How Many Results Do You Wish to Get?

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There is always a limit on the number of search results you can view. It is 1,000 on LinkedIn with any account. On Google, you will not get more than 300-500 results for any search.

If you are a “perfectionist” and always want to see as many results as possible (and maybe with the Verbatim filter), sorry, you are wrong.

For the majority of Google searches, sourcers, as everyone, look just for one, maybe 2-3 top results. We need these searches to gather Competitive Intelligence:

In other types of searches, where you want to see as many results as possible (for example, as many public profiles from a social site as possible) – append &filter=0 to your search URL. You will get more results from each site.

However, remember that the number of search results Google shows is always misleading. You will not get to see more than 300-500 results for any search – even if it shows the number in the millions. The number may change as you go through the pages of results. It may change “the wrong way” if you use Boolean logic on large result sets. Bottom line, ignore the number 😉

Check out my full presentation on Google along with five other recordings on all topics sourcing from seven international practitioners and speakers at our Online Sourcing Learning Day.

Digital Passes for Online Sourcing Learning Day Are Available

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Hello Sourcers:

Did you miss the Online Sourcing Learning Day on May 6th? We got a big international crowd and awesome reviews, see below.
Not all is lost! 😉 You can now order a “digital pass” which provides access to six (6) hours of recordings and sets of slides from seven international Master Sourcers here –

-> <-

– it is available to those who couldn’t attend the event live. And before you ask, yes, you can keep the materials.

We have made it affordable. I would say the digital pass will supply you with the most practical sourcing info you can get for the price anywhere.

All the speakers are experienced practitioners; our topics cover both concepts and hands-on techniques. Together, the diverse presentations would improve your future experience and sourcing outcomes. But expect to review the material since it is packed with tips and things to practice!

(If you attended on May 6th, please feel free to share your feedback in the comments).

With any questions, PM me or email

The rest of my post is to show off a bit. 🙂

So, we did something right. (I think it was the content as well as speaker personalities.) The event had 234 attendees from 23 countries! Speaker’s average rate was ~7.90 out of 10, with higher scores for different speakers varying between submitters. Here are a few random quotes from participants:

  • Well done! I would most definitely attend future events and would also encourage and recommend to others as well.
  • Great information and training.
  • Great and super practical. Though sometimes the pace was a bit fast.
  • Learned new content, re-established other, de-mystified more!
  • I loved the more informal platform and accessibility to each speaker.
  • Great content, a range of areas, all valuable. I loved the depth while covering breadth. Excellent presenters.
  • Excellent! Very detailed and clear, just keep it that way.
  • I would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn good sourcing practices.
  • Funny, friendly and useful 🙂
  • Awesome. Very clearly communicated and presented.
  • Interactive presentation, with concrete examples and easy to follow, even from a total beginner.
  • 6 hours evening EU time session, very focused was extremely useful. An online format works perfectly.
  • Solid takeaways and new innovative sourcing techniques from every speaker. Highly recommend it!

P.S. This was our first event, and we feel it was a success. So now we plan to repeat OSLD with different content, stay tuned! In August, maybe.

15 Unique Features of Custom Search Engines

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As my friends know, I have been fascinated by Google’s Custom Search Engines (CSEs) for years. I have met several colleagues who have become as addicted to CSEs as I am; I feel as if we belong to a tribe. 🙂

I remain disappointed by the apparent CSEs’ low penetration into our industry tools. Part of the undeserved unpopularity is due to the lack of documentation from Google – or anybody else. (Google help no longer keeps the documentation of its advanced operators either.) The lack of info makes the operators like a medieval trade secret that is known to few (and, in our times, communicated via Messenger!)

David Galley and I contribute to covering the CSE documentation gap by blogging, hosting webinars, and preparing a book on the subject.

I have never seen a summary of unique CSEs’ advantages, so I came up with one. Many of the features have been there from the start (in 2006), but some unique semantic features are newer additions and deserve your attention. I have tried to make a full CSE feature list; let me know if you think of something important to add.

CSEs can:

  1. (Invisibly for the user) include only given site(s) (e.g.,, which will find only LinkedIn profiles)
  2. Exclude given site(s)
  3. Give priority to the given site(s) but search the entire web
  4. Give priority to pages with given keyword(s)
  5. Narrow to a language
  6. Narrow to a country
  7. Boost results by country
  8. Include multiple sites via patterns using an Asterisk (e.g.,*/resume)
  9. Automatically append a string to user’s search (for example – narrow the search to PDF documents by adding filetype:PDF)
  10. Define synonyms to process user’s input
  11. Use the Synonyms feature to run long OR statements (for example, search for common women’s names)
  12. Select pages with given object(s) (like Person, Physician, or Organization)
  13. Search for the presence of objects’ fields (for example, find pages that have the filed “email” in the Person object)
  14. Search within objects’ fields (for example, search for Github profiles containing “love Python” in the bio or LinkedIn profiles containing “open to new opportunities” in the headline)
  15. Guide the search by selecting Knowledge Graph object(s) (for example, find pages that are “CVs”)

While the first 11 points have been there from the start, 12-15 are later additions and make CSE search truly semantic, quite a challenge for a global search engine, nicely solved. (The only things that are less nice about CSEs is the old-style UI and cryptic operators to write out).

Please join us for an online class on CSEs on Tuesday, May 19th – “Become A Custom Search Engines Expert”. The optional workshop is the next day, Thursday. Seating is limited, sign up now!

Sales Navigator and LinkedIn Recruiter Import Replacement – with a Basic Account!

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We all dearly miss the free Sales Navigator extension and the related link to cross-reference emails. When LinkedIn announced that they are removing the SN Chrome extension, I posted a blog commenting on the Sales Navigator Death.

LinkedIn Recruiter (the “old” version) has an import function, which they call “Talent Pipeline,” capable of cross-referencing massive email lists at a time. But it’s available only to subscribers. And, the function was made into something much less powerful in the “new” Recruiter.

Now I am going to explain how you can do individual and mass-cross-referencing LinkedIn profiles against the emails they are registered with, just with a Basic or Professional account.

In the post on discontinuation of SN, I suggested looking more in-depth into uploading lists of emails to your LinkedIn account. You can upload emails from a CSV file or sync your Gmail.

At the time of the March post, all we had available to access the uploaded info was this link – Unfortunately, it only displays so many contacts, and there is no search. (You can also download the “Contacts” as part of your LI archive in preferences, but it no longer shows the names of people associated with email addresses.)

However, recently I ran across this function, which is new. It shows everyone uploaded (you have to scroll to see more). People who are identified by emails show the names, titles, and companies; those not identified show only an email address. The great thing is that you can now search within those imported contacts:

It is an interesting search function – clearly, they search within the beginnings of words. The search is performed in three fields:

  1. First name
  2. Last name
  3. Part of the email before @ (but not the email domain),

as shown in the screenshot:

(Apparently, the search is a bit buggy and shows duplicate results.)

So, here is what you can do. Create a CSV file with email address(es) in question and upload it to your personal LinkedIn. For the emails identified you will see the pictures, names, titles, and companies, but not the emails. Nevertheless, it is not hard to find any person in question using the search since we have the uploaded file to check with.

More technical users can review the search page source code and get straight to all identified profiles from the uploaded list. Email addresses are invisible on the LinkedIn page but are present in the HTML code. Here is an example:

A person’s email address and his/her LI ID are both stored in HTML. Once you have the ID, you can go to the profile appending the ID to, like It won’t be hard to write a script to collect those from the HTML code.

So that the new function allows us to identify someone on LI by an email address like SN Extension (former Rapportive) AND ALSO cross-reference whole email lists, as the old LIR does!

Finally, if you are interested in scraping results from “Contacts” into a table, get in touch with Andre Bradshaw. He has written some code for downloading results.

Enjoy! 🙂


How to Search by City Location on LinkedIn

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The worst part of people search is that we no longer can search by any location other than a standardized one, like “San Francisco Bay Area” (where I live). But my area is large; people won’t commute from San Jose to San Francisco, for example.

The workaround for narrowing down to a “city” location, like “San Jose, California,” is to search in keywords. Interestingly, though on some profiles you will see only a generic area name, the profiles will be found if you put a location name in the quotation marks into Keywords. (Not quite WYSYWIG!)

I recently chatted with Henk van Ess who pointed out that if he searched just by a city name, he would get profiles in this area, in his example, “Apples.” I think I knew about this but have looked into it deeper this time.

Here you go:

  1. will find profiles in a search by a city location name. To avoid false positives, you need to enter the full LinkedIn location name in quotes. The location names are the ones you can see in Recruiter, but you can often guess.
  2. (Good for us!) does not search within work locations. So we won’t have too many false positives.

Here is an example from our discussion with Henk:

“Apples, Vaud, Switzerland.”

It produces a little over 70 profiles, all of which do reside in the area, though many won’t have it visible on their profiles:

Enjoy! 🙂

We have lots of other tips in our recording “Overcoming LinkedIn Limitations.”

The Full List of Google Operators – 2020

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Operator Meaning
Pages containing keywords in:
allinurl: / inurl: – the URL
allintitle: / intitle: – the Title
allintext: / intext: – the text
allinanchor: / inanchor: – the anchor text
filetype: – file types
site: Narrow results to a site
related: Shows similar sites (being phased out)
info: Shows page info
define Gives a definition
The quotes (“”) Search for a phrase
The minus (-) Exclusion
OR Alternatives
Numrange (..) Search for a range of numbers
Asterisk (*) Stands for a word or a few words
AROUND (n) Proximity search
before:, after: Date search


Working on my presentation “‘Visualize Success’ as the Google Search Principle” for Online Sourcing Learning Day – May 6, I have updated the full list of Google search operators and thought it would be a good idea to share it here. (As you know, Google no longer documents most of these.)

Bookmark it! 🙂

Using Your Hands vs. Boolean Builders

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My Dad was a simple man. For him, life was about figuring out what is right and wrong and then doing the right thing, which he expected of others – and didn’t hesitate to tell them. (Needless to say, I did many things wrong.) But, in his Partial Differential Equations, he was quite intuitive and subtle, often thinking and speaking in metaphors, as Mathematicians do.

I think Dad would have been able to appreciate an intuitive yet common sense approach to searching on the web as superior over “Boolean Builder” tools.

I would advise against Boolean-building tools. They seem attractive, there’s marketing angle to how they sound, and a long-lived tradition of (outdated) long OR searches that recruiters continue to share. Yet these automation tools are all ineffective; I can give you multiple examples using your favorite Builder and your current search. On a given search, they will have missed too many matching results and found too many false positives. Additionally, Boolean ORs are not a good practice on Google (see my latest post about it). A notion that Boolean Builders are for novices or busy, or non-technical people is a myth. It’s best to search “by hand,” and search on Google simply (and repeatedly).

“Boolean building” tools shift your focus to creating a “string” (or even “the string”) while your focus should be getting results, which you achieve by changing the searches all the time to get more and different data. I suppose there are exceptions, where you may need a long OR list of companies or schools to include. You can accomplish it by an Excel “OR” builder, but you would still need to review the list – to have the right coding, include abbreviations, etc. The output would be a string for LinkedIn because Google restricts you to 32 keywords.

Your comments are welcome (especially if you disagree)!

Please join my seven international friends and colleagues and me at the Online Sourcing Learning DayMay 6th! We already have over 100 participants – which we expect to double – from most US states, Canada, Mexico, many Europan countries, Australia, India, and are quite excited about it! If you have a team, please get in touch. I will be speaking on concepts like this one 🙂

Please Say No to OR on Google

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As I tweeted the other day, “I celebrate each time I talk a recruiter into stopping using long ORs – or any ORs – on Google. Stop – it is an outdated, ten-year-old technique.”

And I do not mean using | instead.

Here are some brief notes on the subject – and I hope to convince you, too!

1. Using OR defeats useful Google’s semantic interpretation of your search

What happens if you use the OR operator, for example, search for Developer OR Engineer? Google will find pages with “Developer” and pages with “Engineer.” It mixes them up and displays. But it will have a hard time deciding which should go first because you have asked about several different things, not specifying priorities. (Does it make sense?)

If instead, you search for (just) Developer, Google will find Developer, developing, development, Software Engineer, Coder, Programmer, and others who develop code and show the most relevant pages first.

On a tight search, with no ORs, you will get more results than with ORs. You can test it yourself.

Using ORs for synonyms and similar terms on Google is counter-productive. If you want to include either term in your search, it’s best to run two or more consecutive searches, where you will know what you are looking to find in each.

2. Using OR does not help to find many terms on one page

For example, if you search for Accenture OR Deloitte, Google will run queries with one, then another, and mix up the results pages. It won’t prioritize pages with both terms if that is what you wanted.

3. If you must use ORs, look into Custom Search Engines

In some cases, you will have a long series of search terms that are not synonyms – for example, school or company names. If you must search for a long Boolean OR of terms, Google will not help very much because its searches are limited to 32 words. This approach can help, though it’s a bit technical. But you may want just not to utilize Google for those.

I will be sharing this type of content, with many how-to examples, at our upcoming

Online Sourcing Learning Day, May 6th.

You must join us!





Invitation: Online Sourcing Learning Day – May 6th

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Have you ever wanted to make a big jump in your sourcing skills in just a day? I would like to invite you to join David Galley, Guillaume Alexandre, Kim and Gordon Lokenberg, Balazs Paroczay, Marcel van der Meer, and me on May 6, 2020. We will present a unique six-hour online event with an in-depth, diverse, actionable content on Sourcing and Recruiting. So, don’t wait and head over to:

Online Sourcing Learning Day May 6, 2020 Registration

You’ll find the details on the site, but here are some points, briefly:

For those with a serious interest in sourcing: this is going to be a one-of-a-kind event.

Presenters are all experienced sourcing hands-on practitioners. We are also all trainers and speakers; most of us have met at Phil Tusing’s Sourcing Summits and have become good friends since. I have listened to each of our speakers and guarantee you inspiration and quality, up-to-date content, delivered from diverse angles.

Our topics cover “everything,” from running intelligent Google searches to recruiting unicorns to peeking inside a Sourcer’s mind to OSINT techniques.

We will be running a side-by-side virtual coffee bar and break room throughout the event. Get together with your favorite presenters and ask any questions you like!

Not up for listening six hours straight? Want to review some points later? All who sign up will get the slides and video-recordings for you to keep and use to practice what you have learned.

We have priced the event to be affordable. We expect participants from many countries, with the majority being from the US and Europe (hence, the times of day). Please help us to promote Learning Day by sharing the link on Social Media and with colleagues. Our hashtag is #OLSD. Your support is appreciated.

We will be able to accommodate teams on an individual basis. (Tip: a “team” does not have to come from one organization. Contact your colleagues and form a team.)

I hope to “see” you there! Sign up now.




Search for Women in Your Industry: 5 Tips and a Bonus

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I live in a very diverse area (and love it). Let me demonstrate what it is like in the streets and parks, when people are out, by showing a screenshot for local Python Developers (no diversity filters applied):

However – search for CEOs in the same area and you will see a very different picture:

(A stunning difference, isn’t it?)

Different industries, locations, and career levels have their diversity employment challenges. And every company, at every level, benefits from hiring diversity for all roles.

Let’s talk about searching for Women, with the purpose of including them in the talent pipeline. Our webinar this week will serve as a Complete Guide to Sourcing Females. I have forty slides on that. 👩👩‍🦰👱‍♀️ In a short blog post, I will mention a few approaches that will complement your diversity efforts.

1. Searching in a Diverse Area? Use Women’s Names for Ethnicities.

It is highly applicable here in the San Francisco Bay Area, where Indian and Asian Software Engineers are a majority. I wasn’t finding many profiles on LinkedIn for my diversity project by searching for common (English) women’s names until this occurred to me! Strings I had started using then, like an OR of Indian women’s names – (Aditi OR(Bipasha) OR(Damayanti) OR(Eva) OR(Gayatri) OR(Harshita) OR(Indira) OR(Jesminder) OR(Kanika) OR(Lata) OR(Madhumita) OR(Nadia) OR(Padmavati) OR(Rajadhi) OR(Saloni) OR(Tanisha) OR(Uma) OR(Varsha) OR(Yamini)) (etc.) – brought the desired results.

2. Continuing on the fruitful “image for *” technology exploration, started by my friend @theBalazs, search for diverse colleges and organizations. For example:

or, just this (add your terms):

Note that you will find additional results with

Switch to the Image Tab to see how accurate your search is.

3. Have you noticed that diversity searches often require long lists of terms, such as relevant associations or schools, as part of the approach? Custom Search Engines can automate relevant searches for you.

Here is my X-Ray LinkedIn for Women’s Names.

4. Some sites allow us to X-Ray by gender:

We could also create one for CrunchBase, since member profiles have the gender info.

5. Every industry has associations oriented toward women, which you can find by Googling. For each site, you could potentially be constructing searches like:

and find profiles of females in that industry.

Bonus. Here are two additional Diversity CSEs:

Please join me at the fully reworked webinar “Sourcing for Diversity” on April 15th, 2020. Seating is limited.