What the hell is dwell time (hacking the LinkedIn Algorithm

All right my friends. You know I’m all about working with the Linkedin Algorithm and helping you utilize it to your very best ability and the fact is, the amazing LinkedIn Team is changing the algorithm to better suit the main mission of LinkedIn and helping people like you raise the bar.

This team meets every single Friday morning Pacific time to discuss what’s working, and what might be on the verge of certain groups of people taking advantage of the algorithm itself.

It’s happened in the past, and the team at LinkedIn is dedicated to a LEVEL playing field that lifts everyone who’s participating at the highest levels.

And that brings us to one of the newest data points and elements of the algorithm that actually promotes the creation of really sticky and engaging content that your audience actually wants to read.

What’s it called?

linkedin dwell time

It’s called “Dwell Time” and the LinkedIn team describes it like this:  

“At a high level, each update viewed on the feed generates two types of dwell times. First, there is dwell time “on the feed,” which starts measuring when at least half of a feed update is visible as a member scrolls through their feed. Second, there is dwell time “after the click,” which is the time spent on content after clicking on an update in the feed.” 

This is straight from the horse’s mouth. The engineers and data-crunchers inside LinkedIn figured out that “dwell time” in both forms is a good indicator of whether a user is going to genuinely engage with a post.  

And for you as a marketer it means that you need to not just create posts that grab people’s attention but actually give them the meat and potatoes that will KEEP them on your post for as long as possible.  

On it’s face it might seem like the LinkedIn engineers are trying to make things more difficult for you to be seen, but their mission is extremely specific. Unlike other social platforms, they want to encourage real and genuine engagement and connections that will ultimately add to your expertise and to your bottom line.  

linkedin algorithm

 This means essentially weeding out people who are trying to game the system. Now look, back in the “Wild West” days of the early interwebs, literally nothing was off limits. This is back in the dial up era – where spam was still lunchmeat, and you could say whatever you damn well pleased.

But as “internet marketing” has evolved into straight up mainstream marketing, the strategies that you need to employ have evolved as well and you need to be using every tool at your disposal to be seen and be recognized for who you are and what you do.

That’s the remarkable thing about the concept of dwell time.

It’s kind of an anti-hack because there’s no way to like, do it without doing it – back in the early days of the LinkedIn algorithm people figured out that you could “like” a certain number of posts or comment on several posts and it would increase your ranking in the algorithm regardless. This created groups of people who sort of got together behind the scenes and did a little quid pro quo – I’ll like your post and comment on it if you like mine.

The concept of Dwell Time actually helps negate that kind of behavior. Now I’m all for getting ahead in any possible, but I’m a firm believer in being authentic, putting out GREAT content that people are drawn to and will DWELL on as opposed to a churn and burn mentality.

linkedin profile

So, use dwell time to your advantage like this:  

  • Post consistent, cravable content to your audience. Weave in your personal stories and get them to really connect with you.  
  • Ask them what they want. One of the most prolific, brilliant copywriters in history, Gary Halbert, once said “Find out what your audience is hungry for and then serve it to them hot.” Some of the truest words ever spoken. Take a quick poll, send your audience an e-mail and straight up ASK them what they’re looking for with a connection to you. You’ll have almost endless avenues to keep them wanting more from you.  
  • Connect, connect, connect. When you post content that gets you followers and especially people who comment on your content, respond to them directly. Tell them thank you, take a look at their profile and make it personal. The dividends will be yours to reap.  

The people you convince to hang around and read your content and really take it in are the GLUE that keeps your audience together.  

The team at LinkedIn is 100% dedicated to helping increase the value of the user experience for everyone, and it will propel your results when you understand better what their goals are for the platform and how you can put them to work!  

Keep on creating great content and let me know in the comments what you think of Dwell Time and how you might create content that makes people linger!  

That’s it for this week’s Dopamine Dose – but I’ll have more for you next Tuesday so keep an eye out.  

See ya next week,  

Joshua B. Lee 

Mark Your Calendars- LinkedIn Audio Room


What’s the difference between being an entrepreneur on LinkedIn and working professional in corporate?

How do you use the platform to create opportunities?

What do you say or not say?

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Join Rachel and Joshua B. Lee on Wednesday, February 9th at 9:30amCST, as they discuss the LinkedIn strategies | Entrepreneur vs. Corporate

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