Asterisk * vs. AROUND(X) on Google

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Both the Asterisk * and AROUND(X) are proximity operators on Google and provide their own benefits. The Asterisk stands for one word or a few shorter words. “<keyword1> * <keyword2>” will find phrases where the keywords are close together. Example, exploring company email formats: site:rocketreach.co “being used * of the time” Using more Asterisks will find phrases where the keywords …

Google Strings vs. Boolean Strings

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(Can I please ask you to read to the end?) It has eventually become such a mismatch in terminology. Most people in our industry refer to search strings on Google as “Boolean Strings”. However, the term “Boolean”, meaning AND, OR, and NOT, no longer applies to Google search best practices, and less so every day. Practical Google search strings do …

Dimensions of Reverse Image Search on Google

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  Reverse Image Search is a favorite way to find online traces of someone by their social profile photo. But if you search by image on Google, you may be missing some results. Here is why and how to overcome that. #1. When you upload an image, Google (annoyingly) shows its “explanations” – sometimes even offensive – like “hair loss.” …

Interesting: Two File Types in Google Images #OSINT

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It is new – Google Image search responds to the filetype: operator for document types such as PDF, DOCX, or PPTX. security conference attendee list director vp filetype:pdf This is cool because Images is a separate database – its results ranking is different, and extra results may surface. And you can preview the images before opening the results. It is …

Google and LinkedIn Speak Different Boolean

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Google and LinkedIn are two sites where sourcers spend most of their time. Both support Boolean search. Yet it works in very different ways. For starters, The search is not really Boolean (we can call it pseudo-Boolean). Google finds synonyms to all terms entered without quotation marks. A search like backend java engineer -engineer returns results while “formally” it should …

How to Google for Partial Words in URLs #OSINT

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You cannot Google for a part of a word. (The Asterisk * means one or a few words in Google’s search syntax.) However, using the wonderful Google Custom (or Programmable) Search Engines (CSEs), you can search for partial words in the URLs. The way to do so is to take advantage of CSE URL templates. There, the Asterisk means “part …

Did You Know? Ten Google Tips for #OSINT Research

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Here are ten less-known facts about Google search. (How many of these are you aware of? There are some subtleties there.) You can restrict page dates either by selecting them under “Tools” after searching or using the operators before: and after:. However, you will be missing the pages that did not clearly tell Googlebot about their dates. Lots of public …

Hack: How to Get More Than 1,000 Results on Google #OSINT

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While the official displayed results limit is one thousand, these days Google searches never produce more than 300-500 results. But today, I ran into something interesting: you still can get many more results, and even more than a thousand. The secret is to also search in Images. If you thought that when you switch to images on Google’s search screen …

Hack: Google for Facebook Photos Interpretations #OSINT

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Based on the following two behaviors from the tech giants: Facebook interprets pictures and inserts the interpretation into its public pages HTML code Googlebot indexes these interpretation phrases – you can reveal lists of members’ names and profiles based on Google’s image search. The two Facebook phrases most common for tagging photos are: “Image may contain… “, for example, “image …

Google’s Hidden Gigantic Visual Repository

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As I was reading through Searching for images with filetype: on Google? by Dan Russell of Google, I was not that surprised that filetype: takes different arguments and finds different things on Google.com and image search. I had seen this behavior. But this was stunning: “to find an image, you have to use Images.Google.com. “ Dan’s post implied that Google’s index …