Johnathan Podemsky (@jpodemsky), Product Manager at LinkedIn, reports that LinkedIn has significantly upgraded search across the LinkedIn site.

Though no Google, search on LinkedIn is nothing to sneeze at — and is arguably more important for lawyers as this is where professionals are found and scrutinized.

Did you know 5.7 billion professionally oriented searches were done on LinkedIn last year? Every day we see millions of professionals find others and get found through LinkedIn search. Whether you’re searching for people, jobs, companies or groups, we provide the most relevant results based on your professional identity, your network, and how the people in your network engage with LinkedIn (emphasis added).

The new LinkedIn search features you’ll see as it’s rolled out to users include:

  • Unified search experience. You no longer need to search for people, companies, or jobs separately. Key in what you’re looking for and you’ll receive a comprehensive page of results that pulls content from all across LinkedIn including people, jobs, groups and companies.
  • Auto-complete. As you type your search term you’ll be prompted with options for what you may be looking for, and the more you search, the better it will get at predicting what you want.
  • Suggested searches. When you key in a search term such as “product manager” you’ll see example search queries for people or jobs related to product manager as well as a preview of top results to help you find what you’re looking for.
  • Smarter query intent algorithm.  The more you search for content on LinkedIn, the more it learns and understands your intent over time to provide the most relevant results.
  • Enhanced advanced search.  Not only has advanced search gotten a new look, it’s also easier to deepen your search with filters such as location, company, school and more.
  • Automated alerts.  You may save your searches and LinkedIn will alert you when the results change.
  • Customized search results. Even if you search for the same thing as someone else, your results will be customized based on who you are, who you know, and what your network is doing.

There is a big time artificial intelligence/ machine learning component that’s taking place in online social networks. Whether it be Facebook, LinkedIn, or even, Twitter, the more you build your network and engage people on the network, the more meaningful and worthwhile your experience will be.

For lawyers that means a network that leads to not only work from people across your network and people who find you on search, but also people in your network sharing and citing what you’re saying. The citing and sharing leads to an enhanced reputation.

As a lawyer you need to give yourself a kick in the butt if you’re not using LinkedIn beyond just a resume or profile. LinkedIn will work for you, such as with others finding you on search, but only if you do a little networking work via your LinkedIn social network.