Glenn Gutmacher, “E-Sourcing 201: Make the Google Filter Work for You, Not Against, Plus Bookmarklets Tips”
Q: Why does this simple string get no results on Google?
A: Two things are going on in this great example, which is instructive for search methods in general. Thanks, Shally, for showing me these two things a few years back:
1) When you do a site: command search, it’s usually better to use the root domain (i.e., without the leading www.). So the string site:ecrm-online.com online should yield more results. Curiously, it does not in this case, so…
2) You have to remember to click the link at the bottom of the search results (or for searches that yield multiple pages of results, at the bottom of the last page of search results page) that says "In order to show you the most relevant results…you can repeat the search with the omitted results included."
When you click that, you’ll see lots of results (49 for the site:www.ecrm… string and 71 for the site:ecrm… version)! Another way to see these "omitted results" is to add the parameter &filter=0 to the end of your search URL (the default is for the filter to be ON, or &filter=1, not usually displayed in Google strings). In fact, while you’re at it, you might as well append the parameter &num=100 to the string, too. This shows 100 results per page, vs. the default 10, making it faster to scan your results. Here’s the result.
Of course, people who have taken my online course or one of my sourcing seminars over the last few years already know you can create a bookmarklet to embed one or both of these parameters automatically!
Now before people start piling onto me, let me clarify:
A) You CAN set your Google results to show 100/page by clicking the small "preferences" link next to the search box. However, as with most cookie-based things, those preferences sometimes get unset or if someone sends you a search results URL, preferences won’t carry over.
B) Many times you DON’T want filter=0 because Google uses the filter to eliminate duplicates. On searches other than the types described in this blogpost, you will find filter=0 generates many results of the same exact content posted to different websites. So it can save you time to keep the filter on (&filter=1).
Another place you see filter=0 make a big difference in search results is on the Google search hack for LinkedIn profiles. If you have Shally’s LinkedIn Cheatsheet for Recruiters, you know what I’m talking about, but don’t ask me to show that one here (it’s copyrighted material).
Last but not least, remember to run your search on other major search engines that support the site: command (Live, Yahoo, etc.) because the results are often quite different, overlapping surprisingly little, as I’ve demonstrated (see Thumbshots reference in previous blog posts like this one).
And yes, there are bookmarklets to run your search string on any or all of the other engines automatically. Or if you have Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 as your web browser, then you have that capability built-in and expandable for free.