gold and priceless insights and tactics:
Join The TRIBE:

Check out the full report here.

Richard van der Blom
Richard van der Blom is the Founder/CEO of Just Connecting HUB, an international operating agency providing Virtual & Social Selling LinkedIn training and consultancy. Since 2010 he has provided training and sessions for over 250.000 professionals and served more than 850 companies worldwide. Amongst his clients are companies like Nestlé, NetApp, InterSystems, Salesforce, TEVA, Philips and many more.
Author of 200 blogs and reports on Social Selling & LinkedIn, and publisher of the annual LinkedIn Algorithm Report. Furthermore he is a member of an independent LinkedIn Tink Thank since 2015 and an experienced KeyNote Speaker.
Join the TRIBE and exclusive LinkedIn and Social Selling Membership

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Have you noticed any apparent shifts to the LinkedIn algorithm based on your own experiences on the platform?