How to avoid LinkedIn limit of search

With 590 million users on LinkedIn, 61 million of which are senior-level influencers and 40 million in decision-making positions, it’s understandable to want to get searching and connecting with individuals, so you can build relationships and grow your network.  

However, as a commercial enterprise, LinkedIn is not too happy opening up its network entirely, which is why it has several paid-for premium subscriptions that users can purchase to achieve their business development and networking aims.  


How LinkedIn connections work  

When you connect with another person, your relationship becomes a ‘1st-degree connection.’ Each of you then has access to the other person’s network.  

This network contains individuals who are referred to as 2nd and 3rd-degree connections.  

2nd-degree connections are not connections of yours, but actually of your 1st-degree connection.  

3rd-degree connections are then connections of their (1st degree) 2nd-degree network. 

Connecting with 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections is a great way for charity to increase your network to nurture relations and  grow corporate and donor relationships for free.   

As a LinkedIn user, you can connect with individuals so they become a 1st-degree connection, however, viewing a high number of 2nd and 3rd-degree connections profiles can cause a commercial use limit restriction. 

What is a LinkedIn search and commercial use limit?


LinkedIn’s search engine enables you to search for and find people or potential individuals from specific companies with particular job titles or in specified locations. Users on LinkedIn do this to build their networks with individuals.  

As LinkedIn is a professional network, using its search engine to grow your network is a given and expectation so don’t be afraid to jump it and give it a go.   

You can conduct many searches throughout your network; however, LinkedIn has applied a commercial use limit to the number of searches you can do.  

LinkedIn has stated that ‘reaching the commercial use limit means your activity on LinkedIn is geared towards commercial purposes, like hiring or prospecting’.  

No one knows the exact number of searches you can conduct to avoid being limited, but when you are on your way to reaching the limit, a warning indicating that you are at risk of your search being limited will appear. 

Once your search is limited, you will only get access to 3 results per search, along with a handy little call to action button indicating that you can upgrade to LinkedIn Premium to regain search control.   

The good news is that the commercial use limit resets at midnight on the first day of each calendar month.  


How to avoid being limited   

Although there’s no strict ways to stop a commercial use limit, having a plan around how you intend to use LinkedIn will give you a good idea of how to avoid being restricted. 

Formulating a plan will help you focus on who you aim to connect with and why, so you (and your team) can use the platform productivly to get the desired results. 

Nonetheless, here’s  a few tips to help you possibly avoid reaching limits :   

– LinkedIn doesn’t penalise individuals who already have the name of the person they are looking for, so you are free to search for names of individuals to connect with them.   

– Go through your 1st-degree connection’s network and connect with individuals via their connections page.    

– Use Google by searching the person’s name and then finding them on LinkedIn   

– Use the ‘People You May Know’ section to find new connections.

What actions contribute to limits being applied? 

Below are a few actions that count towards your search being limited:   

– Viewing lots of profiles that are not 1st-degree connections on and mobile   

– Searching for companies and employees of a specific company   

– Searching outside of your network (3rd-degree people searches)   

– Third-party data collection apps are also known to add to the limitations being placed on your account so you may want to disable these and try the tips above.  

– Clicking on LinkedIn profiles from the ‘People Also Viewed section on the right sidebar can add to counts that may limit your profile.   

The best way around this is to Google the title and company of the person (if they have added this detail,) and see if their name appears in Google search results.   

If it does, you can then use LinkedIn to search for them using the information you have collated.   

LinkedIn plans

If all else fails, you’ve followed your plan and you fear that you are close to being temporarily limited, it may be time to consider investing in LinkedIn’s Premium Plans, details of which are detailed below.   

I will stress that having a plan on how you use LinkedIn is the best thing to wrap your head around and implement before purchasing the below plans, otherwise you’re wasting money for no other reason than to waste money. 

Note: These plans contain unlimited People browsing – up to 3rd-degree connections. As such, the commercial use limit can still apply but not to the degree it does if you are using LinkedIn’s free version. 


Premium Plans

If you do find that you are conducting a high number of searches, you may want to invest LinkedIn Premium Subscription Plans, which you can trial for 1 month and are outlined below.

Business Plan

For individuals looking to build their network

£49.99 per month or £479.88 billed annually

– 15 InMail™ messages
– Contact anyone on LinkedIn, even if you’re not connected
– Access to ‘Who’s Viewed Your Profile’s
– Business Insights
– Get deep insights into a company’s growth and functional trend
– Unlimited people browsing
– View unlimited profiles from search results and suggested profiles – up to 3rd degree
– Online video courses
– Access to industry experts to increase business, tech and creative skills taught through LinkedIn Learning
– Career Insights
– See how you compare to other job applicants and get instant access to salary details

Sales plan (Sales Navigator) 

For sales individuals and teams

£69.98 per month or £599.88 billed annually

– 20 InMail™ messages
– Start meaningful conversations with prospects, even if you’re not connected
– Who’s Viewed Your Profile
– See what prospects have been interested in you over the last 90 days
– Get insights on your accounts and leads, like job changes, company growth, and more
– Unlimited people browsing
– View unlimited profiles from search results and suggested profiles – up to 3rd degree
– Advanced Search with Lead Builder
– Zero in on decision makers and create custom lead lists with advanced search filters
– Lead recommendations and saved leads


Hiring Plan

For businesses and recruiters seeking to connect with and hire talent

£99.98 per month or £959.88 annually

– 30 InMail™ messages
– Contact anyone and save time with templates
– Who’s Viewed Your Profile
– See potential candidates who viewed you in the last 90 days
– Advanced Search
– Zero-in on top talent with advanced search filters designed for recruiting
– Unlimited people browsing
– View unlimited profiles from search results & suggested profiles – up to 3rd degree
– Smart Suggestions
– Use dynamic suggestions as you search to uncover additional talent
– Automatic candidate tracking
– Track candidates and open roles with Projects
– Integrated hiring
– Manage your whole candidate pool in one place
– Recruiting-specific design

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