Professional social network LinkedIn today is announcing an upgrade to its search features — one of the first big overhauls that the search function has had in years, with new features including improved autocomplete and suggested phrasing by way of a new algorithm; unified searches across different product categories; and an improved ability to save searches. Facebook-style “third pillar” Graph Search it may not be — don’t mistake this for a window out to the wider Internet (for now at least) but with this upgrade, LinkedIn is telling us that its search window is part of the company’s larger strategy to improve engagement and time spent using its site, crucial for its wider business model based both on advertising and premium services.

Brad Mauney, product lead for LinkedIn overseing identity products and search, describes the new search as more than just an upgrade to what was there before: it’s…

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