Uncovering the Mystery: does linkedin show who viewed your profile?

Uncovering whether LinkedIn reveals who viewed your profile when you stumble upon it through a Google search is a topic of interest.

A search on Google keeps your curiosity under wraps, but once you click and land on their LinkedIn page, the story changes. LinkedIn is designed to notify users about profile visits, and if your account contains personal details, it might just unveil your identity to the profile owner.

In this article, we delve into the specifics of how LinkedIn operates in terms of showing who viewed your profile, especially when the journey begins from a simple Google search.

Keep reading to unravel the dynamics!

Does Someone Know if You Search for Them on Google? (2 Ways)

Pretty Asian young woman looking at laptop smiling

Really, this isn’t a single question. If you look for someone on Google and then click on their LinkedIn profile, two separate digital transactions are taking place, and it’s important to separate them accordingly.

So, we can start with the Google search. Does someone know if you search for them on Google?

The short answer is an easy and emphatic no. Google has never announced any mechanism that would alert people whenever they are the subject of a search result.

Also, you can think about it in reverse. Have you ever received any notification that someone Google searched you? It’s just not a thing, and it’s not something to worry about.

I’m going to get into the LinkedIn half of this a little later, but first, I’m going to go a little deeper into Google searches and how they work to justify what I just told you.

#1 How Google Searches Work

woman spending night online in bed at home

How do we know that Google searches don’t inform people or businesses? Well, if you look into the mechanics, it’s pretty clear.

When you type something into a Google search bar, you’re uploading information to Google servers.

The Google servers then compare that search query that you sent to a master list of all of the websites cataloged by the Google search engine. It’s a ridiculously huge catalog. There are more websites on that master list than people in the world.

Here’s the important part. Google doesn’t communicate with those websites when it forms your search results.

That would require multiple communication links per Google search. Considering there are almost 4 million Google searches every minute, that’s just too much internet traffic to handle.

It wouldn’t work. What this means is that Google doesn’t have a physical mechanism to inform a website when it comes up as a search.

By extension, it doesn’t have a mechanism that would tell you when you are the subject of a search, which would actually be even harder to pull off. Your Google searches really are between you and Google.

Now, you might be wondering about Google analytics and search statistics. Well, that’s not quite what you might be imagining.

To track searches and form those statistics, the Google servers simply recall what search queries were made and what results were provided. Those statistics don’t actually marry individuals to the searches, mostly because that’s a ton of data and an inefficient way to do all of this.

To keep it simple, Google counts how many searches are made, but the company doesn’t keep a list of names tied to those searches.

Instead, any data that ties your personal accounts to using Google are actually stored on your devices, as it reduces how much work the Google servers have to do.

Clearly, there’s a lot at play here. The bottom line is that Google couldn’t tell people when they are searched even if it wanted to. There’s just too much information and communication that would be involved in that process.

#2 Apps or Sites That Inform Someone They Were Searched on Google

Woman covering mouth while looking at her mobile phone, appears to be surprised

That covers a major part of this conversation, but there’s still another important question tied to Google searches.

Is there anything that would let someone know when you Google them, even if Google itself isn’t the resource? When we’re specifically talking about Google searches, then no.

You can probably find apps or websites that will claim to be able to tell you who is searching for you, but it’s not a real thing.

Again, Google servers are handling these communications, and they’re not set up to track or share this particular type of information.

If the data isn’t created, how exactly are these apps or websites coming up with their information?

They’re probably making it up. Now, you can do very large-scale statistics to find out how often a certain piece of subject matter comes up.

So, if you’re a very notable public figure, you can probably get an idea of how often you are searched.

But, you can’t see exactly who is searching for you or when. The data isn’t available.

Does Someone Know if You Look at Their LinkedIn Profile? (3 Things)

pretty female redhead using electronic devices while working from home

That covers Google, but there’s a whole second half to this equation. Does someone know if you look at their LinkedIn profile? In general, yes.

If that answer surprises you, then hang in there. We have a few things to discuss.

First off, LinkedIn provides profile information views as a standard service. If you have a LinkedIn profile, then you have probably received messages that people have viewed it. LinkedIn carefully tracks this information, and it even includes who is looking for you.

It’s important to understand that this is by design, and it is standard. You don’t have to pay extra to see who is looking at you on LinkedIn.

Does LinkedIn notify when you search someone without an account?

LinkedIn does not notify users when someone searches for their name or username on the platform. However, a notification can be triggered if someone views a profile, especially if the profile owner has a premium account. In such a case, the notification will show the viewer’s name and details, unless the viewer is browsing in private mode​1​.

Will someone know if I search their profile on LinkedIn?

No, individuals will not know if you merely search their profile on LinkedIn. The notification system activates when you view their profile, and if they have a premium account, they are more likely to see who viewed their profile unless you’re browsing in private mode​1​.

Can people see you viewed their LinkedIn if you are logged out?

If you manage to view a LinkedIn profile while logged out, the profile owner can receive a notification that someone viewed their profile, but they won’t be able to see who the viewer is since you are not logged into an account​2​.

Can you look at someone’s LinkedIn without them knowing?

Yes, it’s possible to look at someone’s LinkedIn profile without them knowing. To achieve this, you’ll need to adjust your LinkedIn settings to browse anonymously. Navigate to Settings and Privacy, then to Visibility > Profile Viewing Options, and select “Private Mode”. This way, your identity remains hidden when you view someone’s profile, and the profile owner won’t receive a notification of your visit​3​​4​​5​.

#1 How LinkedIn Works

Beautiful smiling woman working with laptop while sitting at table

How does this work? Well, using LinkedIn is functionally different from using Google. When you try to view a LinkedIn profile, you have to send a communication request to the LinkedIn servers.

Those servers hold all of the raw data for all of the profiles, and after you make a request, LinkedIn sends that data directly to your device.

This means that LinkedIn has to know who is looking at the profile just to be able to send the info in the first place.

So, it’s very easy for LinkedIn to know who is looking at which profiles and when.

On top of that, LinkedIn is built on the concept of social communication. Knowing whether or not people are viewing your profile is a good way to track how effective that profile is on the site.

If you’re getting a lot of views, that’s potentially good for your career and professional networking.

If you aren’t getting views, then maybe your profile needs some work.

LinkedIn is giving you this data to try to make the service more valuable to you.

#2 Looking at Someone’s Profile on LinkedIn

young woman using computer tablet, standing at home

If you’ve ever received a notification from LinkedIn that someone looked at your profile, then that already largely answers your question, right?

Did the notification tell you who was looking? That second question is actually not quite as clear as the original question.

LinkedIn definitely says that people are looking, but it won’t always tell you who, and there are a few reasons for that. First, LinkedIn needs to know where to send data when you look at a profile, but all of that can be anonymized.

LinkedIn really just needs an IP address, and that address does not have to be tied to your name.

So, if you use anonymous browsing, then you can view a profile, and LinkedIn won’t know who you are.

Granted, if you’re signed in when you do this, then your anonymity goes out the window, so that’s something to keep in mind.

So, the general answer to this is that LinkedIn will say who is viewing a profile if it can. If it can’t, then it will say that the profile was viewed without putting a name to that view. This shows that you have some say in this whole process.

If you want to privately view a LinkedIn profile, you can’t hide that the profile was viewed, but if you don’t let LinkedIn know who you are, then you can’t be revealed as the viewer.

To recap, you can stay anonymous by using private browsing and/or using a VPN. If you’re not sure how to do those things, the links are there to help.

#3 Another Way to Preserve Anonymity

Young beautiful blonde woman working on laptop at night, with nice blue lighting in the background

If you want to browse some profiles, and for whatever reason, you don’t want those people to know it was you looking at their LinkedIn info, then there’s another way to go about this. You can create an anonymous account.

Basically, you’re setting up a new LinkedIn account, and you’re making sure that it doesn’t actually tie to your real personal information. 

Now, before you do this, I need to cover the disclaimers. LinkedIn has a policy against fake accounts.

If your fake account is identified as such, it will be deleted by the company with no apologies.

It’s also possible for this to come back on your real account and lead to a ban, suspension, or deletion of that account too.

That depends on a lot of factors, so I can’t give you clear rules to follow.The point is that you are breaking the rules, and that can create problems for you.

Keep in mind that LinkedIn is not the government.

It is not illegal to create a fake account, but it can come with negative consequences.

All of that said, if you want to go ahead, you can create the account. Sign in to it. Use that fake account when you browse profiles, and your identity will be masked.

When LinkedIn tells those users that you viewed their account, it will use the fake profile identity, keeping your real identity masked.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

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