Shih-Wen Huang, Daniel Tunkelang, and Karrie Karahalios

In the Proceedings of the 37th international ACM SIGIR conference on Research & development in information retrieval (SIGIR 2014)



LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, with over 300 million members. One of the primary activities on the site is people search, for which LinkedIn members are both the users and the corpus. This paper presents insights about people search behavior on LinkedIn, based on a log analysis and a user study. In particular, it examines the role that network distance plays in name searches and non-name searches. For name searches, users primarily click on only one of the results, and closer network distance leads to higher click-through rates. In contrast, for non-name searches, users are more likely to click on multiple results that are not in their existing connections, but with whom they have shared connections. The results show that, while network distance contributes significantly to LinkedIn search engagement in general, its role varies dramatically depending on the type of search query.