LinkedIn has announced the creation of 160,000 company profiles as part of their career social networking site. But as recent Google rater guidelines show, LinkedIn profiles are considered relevant in search results, at least for individuals.
If this translates now to company profiles, will the select 160,000 businesses get a free boost in the SERP's by LinkedIn? Will companies with keywords in the name of their business be able to get their LinkedIn profile to rank in the top 10 results in Google? It's too soon to tell, and LinkedIn Company profiles are only visible to registered users.
According to IRS data, there were 5.7 million firms with employees in 2002. The implications for a LinkedIn company profile being favored in the SERPs has definite implications for millions of excluded businesses.
The advantage of a potential boost lies in online reputation management. Google tends to give preference to the official site of a company. But many executives are concerned about negative reviews and bad press. The prevalence of a LinkedIn profile could bump at least one of those results to the second page.