Google Custom (Programmable) Engines are capable of finding particular values (such as someone’s location or employer) precisely with the aid of special search operators. The precise filtering ability is based on the “objects” defined by Schema.org – such as Person, Organization, or Place – which site creators can embed in the page code. The “custom” search operators are written as more:pagemap:<custom addition> which you can shorten to more:p:
There is no tipsheet for these operators since their syntax is often site-specific (unlike the 21 Google operators). This post can serve as the “next best” since you can alter and utilize the search examples. Also, check other (few) writeups, particularly this from my French friends Guillaume Alexandre and Pierre- André Fortin.
Expect a learning curve, but there is no coding involved.
more: operators allow you to search for specific values, as you will observe following the example links in the table below. But they also work to find pages with a given structure, regardless of the values (add your keywords):
- Pages including Person: more:p:person.
- Pages that have the Person object with a field Job Title: more:p:person-jobtitle
(As a side note, people have been telling me that our book title “Custom Search Engines – Discover more:“ is mistyped – it is not!)
At this time, social profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter do not follow a Schema format that CSEs can query. LinkedIn used to have “Persons” on profiles a few years back, but, alas, it has become inconsistent. Still, you can precisely search for the LinkedIn Headline with a CSE:
|LinkedIn (by country)||Headline|
|LinkedIn (US only)||Headline|
Here is a collection of site-specific Person example searches. It is followed by searches across sites (using a “find everything” CSE). Open-ended searches across the web can find “Person-friendly” sites for your research.
I constructed the below examples using Social List, a CSE API-based tool that hides the operator complexity from end-users and collects results in Excel.
|Area or City|
|Honorific prefix (Mr., Ms., etc.)|
|Honorific suffix (MBA, PhD, DDS, etc.)|
Join us for an interactive two-part class, Become A Custom Search Engines Expert, on July 20-21 and learn about the unique technology. Attendees will receive the slides, recording, and one-month support. The webinar is recommended to Sourcers, #OSINT practitioners, and anyone familiar with advanced Google search and, in particular, X-Ray (the site: operator).