Smarter search. That’s the promise from social networking web site LinkedIn with its revamped search capabilities.

In a blog post announcing the new search tools, Johnathan Podemsky, who according to his LinkedIn profile is a product manager at LinkedIn, noted that 5.7 billion “professionally-oriented searches” were done on LinkedIn last year. And he promised the new search will be smarter and more streamlined.

“We’ve unified the search experience so you no longer need to search for people, companies, or jobs separately,” said Podemsky. “Now, all you need to do is type what you’re looking for into the search box and you’ll see a comprehensive page of results that pulls content from all across LinkedIn including people, jobs, groups and companies.”

Compared to other social networking sites, LinkedIn is much more geared towards business, and has become an important tool for many small and medium-sized businesses to connect, not just with customers, but with potential employees as well. A number of the new search features should help SMBs with both missions.

Among the new features for smarter search are:

  • Auto-complete: As you type, you’ll get suggestions based on your past searches.
  • Suggested searches: as you enter a search term, you’ll get examples of related queries you could also make and a preview of top results.
  • Smarter query intent algorithm: LinkedIn will learn your search intent over time and give you more relevant results.
  • Enhanced advanced search: More filters to streamline your search by location, company, school and other criteria.
  • Automated alerts: Similar to Google News alerts, you can enter an automated search and get alerts as new results appear over time.
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