Linkedin Pulse“LinkedIn Pulse is your source for professional news tailored to you.” That’s the official definition from LinkedIn. Users can follow “influencers” or “channels” from a list of industries and news sources, and an algorithm spits out what it thinks will be the best news bites for each user.

Since introducing Pulse, LinkedIn has been gaining traction as the next media giant. Here are some stats that may surprise you …

  • 30,000 long-form posts are created each week
  • There are over 2.1 million LinkedIn Groups
  • 8,000 new Groups are created every week
  • LinkedIn has 330+ million members
  • Since the inception of Pulse, that now means there are 330+ million potential authors and readers

To say that being featured in Pulse is a great opportunity for content marketers to get noticed would be a gross understatement. The question is how to get there?

At the moment, there seem to be three ways to become featured in LinkedIn’s Pulse:

  1. As an influencer
  2. As an Editor’s pick
  3. Being selected by a carefully guarded, very secretive algorithm

Becoming an influencer, that’s a blog post unto its own. Learning how to become chosen by an editor, that’s another post, too. Today we’re talking about the LinkedIn Pulse algorithm. Just like any other algorithm, we never truly know what’s going on behind the curtain, but we can certainly do some testing and deduce some of our own theories.

Artifex Knowledge Engineering conducted a study tracking eight different LinkedIn metrics. According to Gericke Potgieter, there are two somewhat simplistic Pulse algorithm triggers—the tag cloud and audience interaction. He also claims there are two hidden metrics that work their magic to calculate the likelihood of the popularity of a post.

“My research shows that the Pulse algorithm seems to compare the ratio of the base metrics of posts in a given channel to qualify a post as a Top Post.” – Gericke Potgieter, Artifex Knowledge Engineering

Being on the top of the Top Posts page naturally gives your content more exposure. But do you need a ton of views, followers, likes and shares to get to the Top Posts page? You might think so, but apparently a post can just as easily climb to the top because the algorithm compares the ratio of the base metrics of posts in a given channel. When a post is selected for a channel, and if it performs well on that channel, the post may get a boost.

That means that a post with 20 likes, 9 shares and 4 comments can outperform a post with 236 likes, 1 share and no comments. It’s about the ratio, not the highest number.

You say “Velocity” I say “Engagement”

Potgieter talks about fame and velocity. I call it engagement. You’ve likely heard me say, “All the #1 Google rankings in the world are useless if no one is clicking through to your site.” Or, “It doesn’t matter how many page views you get if no one is taking action.”

In SEO, when users click a link to a page on a site and quickly realize it’s not the page they wanted, they “bounce” out. So if I write a blog post that gets 200 page views, but no one sticks around to read the full post, like it, share it, or comment on it, then those page views aren’t all that valuable to me.

The same theory applies here. It doesn’t matter how many views a LinkedIn article gets, it’s about how much interaction and engagement it generates. The more people who interact with your content on LinkedIn, the more popular the piece becomes. And the more popular a piece becomes, the quicker it gets bumped into the Pulse Top Posts–and the floodgates open.

5-Steps to LinkedIn Pulse Success

  1. Write a kick-ass piece of content that interesting, fun and speaks to your audience
  2. Post it on LinkedIn
  3. Post it to relevant Groups on LinkedIn
  4. Watch for comments and other interactions — and for the love of God, reply and engage in the dialogue!
  5. Watch your post perform well in a Channel and get bumped up to  Pulse Top Posts!

Has anyone else done any testing with the LinkedIn Pulse algorithm? Please share your results with us here!