Let’s talk about stop words – a little-known list of words that were removed from Google’s old search engine (prior to 2019). These 311 words were removed to increase the efficacy of Google AdWords, as well as to decrease load time.
In October of 2019, the search capabilities were updated on Google – but by that point, most other platforms had already implemented the search engine into their architecture.
Example platform? LinkedIn #BlueDevil
Let me show you what I mean – I’m going to run a few searches on Google and a few on Linkedin. The goal is to show you how the results on Google, do change when you’re putting stop words (in, with, using, used) in quotation marks. However, on LinkedIn, the search results do not change. Meaning LinkedIn is literally just not searching for those words.
Stop words still search
site:linkedin.com/in “in Scala”|”With Scala”|”using scala”|”used Scala” intitle:(Scala) AND (“NY”| “NYC”|”New York”)
No stop words
site:linkedin.com/in “scala” intitle:(Scala) AND (“NY” OR “NYC” OR “New York”)
Stop words not in quotes
site:linkedin.com/in in Scala|With Scala|using scala|used Scala intitle:(Scala) AND (“NY”| “NYC”|”New York”)
Keywords: (in scala OR with scala OR using scala OR used scala) AND (“NY” OR “NYC” OR “New York”)
(“in scala” OR “with scala” OR “using scala” OR “used scala”) AND (“NY” OR “NYC” OR “New York”)
Scala AND (“NY” OR “NYC” OR “New York”)
“Wait – you’re telling me that every single person that has the word “Scala” on their profile is also using one of these exact phrases: in scala OR with scala OR using scala OR used scala?”
Nope – this is LinkedIn NOT showing stop words.
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Why does this matter?
Are you looking for pronouns like “Him” or “Her”? I promise you, you’re not.
Let’s take a look:
Ran a search for
Location: New Hampshire
Keywords: “Her” OR “Hers” OR “She”
WHAAAAT?!? It totally worked!!!
Or did it….
I added all 22 people into a project called “She her NH”
I then re-ran the search without the keywords (“her” OR “hers” OR “She”)
And I also eliminated the people in the “she her NH” project – we wind up getting over 1,000 results – “oh cool!!!’
But check this out:
You can see who the project eliminated – so, everyone with the word “She” or the word “Her” or the word “Hers” shouldn’t be in this search result. They… shouldn’t be. But check out the last profile for the Human Resources – Field HR person at the bottom of the image.
Now check out her profile:
Please see the prior point: She / Her / Hers – does not work on LinkedIn.
There is a list of stop words, you can find a bunch, but which are truly eliminated from LinkedIn? I don’t know of a comprehensive list myself, but if you’re interested in seeing the list I have – shoot me a LI message: Batman