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LinkedIn beefing up search functionality to offer more expansive results

LinkedIn supports upwards of 6 billion searches a year, prompting a new update to the social network's search engine.

Product manager Johnathan Podemsky announced that the site's search function will now support more than individual person, company, or job queries; simply type a word or phrase into the search box and a comprehensive page of results will appear.

Other new features include auto-complete, or instant suggestions; the more you search, the better it becomes at predicting. Additionally, typing search terms (like "product manager") will reveal example queries for related people or jobs, as well as a preview of top results.

Users can dig even deeper with an enhanced advanced search, which now has a new look and added features like location, company, school, and others. For those who don't want to spend their days sifting through LinkedIn searches, a new automated alerts system will tell you when saved search results change.

"No two professionals are alike on LinkedIn. This means even if you search for the same thing as someone else, your results will be customised to you," Podemsky said. "LinkedIn's search efforts are founded on the ability to take into account who you are, who you know, and what your network is doing to help you find what you're looking for."

The smarter search capabilities are rolling out to global users in the coming weeks.

This move puts LinkedIn on a more level playing field with Facebook, which introduced Graph Search earlier this year as a way for users to sift through the network's 1 trillion connections for more details about their friends.

LinkedIn did some redesign work in the autumn, when it launched refurbished user profiles in an effort to simplify the professional networking service. Beyond changing the placement of some of the page's features, the redesign also added the ability to follow more than 220 of "the world's most respected thought leaders."