For New Yorkers looking for love on dating sites, it’s time to start working on a date for Valentine’s Day — and the first, critical step is amping up your profile.

Now more than ever, online dating — once about finding a soulmate — is evolving into a social group experience. Sites want singles to get involved in their online community, like rating others’ hotness and basing search results on who’s most active on the site.

OK Cupid, a dating site very popular with New Yorkers, encourages every user to rank others in a 1-to-5-scale hotness rating — creating an elite, user-voted echelon for the most attractive users. And on most singles sites, including, the more you scan profiles and update your own, the higher you’re ranked in search results.

Other sites, like year-old, based in Brooklyn, encourage users to suggest dating scenarios and locations, and track which dates — and users’ ideas — are most popular.

“You have to be smart about it,” said relationship consultant Donna Dudek, who hosts online dating workshops. She told Metro the game keeps changing, and keeping a fresh and interesting profile online is more critical than ever.

Raise your profile

Here are Metro’s hints for improving your rankings on dating sites. Think of it as SEO for singles listings.

1 Refresh the information on your profile. You may have spent 30 hours on that 30-minute blurb, but it’s likely stale. Use active verbs, jazzy adjectives.

2 Suggest different dates. On, the busiest daters are those that suggest funky outings. Think: “Let’s test the aphrodisiacs of chocolate plus wine” — versus just: “Let’s grab a drink.”

3 Highlight your weirdness. OK Cupid suggests that quirky profile pics get more attention. “If you’re a little chubby, play it up,” said site blogger Christan Rudder.

4 Vary key words. On, relationship consultant Donna Dudek searched “ecstasy,” and got just one New York man. Strange descriptions or interests – think trapeze, kayaking – will narrow your matches.

5 Profile pics are more important than ever.
“If you’re wearing your turtleneck or what you wore to grandma’s house, you might be looking to attract a homebody,” said Dudek.

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