Is this the End of XRay Search on LinkedIn?

Something’s happening on LinkedIn, recruiters. If you have a basic LinkedIn account and you regularly do X-ray searches on Google to find candidates on LinkedIn, there’s a good chance that you may have stumbled upon this message over the past week or so…


Nooooooooo!!!! As if the commercial search limit on search wasn’t bad enough, now we have to deal with this too?! So we got to thinking. Does this mean the end of X-ray search on LinkedIn as we know it? Well, the answer is no. Technically not, anyway. Of course, you can continue to search for candidates within the LinkedIn platform, that much is obvious. But as seasoned recruiters, we know that there’s a case to be made for going down the X-ray route when searching on the platform just doesn’t give the results that you need (for example if you’re looking a candidate that is fluent in two languages, or for someone that is available immediately for a temp position). Let’s go over what we actually do know so far…

The limit of profile views is unknown

The jury’s still out as to what the exact number of profiles you can view from external searches is before you reach your limit. From various experiments, we’ve found that this can really range from one account holder to another and could potentially be linked to your own job function (depending on whether you’re in recruitment, sales, business development, etc). So don’t quit X-ray searching just yet, guys and gals. Your limit could be far higher than the person sitting next to you, the only way to figure it out is to keep on searching!

Premium Account holders don’t seem to be affected right now

We haven’t heard any reports of people with premium accounts on LinkedIn being affected by the change. This includes LinkedIn Recruiter Lite, LinkedIn Recruiter, and LinkedIn Premium. Monthly prices start at €43.04 for LinkedIn Premium and €92.19 for Recruiter Lite.

Going incognito won’t get around it

If you’re thinking about opening candidate profiles in an ‘incognito window’ so that LinkedIn can’t suss out that it’s you, think again. If you go incognito or sign out of your LinkedIn account when you launch your search results, you’ll just be redirected to either the ‘Login’ or ‘Sign up’ page of the website (**sighs in defeat**). Discovering this got us to thinking even more. Does this now mean that you can’t view anyone’s profile unless you’re signed into LinkedIn? All signs are certainly pointing in that direction!

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As of right now, there has been no official announcement from LinkedIn about the change, but we’ll post updates as we hear them. In the meantime, we want to hear about your experiences with X-ray search on LinkedIn – have you reached your limit yet? Have you noticed any changes at all? If you do happen to reach your limit, would you be tempted to upgrade to a Premium or Recruiter Lite account to avoid restrictions? Do tell! Tweet us@socialtalent using the hashtag #LinkedInXray.

Check out the original post by visiting the Social Talent Blog.


2 Comments on “Is this the End of XRay Search on LinkedIn?

  1. Great article, Michelle. Thanks for sharing. I’d like to add to anyone that might not be aware, the completed the X-ray search still has valuable amounts of data on the Google search page. Using this data with other search tools and people search engines can lead to a wealth of information.

    It can lead to this username “dansmueller” found here:
    And find an old resume with contact information off of that username here:

    I’ll admit, It’s not as fast, (took 12 minutes) but chances are the time waiting for a connection request/InMail response would be better served going after contact data. Hopefully that helps anyone reading.

    Great post!

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