LinkedIn has different kinds of activity limitations since it tries to restrict commercial use of the platform and encourage its users to buy LinkedIn premium plans. One of such limitations is the maximum number of LinkedIn profile searches.
This article covers all the details about this kind of LinkedIn profile search limitation as well as a strategy to overcome it. This strategy is based on our long-term experience helping people to automate their LinkedIn outreach using InTouch Tool (opens new window).
LinkedIn monthly profile search limits
The exact number of LinkedIn profile searches is not really fixed and depends on multiple factors. The most important one is whether you have a paid LinkedIn account or a free one. The maximum number of profile searches is much higher for those LinkedIn users who have Sales Navigator and Recruiter accounts than for the ones on the free plan.
As you approach the maximum number of LinkedIn profile searches, LinkedIn typically displays a warning. Sometimes the warning is not displayed, for example, if you approach the limit very quickly. The good news is that your number of used searches resets every month, at midnight PST on the 1st of each calendar month.
Note that it applies only to 2nd- and 3rd-degree people searches. It means that you can always search among your 1st-degree connections using the “Connections” page without limitations, even after you’ve exhausted your free searches for the month.
Moreover, LinkedIn allows unlimited searching for people by name using the search box at the top of any LinkedIn page. So if you are searching for “Jane Doe”, this doesn't count towards the limit.
Additionally, LinkedIn tries to analyze your activity patterns and decreases your allowed number of monthly searches if there are any cues that you use LinkedIn for lead generation or recruiting. For instance, these activity patterns include:
- performing lots of searches among 2nd- and 3rd-degree connections,
- running many searches for companies and employees of a specific company,
- viewing lots of profiles of people who you aren’t connected to,
- and browsing many profiles from the “People Also Viewed” section.
Ideally, LinkedIn expects users to search and view profiles mostly inside their networks. The actions described above typically lead to decreasing your allowed number of monthly searches on LinkedIn.
How to avoid LinkedIn commercial use limitations
Here is the strategy that we recommend to follow in order to stay within the LinkedIn monthly people search limits. These practical tips come from our experience of helping our clients to successfully automate prospecting and lead generation on LinkedIn using InTouch Tool (opens new window) - a safe and easy tool to expand your network and send sequences of messages on LinkedIn.
Try to avoid running unnecessary searches on LinkedIn. Think carefully about the exact audience that you’d like to find and figure out good search criteria to filter only the relevant people. This often requires some experimenting with the search filters which can be done using a couple of additional LinkedIn accounts. After you’ve found out your perfect search filters and keywords that are likely to give you your target audience, run the search with the selected filters only once using your main LinkedIn account. Make sure to collect the profiles in the search results, so you don’t have to run it again if you close the LinkedIn search page. Collecting the results manually may take quite a lot of time, but you can easily automate it with a few clicks using InTouch Tool (opens new window).
Don’t search among your 3-rd degree connections and don’t view too many profiles of this type of connection. If you need access to people far outside of your LinkedIn network, first search for relevant people who are your 2-nd degree connections and who may potentially have connections with your target audience. After you connect to them, your target 3rd-degree connections will quickly become your 2nd-degree connections. This strategy not only helps you to stay within the LinkedIn search limits but also increases your response rate when you message your target audience on LinkedIn.
Expand your LinkedIn network. This point is related to the previous one: LinkedIn prefers if you search for people who are close to your network. If you have many mutual connections with the people in your search result list, LinkedIn will have higher limits of profile searches for you.
Try to reduce the number of searches for companies and employees of a specific company. Although this type of filtering is often very useful, LinkedIn considers it as an indication of recruiting or generating leads. It might be reasonable to experiment with search filters and find another set of criteria that leads to the same audience.
It’s worth noticing that LinkedIn is a great platform for prospecting, so it might be reasonable to purchase a paid LinkedIn plan if you use this platform heavily for lead generation or other purposes. Buying Sales Navigator or another premium plan often pays off since many LinkedIn restrictions are significantly relaxed.
Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about LinkedIn profile search limits or the workaround ideas to avoid LinkedIn’s commercial use limitations.