I received an alert this morning that a client had removed the link from their LinkedIn profile. Beyond having their profile deleted or the founder of the company abruptly abandoning ship, I couldn't think of a reason why this would change.
It appears that LinkedIn has changed all non-personalized profile links (profiles that use the linkedin.com/pub format vs personalized pages like www.linkedin.com/in/phillyadam) into 302 redirects. A cached version of this LinkedIn page quickly showed that the links that were open previously now go through a www.linkedin.com/redirect?url= 302 redirect.
You can see examples of different Michael Nutter profiles below, none of them actually belonging to the mayor.
Michael Nutter Before Example 1
Michael Nutter After Example 1
Quickly dropping images in for the second example:
Before: (the link at the bottom is me hovering over the Company Website link in the profile):
TWO big things changed here:
1. /pub profiles, which are profiles that are not personalized, now have links go through redirects.
2. Links that used the default My Company were nofollow links. Links that used the default tag Personal Website or Blog were open dofollow links with the ability to pass value to your site. Regardless if you believe absolutely zero value is passed through nofollow links, we're 100% sure that zero value is passed because the links now go through a 302 redirect.
This could be an easy way to stop people from spamming for LinkedIn profile links at first glance, but I'm hoping there's a reason why this somewhat big change went down.