LinkedIn New Ad Platform Touts Connections



linkedin IN logo

photo credit: Mario Sundar

LinkedIn has started to roll out a new ad platform that targets you not to dissimilar to Facebook and now also Google with social signals impact on search results. The new platform is a combination of both of sorts as depending upon what your interests are, ie if you are a job seeker or just looking for recommendations for products or services. The new ad platform seeks to provide the most relevant and useful ads that are timely (in other words you type a word in like you do on Facebook and poof there is the ad).

Ad Targeting

Targeting with ads is not new and for many is welcomed to free us from the clutter and over stimulation of ads that we are subjected to just about everything that we do. We cannot escape ads these days and the more we are exposed to, the more we do all we can to ignore. Targeted ads are no different. It is starting to remind me of pop-ups as we type in a word and before we are able to blink, there is an ad connected to that word. Ad targeting is not met without flaws as despite being quite annoying verbose for my love of the METS and JETS, if I type in any other team name, I am hit with ads or a Facebook page to like. This, in time, as the platforms perfect the technology, we will be excluded from ads such as these based upon what we are really interested in.

LinkedIn New Ad Platform

LinkedIn’s new ad platform is broken down into two formats. Job seekers and behavior/search queries. As mentioned above, the platform is quite similar to Facebook and also social search signals in search results on Google. It is clear that our connections and behaviors online matter and are only intensifying as it relates to how we are being “watched.”  LinkedIn is only advancing their ads presumably to remain competitive and provide advertisers with what they believe to be an opportunity to effectively reach their target audience.

1. Job Seekers/Recruitment Ads. As a job seekers platform/business person’s platform, it only makes sense for LinkedIn to advertise jobs directly to those looking. The daunting process of looking for  job listings that match your skill set is exhausting.  Filtering searches can only go so far as the description may contain the terms that match your skills and this seems like a great match, however once you delve in, you realize that this is not a position for you. LinkedIn already does showcase (still in Beta) “Jobs You May be Interested In” but the new platform expands upon this and features YOU in the ad. So Facebook however, LinkedIn takes it a step further with displaying people in your Google network that can refer  you for the position. Yes, you have to be connected with them on Google.

LinkedIn Recruiter Ads

photo credit: LinkedIn Blog


2. Connections/LinkedIn Ads. LinkedIn ads have been around for a while but, with the new platform, the ads are not only targeting you, they tout your connections activity. These personalized ads are displayed depending upon the recommendations and number of followers for the advertiser. Numbers. This is a bit disappointing as we see here where there is a popularity contest in a number of ways. If you, as a user, do not have a large amount of connections on LinkedIn the sample size for which the ads would be pooled from is lower and on the advertiser side, if they are new or have not garnered a lot of followers for their company page they may not be reaching a potential buyer/client. I agree that the companies that have really worked hard to build their company page on LinkedIn should be rewarded however, a big part of why companies advertise on LinkedIn is awareness. The targeting was useful for them but now it can be excluding them.

LinkedIn Ads

photo credit: LinkedIn Blog


Opting Out of  LinkedIn New Ad Platform

As always, there is an opt out. You can opt out of the ads simply by clicking the link, then clicking “Turn on/off enhanced advertising” and unchecking the box if it is checked.

opt out of advanced advertising on LinkedIn

LinkedIn Privacy Changes

LinkedIn reported on their blog that there are some new privacy changes on how information is shared with others that would be summarized. To date, this has not been posted and while there is the opt-out above, the article on June 10, 2011. indicated:

Moving forward, you’ll be able to opt-out of being mentioned in any of these ads. Most importantly, we do not provide your name or image back to any advertiser when that ad is served.

Presuming that we have hit the moving forward part, it is not very clear that by opting out above is all that is needed to be done as in their June 22, 2011 article, the ads have not even been completely rolled out. So, are we opting out of something that has not happened yet?

We’ll be rolling out these personalized ads in phases over the next few weeks and hope that they add valuable and actionable insights to your LinkedIn experience.


LinkedIn is remaining competitive with the new ad platform. It would be almost impossible for them to continue with advertising had they not implemented the connections and recommendations. We have to wonder if we are becoming overly connected and being pushed to have certain active profiles (insert Google). Are we getting to where we have to have a Google profile, Gmail and connect with everyone and anyone? We know that our search results are becoming dependent upon our connections, now LinkedIn and well Facebook is still not playing nice with Google except for Pages (which as a business you want indexed and Google wants to rank them).

Are we becoming overly connected and is this skewing our results?