Saving Contacts No More

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save contact


As LinkedIn has informed their users, “On February 25th we’ll be removing the ability to save new contacts and sort your contact list by saved contacts. We’ve migrated the contacts you’ve already saved to a tag called “Saved_ Contacts” so you won’t lose anything you’ve already stored.”

This is an unfortunate turn for those of us who have used the Contacts feature to collect and tag profiles of LinkedIn members (not necessarily the first-level connections). If you have used the “save” feature, here is a shortcut to finding your previously saved contacts (sorted by “new”).

Since we are discussing Contacts, let me share a hidden way to search within them. (Hope it stays!) We can search within the Contacts (including first-level connections, saved profiles, and imported address books) using this dialog – it’s not referenced from anywhere on the current LinkedIn site, but it works and provides more powerful and user-friendly search than the current Contacts page.

This (very unusual) search shows all of the records in your Contacts; you can start here and narrow down to locations, companies, and job titles. You can sort the results by a variety of filters, not available on the Contacts page, including company and location. Of course, this search dialog is also not subject to Commercial search limits, that, once it’s “on”, affects even searching within the first-level connections.

Five Strings to Source for IT Professionals

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Information Technology

As some sourcing tools are going away, I am becoming more interested (almost addicted!) to creating and using Custom Search Engines for sourcing. Recruiters have not yet utilized this resource to its full strength – especially, semantic search features, unavailable on “proper”.

I have already shared Search Engines for Accountants and for Physicians.

Here are five Search Engines, each with an example search string, to help to source for Information Technology professionals.

1. Search in Software Code –

Example – find Developers who have worked with Linux Kernel: linux kernel credits OR contributors OR authors

2. Search for creatives on Behance –

Example – UX Designers in Austin

3. Search for resumes on Slideshare –

Example – quality assurance automation new york

4. Search for Meetup members –

Example – SAS Programmer Toronto

5. Search for profiles on Google-Plus –

cloud engineering “lives in Seattle” “works OR worked at Amazon”

I will be discussing many more ways to find Information Technology professionals at the webinar How to Find and Attract Technical Talent. Check it out!

Tools That No Longer Work

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Are we experiencing a general tools decline? What are the most innovative tool concepts since people aggregators made their appearance a few years ago?

Here are some tools that have reduced functionality or are gone altogether:

  • The latest version of MS Outlook no longer supports the Social Connector. The last Outlook version that still supports ir, the one from Office 2013, has stopped supporting LinkedIn.
  • Topsy, the search engine that indexed all tweets “from the beginning of time” and searched better than Twitter itself, was shut down in December 2015, some time after Apple had acquired it.
  • Broadlook’s desktop-based Contact Capture, well-debugged during its relatively long lifetime, is no longer supported or available for download.
  • Lippl, an extension to uncover hidden information on LinkedIn profiles, has been discontinued.
  • Connect6 PeopleDiscovery has not been updated since 2014.
  • 360social, that was an extension for Chrome with a promise to become a people aggregator, stopped working for a long time; it seems, it may come back, but we have yet to see that.
  • Connectifier, a well-known people aggregator, was just acquired by LinkedIn – and has already discontinued sign-ups; most of its staff is moving on. We are not sure, but we expect it will be shut down soon.

So which tools, among those we have left, work best, and what are some new kids on the block? Come to my Tools Webinar to find some answers!



Looking for Accountants? Try This Search Engine

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If you are searching for Accountants, here is (yet another) new Custom Search Engine to try:

I built it using the semantic mechanism available in Google’s Custom Search Engines, the same as the one I used for Physicians Search Engine in the previous post.

Example uses:

Let me know if you find it useful!

Check out the upcoming Webinar on Sourcing Productivity Tools – Tuesday, February 9th at 9 AM PST/noon EST, with an optional Practice session on Wednesday.

Looking for Healthcare Practitioners? Try This Search Engine

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If you are searching for healthcare practitioners, here is a new Custom Search Engine to try:

(I built it using the semantic mechanism available in Google’s Custom Search Engines, by only showing search results with a meta-tag, an object from called “Physician”.)

Here are some usage examples:

Let me know if you find it useful!

Check out the upcoming Webinar on Sourcing Productivity Tools – Tuesday, February 9th at 9 AM PST/noon EST, with an optional Practice session on Wednesday.

Your Search History and Metrics

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search history

Those of us who save Google searches usually keep them in a text file vs. an MS Word file, to avoid issues caused by auto-formatting. (By the way, if you haven’t noticed, Google is processing “curly quotation marks” all right now, in the same way as straight quotation marks; but if a minus is converted to a dash, your strings will be “misunderstood”).

Whether you have been saving your strings or not – did you know that Google saves your complete search history? Even if you delete the browsing history, your searches remain saved – here:

Here, you can look at your searches for a given period of time, see which links you clicked on search result pages, and review some statistics, such as the number of searches and most often accessed websites:


(The above screenshot shows my saved history for the past year.)

The search history links “remember” your searches along with any parameters, such as searching “verbatim” or image search. (This is an advantage over saving strings as text since in a text file the search parameters are lost).

Further, you can search within your past searches. For example, you can narrow it down to only searches that include “LinkedIn”. (Note that searching within search strings is not Boolean, it just looks for an AND combination of keywords.)

You can also export your search history. The export comes in the JSON format, that you can convert to Excel CSV format by using one of online conversion tools, such as this one – JSON to CSV.

Once you have your search history in CSV, you can also look at some search metrics. For example, you can find your personal statistics on using Boolean syntax, such as X-Raying; the frequency of using specific keywords; your typical search strings length in words; etc.

When you look at your search history – what stands out? Feel free to share some stats, interesting search strings kept in your history, or your ideas about useful metrics, in the comments.

For more advanced Googling tips, sign up for the upcoming webinar – “Advanced Google-Based Sourcing” – January 27, 2016.


300 Strings e-Book: Tip Sheet and Table of Contents

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The first edition of the e-Book “300 Best Boolean Strings” is ready and starting to ship!!! (“Shipping” electronically, of course.)

Writing it took much more work than I had expected. Verifying the exact syntax rules down to every detail, selecting the material, re-running all the search strings, and formatting was a lot of effort. I wouldn’t have done it without extensive help from my business partner Master Sourcer David Galley. Thanks to my wonderful son Peter (who doesn’t have an online profile yet) for drawing the cover image. I am grateful to Billy McDiarmid, Alicia PriselacVince SzymczakKelly Dingee, and Martin Lee for reviewing the draft and detailed (positive!) feedback.

If you are interested, here are a couple of files to download, to preview the e-book content:

  1. 300 Best Boolean Strings – Table of Contents
  2. One-page Google Operators Tip Sheet

The full e-Book is now available on the Blog.

You can also get a recording and materials from my e-Book-based 90-minute Webinar.


Announcing the Boolean Contest Winners – January 4th, 2016

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Thanks everyone for participating in the year-end Boolean Sourcing contest! The prize is the 300 Best Boolean Strings e-Book  that is being released two weeks from now.

Sourcing is a global discipline! We had truly international participation this time, with contestants coming from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Russia, Switzerland, Romania, Hungary, Philippines, and Saudi Arabia. Wow!

And the three Boolean Contest Winners are:

Honorable mentions go to:

– who also did very well.


Here is to a successful year of Sourcing!

Change Your Search Strings for 2016

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For some changes in searching on Social Networks in 2015, please check out my previous post –  Searching Social Media Got Harder in 2015.

Below I have described some changes that are going to happen in Googling early in 2016. These are easy to predict: when a major site, such as LinkedIn or Google-Plus, changes the structure (title, URL, and content) of the public profile pages, the search strings will follow – as soon as Googlebot catches up with the new formats.

So here’s heads-up on some new X-Ray Boolean search string templates for 2016:

  1. If you haven’t noticed, all public LinkedIn profiles now have the piece. There are no /pub profiles any longer. That means that X-Ray template OR -pub.dir (or this version – inurl:in OR inur:pub -inurl:dir) can soon become much simpler – just should work.
  2. LinkedIn is creating new publicly accessible subdomains and directories, worth exploring – including topics and related skills and Lists.
  3. The redesigned public Google-Plus profiles have less info than before. As part of that, you cannot search for women using the phrase “have her in circles”, since it is no longer there.
  4. Google search continues to grow it’s semantic features, “understands” more searches. (Good to keep in mind and watch its progression. However, it will be a while before Google will automate sourcing for professionals, so we should feel safe at work for now!)
  5. The still-present #1 syntax rule in Google’s official help, the plus + searches for Google+ pages, no longer works (just try it and you will see).
  6. Anything YOU want to add to the list?

>>> Keep up-to-date, search deeper, and be more productive in 2016 by pre-ordering the upcoming

“300 Best Boolean Strings”.

Feeling adventurous? Try yourself out in the 2015 End of the Year Contest and you may win the “300 Strings”.

Searching Social Media Got Harder in 2015

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It never gets boring in our profession! Ways to search online change all the time. Here’s a quick outline of some changes that happened this year in searching on the four major Social Networks – LinkedIn, Twitter, Google-Plus, and Facebook.

On LinkedIn, changes usually appear unannounced; overnight we are switched to new UI and different (usually, more restricted) ways to search. To create even more confusion, LinkedIn changes are being gradually rolled out to members, so it’s hard for us to compare notes. A recent example of such a change is the LinkedIn Group member search – it was gone as part of the recent Group redesign and is coming back in a restricted fashion: we will be able to search for Group member names only.

Google is now indexing Twitter. However, the top Twitter search service Topsy, the only service that indexed every Tweet “from the beginning of times”, was just abruptly shut down.

The recent Google-Plus UI redesign has stripped down its (weak, anyway) search for people by school and company functionality. Google-Plus has “tuned down” some of its features, such as Circles – they still exist, but are barely available via the new UI. There’s a “back to classic G+” link that allows to reverse the changes when you are logged in, but obviously, not for too long.

The Facebook Graph search still exists in the back end software code, but was officially removed from the home page search box about a year ago. Keyword searching in the text box on home page is no longer a productive way to run advanced searches. Sourcers use tools that provide back-door access to the Graph search, like Shane McCuscker’s and Michael Buzzel’s.

Hmm… this all sounds rather grim. There is a number of newer search/sourcing tools that I will describe in a future post. But it does feel like our industry needs new, better software tools. Hopefully, we will see some in 2016!

Here is something I can predict for the upcoming year – see the next post, Change Your Search Strings for 2016.

>>> Keep up-to-date, search deeper, and be more productive in 2016 by pre-ordering the upcoming

“300 Best Boolean Strings”.

Feeling adventurous? Try yourself out in the 2015 End of the Year Contest and you may win the “300 Strings”.