LinkedIn has four main featured sections on the site. Up until recently it was People, Jobs, Answers and Service Providers. In a recent update LinkedIn Service Providers was replaced by Companies. The Service Providers content is now within the Companies section.
Service Providers was probably the least utilized of the four main sections and if one had to give way for a new section I guess this was the smart choice. Still, other than the People section I personally believed the Service Providers sections provided me the most relevant value.
The section consists of a group of job categories that list the top recommended members based on client recommendations. I would have liked LinkedIn to do a lot more to promote the section. Recommendations from your client’s are a great way to build your online brand. It’s a powerful statement to be one of the top people in your job category within your geographic location.
The Companies page is focussed more on researching companies. The section is still considered in beta testing and should evolve over time. For now it’s interesting, but if they put in the functionality to search by more variables than just company name it maybe a really useful tool.
This is almost a case of the self-employed verses small to large businesses. The Service Providers section allows the self employed person to gain notice by placing high in the rankings, while the Companies section allows companies to gain notice from being in search results. Being a self-employed person, I admit I’m more partial to Service Providers. But since I target small businesses I may grow to like the Companies section.
For now, just be aware that each may serve a useful function to help you grow your business.