What is better, Boolean search or Semantic search? There are different opinions on that. Let me suggest an alternative approach to searching altogether, that can certainly be combined with Boolean and with Semantic and will help you to discover new leads.
Let’s review an example. Suppose we are looking for Wastewater Project Managers in Canada.
1. The “Boolean” approach may be to create searches like this:
“waste water” OR “waste water” OR “water treatment” “project manager” OR PMP OR “project management professional” Canada OR Toronto (etc.)
Here is a Google search X-raying LinkedIn:
Then, we’d remove false positives by excluding the words we don’t want to see:
-sales -director -recruiter (etc.)
It works fine!
2. A Semantic approach?
We’d need to use a system that would know that “waste water” and “water treatment” are terms that mean similar things and would create these variations for us (without us necessarily seeing these synonyms).
Here’s an additional, alternative, approach that can be quite fruitful. (I wonder if this can be patented?)
3. Follow the Leads.
Step 1. Find a professional that fits the ideal target profile. That would be the “lead”.
Step 2. Take a closer look at the profile. Notice the location and perhaps some other details, such as licenses, memberships, etc. This extra info will help.
Step 3. Follow the Lead, using the name and potentially the extra info found on his or her profile.
Example: The area code at that person’s location is 250. Add potential contact info keywords (the area code 250 and the license abbreviation P.Eng.) to the name:
Step 4. Examine the results. These are sites where the “lead” is listed along with the contact info. The first search result is list of professionals like the “lead”:
It has a nice list with professionals that are very much like the “lead”. (By the way, do you think they would be easy to find on LinkedIn? Try it out.)
The second search result is a great find as well:
That’s in, in a nutshell. Now we have many more leads to follow. We can go back to step 2 and look for them in the same fashion or go to step 1 and start from a different profile.
Note that no brainstorming on every possible synonym is involved in this process, yet it’s quite productive. It is also free of any expenses. All we need is a free account on LinkedIn and an ability to do very simple searches using Google.
(Of course, success would vary, depending on the target profiles.)
Follow the Leads.