People search not returning proper results

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Mike Potter's picture
Joined: 2011-01-29
May 30, 2012
People search not returning proper results

I'm doing a search for a known person, with a first-name, last-name and company-name set, but they aren't being returned in the search results. Any idea on why this would be happening?

I'm trying the following search:
http://api.linkedin.com/v1/people-search:(people:(id,first-name,last-name,headline))?first-name=john&last-name=doe&company-name=acme&facet=network,F

I know that he (names changed to protect the innocent) works at acme, but the search results are turning up other john does - but not the one I want. (Its also returning results from people outside of my first connections, which shouldn't happen because of the facet on the end).

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks,

Mike

Mike Potter's picture
Joined: 2011-01-29
May 30, 2012

This appears to be a bug in the API. Here's the steps to reproduce it (with names shown for clarity:)

I'm using the LinkedIn REST Console to do these searches: (https://developer.linkedin.com/rest-console)

http://api.linkedin.com/v1/people-search:(people:(id,first-name,last-name,headline))?last-name=Roberts&company-name=BDC

Respnse:
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<people-search>
<people total="1">
<person>
<id>F5ZivnxGHd</id>
<first-name>Matt</first-name>
<last-name>Roberts</last-name>
<headline>Venture Capital at BDC</headline>
</person>
</people>
</people-search>

Great - I got him! Now, if I add his first name, he no longer shows up:

http://api.linkedin.com/v1/people-search:(people:(id,first-name,last-name,headline))?first-name=matt&last-name=Roberts&company-name=BDC
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<people-search>
<people total="0" />
</people-search>

I can reproduce this with other people too:
http://api.linkedin.com/v1/people-search:(people:(id,first-name,last-name,headline))?last-name=draper&company-name=gijit

<people-search>
<people total="1">
<person>
<id>sqdgqOkvlT</id>
<first-name>Andrew</first-name>
<last-name>Draper</last-name>
<headline>Designer, Hacker, Hustler, Lover, Fighter, Wild Bull Rider (depending on the day)</headline>
</person>
</people>
</people-search>

Great - results. Now add the first-name field.
http://api.linkedin.com/v1/people-search:(people:(id,first-name,last-name,headline))?first-name=andrew&last-name=draper&company-name=gijit
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<people-search>
<people total="0" />
</people-search>

I can also repeat this with my own name, and other comployees.

Is there something I'm doing wrong?

Mike

Victor Voytovych's picture
Joined: 2011-07-18
May 30, 2012

Mike, I have the similar problem with people-search API.

Every time I use both "first" and "last" names for search API returns invalid results.

In my case it's impossible to get correct results using "network" facet.

For example:

Request URL:
http://api.linkedin.com/v1/people-search?first-name=Victor&last-name=Voytovych&facet=network,F&facets=network

Response:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<people-search>
<people total="1">
<person>
<id>l8HXAJCa5n</id>
<first-name>Victor</first-name>
<last-name>Voytovych</last-name>
</person>
</people>
<num-results>1</num-results>
<facets total="1">
<facet>
<code>network</code>
<name>Relationship</name>
<buckets total="4">
<bucket>
<code>F</code>
<name>1st Connections</name>
<count>1</count>
<selected>true</selected>
</bucket>
<bucket>
<code>S</code>
<name>2nd Connections</name>
<count>0</count>
<selected>true</selected>
</bucket>
<bucket>
<code>A</code>
<name>Group Members</name>
<count>0</count>
<selected>false</selected>
</bucket>
<bucket>
<code>O</code>
<name>3rd + Everyone Else</name>
<count>0</count>
<selected>true</selected>
</bucket>
</buckets>
</facet>
</facets>
</people-search>

Request URL:
http://api.linkedin.com/v1/people-search?first-name=Victor&last-name=Voytovych&facet=network,S&facets=network

Response:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<people-search>
<people total="1">
<person>
<id>l8HXAJCa5n</id>
<first-name>Victor</first-name>
<last-name>Voytovych</last-name>
</person>
</people>
<num-results>1</num-results>
<facets total="1">
<facet>
<code>network</code>
<name>Relationship</name>
<buckets total="4">
<bucket>
<code>F</code>
<name>1st Connections</name>
<count>1</count>
<selected>true</selected>
</bucket>
<bucket>
<code>S</code>
<name>2nd Connections</name>
<count>0</count>
<selected>true</selected>
</bucket>
<bucket>
<code>A</code>
<name>Group Members</name>
<count>0</count>
<selected>false</selected>
</bucket>
<bucket>
<code>O</code>
<name>3rd + Everyone Else</name>
<count>0</count>
<selected>true</selected>
</bucket>
</buckets>
</facet>
</facets>
</people-search>

Request URL:
http://api.linkedin.com/v1/people-search?first-name=Victor&last-name=Voytovych&facet=network,O&facets=network

Response:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<people-search>
<people total="1">
<person>
<id>l8HXAJCa5n</id>
<first-name>Victor</first-name>
<last-name>Voytovych</last-name>
</person>
</people>
<num-results>1</num-results>
<facets total="1">
<facet>
<code>network</code>
<name>Relationship</name>
<buckets total="4">
<bucket>
<code>F</code>
<name>1st Connections</name>
<count>1</count>
<selected>true</selected>
</bucket>
<bucket>
<code>S</code>
<name>2nd Connections</name>
<count>0</count>
<selected>true</selected>
</bucket>
<bucket>
<code>A</code>
<name>Group Members</name>
<count>0</count>
<selected>false</selected>
</bucket>
<bucket>
<code>O</code>
<name>3rd + Everyone Else</name>
<count>0</count>
<selected>true</selected>
</bucket>
</buckets>
</facet>
</facets>
</people-search>

Request URL:
http://api.linkedin.com/v1/people-search?first-name=Victor&last-name=Voytovych&facet=network,A&facets=network

Response:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<people-search>
<people total="1">
<person>
<id>l8HXAJCa5n</id>
<first-name>Victor</first-name>
<last-name>Voytovych</last-name>
</person>
</people>
<num-results>1</num-results>
<facets total="1">
<facet>
<code>network</code>
<name>Relationship</name>
<buckets total="4">
<bucket>
<code>F</code>
<name>1st Connections</name>
<count>1</count>
<selected>true</selected>
</bucket>
<bucket>
<code>S</code>
<name>2nd Connections</name>
<count>0</count>
<selected>true</selected>
</bucket>
<bucket>
<code>A</code>
<name>Group Members</name>
<count>0</count>
<selected>false</selected>
</bucket>
<bucket>
<code>O</code>
<name>3rd + Everyone Else</name>
<count>0</count>
<selected>true</selected>
</bucket>
</buckets>
</facet>
</facets>
</people-search>

As you can see, every time API does not take into account "network" facet value and return the same person.

This problem is 100% reproducible.

Please fix it or give me some tip on how to avoid such buggy behavior.

Victor

Mike Potter's picture
Joined: 2011-01-29
May 30, 2012

Subscribing for future comments.

Mike Potter's picture
Joined: 2011-01-29
Jun 1, 2012

LinkedIn team: It would be good for someone to take a look at this.

Joined: 2011-02-13
Jun 1, 2012

Subscribing as well :).

Adam Trachtenberg's picture
LinkedIn Employee
Joined: 2011-06-30
Jun 1, 2012

I've already asked someone to look at it, but I don't have an update yet, and can't commit to any ETA.

Laurent Garnier's picture
Joined: 2010-04-30
Jun 3, 2012

Subscribed as well

Len Ford's picture
Joined: 2011-11-25
Jun 11, 2012

Subscribed as well

Gijs Giebels's picture
Joined: 2011-03-22
Jun 12, 2012

i have the same issue with keywords... if i use first and last name i get a result but if i use keywords for the whole (like its explained in the docs) name i don't get a result.
https://developer.linkedin.com/forum/full-name-search-not-always-functioning

so i'm subscribing as well

(as i can remember, it used to work last year)

Daniel Borlean's picture
Joined: 2012-04-20
Jun 19, 2012

I'm experiencing the same problem. Whenever I search for people based on first name and last name, it doesn't return me or others at my company. I am using the following PeopleSearch JavaScript API call:

IN.API.PeopleSearch()
.fields("firstName", "lastName", "headline", "pictureUrl", "publicProfileUrl", "location", "distance", "siteStandardProfileRequest")
.params({"first-name": firstName, "last-name": lastName, "count": 10, "sort": "distance"})
.result(linkedinDisplayPeopleSearch)

But, if I search just by first name or just by last name, then the correct results are returned. Why does searching by both first and last names filter out me and my colleagues?

Nick Kusters's picture
Joined: 2011-09-28
Jul 2, 2012

Same problem here, wonder how long it will take for Linked in to get on this?

Btw, I figured out how the linked in API handles this & how you could possably work around it...

If both first and last name are supplied, the API will only search outside of your network (search for your first/last name on linked in, see the results, and pick one that is out of your network. If you search for it, you will get the out of network results. If you want to find the results within your network, just search for the last name only. If it's a very common last name, you could do some post-processing yourself on the results to add the first name as a constraint. If you get too many results and have the 110 results issue, using facets to split the results in 110 result blocks might help ;)

Hope this helps the people who have this issue till Linked In fixes this behaviour...

Nick Kusters's picture
Joined: 2011-09-28
Jul 10, 2012

Kamyar Mohager, could you respond to this thread please?

Marcos André's picture
Joined: 2012-03-07
Jul 16, 2012

Same here..

Kamyar Mohager's picture
LinkedIn Employee
Joined: 2012-04-04
Jul 16, 2012

Let me follow up with the engineers to see where we're at on this.

Kamyar Mohager's picture
LinkedIn Employee
Joined: 2012-04-04
Jul 19, 2012

FYI, we're working on this bug internally and will let you know when it's resolved

Jeroen Hoekema's picture
Joined: 2012-07-05
Jul 28, 2012

Same here

Joined: 2010-02-17
Jul 30, 2012

Wow must be a tough bug to hunt down. Can someone please help me understand. I wish to be able to find a list of all the current users 1st degree connections, based on surname. For example, "give me all the current users connections whose surname begins with 'b'". Can I do this with the search being discussed in this thread (when the bug is tracked down of course)?
thanks

Mike Potter's picture
Joined: 2011-01-29
Jul 30, 2012

Its not that hard a bug to track down, its just that LinkedIn's developer team doesn't care about anyone building on their platform, nor do they actively participate in these forums.

The problem isn't a small problem - its a core problem of their platform, and hinders quite a few 3rd party applications. It made ours totally useless, and we've had to abandon the app itself.

LinkedIn's team doesn't generally spend too much time in the forums. They could use quite a bit of help in their developer relations. But what else would you expect from a web service that provides a different "ID" for each user for each application, and severely limits the number of API calls you can make (despite the fact that they're own bugs are causing you to make more API calls than you need).

Too bad Adam and team - I would have loved to have worked with you, but your bugs and policies make it impossible.

Mike

Kamyar Mohager's picture
LinkedIn Employee
Joined: 2012-04-04
Jul 30, 2012

Hi everyone,

This issue is definitely on our radar to get fixed ASAP. We do spend time on the forums to gather feedback and address any issues that arise with the platform itself. I replied a few weeks ago to this thread (see above) that I will let everyone know once a fix has been rolled out. Rest assured one of us from the LinkedIn team will notify everyone once this is out.

Thanks,
Kamyar

Brian Scheffer's picture
Joined: 2011-07-19
Aug 6, 2012

Joining to be notified of fix

Kamyar Mohager's picture
LinkedIn Employee
Joined: 2012-04-04
Aug 7, 2012

Hi all,

We're rolling out a fix for this name search facet bug. I'm hoping we can get it into our release next Wednesday, but it'll probably be two Wednesdays from now. Thanks for everyone's patience.

Kamyar

Kamyar Mohager's picture
LinkedIn Employee
Joined: 2012-04-04
Aug 16, 2012

Hi all,

Just letting everyone know that the name search facet bug has been resolved. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Regards,
Kamyar

Joined: 2012-07-17
Sep 3, 2012

Hi Kamyar,
Recently I face this problem ( people search js return duplicate records). Please, tell me what should I do to fix this problem.

Thanks in advance.
Sanjay

Adam Trachtenberg's picture
LinkedIn Employee
Joined: 2011-06-30
Sep 4, 2012

We'd need more technical details about what you did and what you got back to help.

Joined: 2012-07-17
Sep 5, 2012

Hi Adam,
Thanks for your reply. As discuss from #1 (People search not returning proper results). Thought I'll try to explain you more.
I'm doing a search for a person, with a character "a", but they are returned duplicate record in the search results. Any idea on why this would be happening?

Thanks
Sanjay

Adam Trachtenberg's picture
LinkedIn Employee
Joined: 2011-06-30
Sep 5, 2012

I'd need to see the actual search you are doing. I assume you're not just looking for a person named "a".

Michal Bialek's picture
Joined: 2012-10-11
Nov 6, 2012

I put small tip on the other discussion here: https://developer.linkedin.com/forum/people-search-api-problem-out-my-network-profiles-search-return-always-empty-result#comment-19762
Might be helpful for somebody.