Four “Lazy Operators” for Lazy Sourcers

booleanstrings Boolean Leave a Comment

If you source well, that implies that you are also a Lazy Sourcer. What I mean by a Sourcer’s “Laziness” is trying to get results with fewer keystrokes and mouse movements. (Those of us who type slowly – I do! – need to find ways to reduce typing even more desperately). I am a Lazy Sourcer – and am always on the lookout to do things faster.

I won’t be covering various info-fetching Chrome extensions in this post. Good people like Dean DaCosta and Jan Tegze have posted plenty of information about them. Rather, I will talk about ways to type less when searching – specifically when considering using most common advanced Google search operators.

(To mention, I am not a fan of “Boolean Builders.” I always type searches “by hand”; I recommend you do, too! Humans do better than machines in generating searches as of February 2019.)

Here are some tips I want to share. (They are simple.) I will call them Lazy Search Operators.

  1. Lazy site: (X-Ray)

Google has become very intelligent. We can often search for a site (or company) name without writing out a site: operator (X-Raying) and still find the information we are looking for on that site.

For example, searching for <first> <last> linkedin (example search) or, for more common names, <first> <last> <company> linkedin, will find LinkedIn profile(s) in question. We can write other types of searches (if the search terms are “reasonably unique”) along with the word linkedin and quickly land on the right results.

Similarly, we can search for <any site’s name> <keywords> instead of X-Raying that site. Example.

(Makes sense, Sourcers?)

  1. Lazy filetype:

You guessed it. We can often search just for the file type and drop the operator filetype:. We do need to put the file type in the quotation marks, e.g., “XLSX” (though there are two extra characters to be entered!). Example.

  1. Lazy intitle: and inurl:

Remember that Google will rank results higher if it finds our keywords in titles and URLs, even if we don’t use these operators. For example, searching for resume along with some keywords will often work just as well as the popular template intitle:resume OR inurl:resume.

  1. Lazy define

In many cases, just naming the entity and dropping the operator define will produce a definition in a “Featured Snippet,” which we see above the search results. Example. (You can also search for what is <term>).

Additional Tip:

Try using fewer, if any, quotation marks in these searches: you may get better results – and you will type less as well!

Note that these “relaxed” searches have started working much better in our experience in recent years, as Google has been enhancing its search algorithms.

(As a reminder, use these best practices while you are searching).

So, you would ask, do we no longer even need to teach new Sourcers Google’s advanced operators? We absolutely do! There are numerous cases where advanced operators give us searching superpowers. (I might just need to take a touch-typing class to speed up those. 😉)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.