X-Ray searching on LinkedIn and other social media sites have been at the centre of many businesses’ operations for quite some time now.
The power it offers in finding clients, leads, customers, partners, and whoever or whatever you want to find is unrivalled.
However, it can be incredibly complicated. Especially for those with no previous experience in boolean operators.
Keep reading this article to find out exactly what X-ray searching is and why it is so useful for energy brokers.
X-Ray Searching – What is it?
The term X-ray search already sounds fantastic, doesn’t it?
It’s as if you can see through everything with your search. Which, to be honest, you can.
The X-ray technique of using search engines such as Google or Bing to find information, usually candidates, in online databases is known as X-ray searching. It may sound difficult, but it really doesn’t have to be.
Online databases usually include rich information. Databases can be things like directories, job boards, social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook, and almost any other website on the internet.
In a professional sphere, scientific researchers have been using this technique for years to find relevant sources and research on their chosen topic.
To find results on a specific website, you start by entering your Boolean search string into a search engine. You can use this technique to find candidates or information on websites that are otherwise difficult to find.
The websites you can X-ray
The X-ray technique can search almost any website.
For example, the Niccolo Gas and Power website, if you really wanted to…
This extends to almost any website. However, this is only true if search engines index the pages on the websites. Websites can choose not to index a page if they do not want search engines to find it. This is the one common block to X-raying a website.
Many job boards do this in order to keep their candidate databases exclusive to members. Facebook and LinkedIn remain open on the other hand, as they want their pages to be found when someone uses a search engine.
In a nutshell, this is how X-ray search is used. You use Boolean search strings to find any website you want, as long as it doesn’t have no-index pages. Get comfortable with using the operators and think outside the box to find candidates in places you’ve never been before.
However, certain factors can make X-ray searches more difficult.
1. The search engine makes a difference
Bing and Duck Duck Go support X-ray searches as well, even though very few people use them… In fact, some say that X-ray searching on Google is more limited than on other search engines.
This is due to the fact that boolean search strings are constructed differently in each search engine.
This isn’t the only distinction between search engines. They also find and rank different results, which can result in drastically different success rates. As a result, maybe try not always using the same engine.
Search engines aren’t always on your side. Your results from Bing, for example, will become less accurate with the more keywords you add.
2. Some platforms are hard to X-ray
We mentioned earlier that open platforms that display public data can be X-rayed, but this is more difficult than it appears.
If you X-ray search LinkedIn, for example, you will see profiles that do not match your search. One reason for this is the “people who also viewed” bar that appears on every LinkedIn profile. You’ll also see search results from the “people who also viewed” section. This makes X-ray searching a little more difficult.
3. X-ray searching is a skill
Although the theory of X-ray searching is straightforward, the practice is not. It takes a lot of time, effort, and creativity to become an expert in X-ray searching. The only way to truly understand how X-ray works is to try, try, and try again. Experimentation will eventually lead you to the best results if you take the time to try new things and be creative.
Google Boolean strings are commands that help you find specific results by using Boolean operators such as AND, OR, and NOT.
Google X-Ray is already widely used in recruitment, and Boolean search is an effective tool for candidate sourcing. By combining specific words and phrases, you can narrow your search to a small number of candidates that fit the desired criteria.
Examples of information available through the Google X-Ray search:
• Contact information (phone number, email address)
• Resumes and portfolios
• Employees who currently work or have previously worked for a specific company
• Academic degrees and other certifications
• Candidates from a specific geographic area
What is a search string example on Google?
The search string should really have all the essential keywords and symbols needed to bring in accurate results.
For example, if you were searching for an energy broker with a degree in marketing, you’d search the following:
(intitle:resume OR intitle:cv) “Energy Broker” Marketing (bachelor OR master OR degree) -job -jobs -sample -examples
This string detects resumes or CV files including the words ‘Energy Broker’ and mentions a marketing degree of some sort. With the inclusion of the minus sign, you effectively exclude sample resumes or job ads that will give you irrelevant results.
It’s complicated, we know.
For more help see the table below.
|And||Results include all keywords linked with AND||Energy AND Broker|
|Or||Results include either keyword or all of them||Energy OR Consultant|
|(-) Symbol||Excludes a keyword from the search||-Sales|
|() Brackets||Groups multiple search strings and sets priorities||Energy (Consultant OR Broker)|
|“” Quotation Marks||Searches for an exact phrase||“Energy Broker”|
|-site:||Excludes a website from the search||-site:facebook.com|
What is LinkedIn X-ray search?
Xray search is a technique for making candidate or client sourcing on LinkedIn easier.
You can quickly access an impressive number of profiles using LinkedIn search. As a result, you may think of it as not standing out from the crowd, but almost certainly contacting the same leads as your direct competitors.
Using X-ray search increases your chances of receiving a smaller but more qualified list of profiles.
You can use the Boolean operator to combine, include, or exclude search elements. These operators are used in conjunction with keywords.
Using X-ray LinkedIn
Everyone has access to the classic LinkedIn search bar which makes it fantastically powerful. You can use it for X-ray searching by doing the following:
• #1 Enter your search term in the search bar.
• #2 Select “people.”
• #3 Select “all filters,” and you can filter based on your requirements.
How to use boolean operators on LinkedIn?
Everything you need takes place in your search bar. You will be able to easily enter keywords and symbols, greatly improving the quality of your search results. More help can be found below:
Make use of quotation marks.
This is very useful if you’re looking for a specific title.
For example, you might be looking for an “Energy Broker.” If you don’t use quotation marks, you’ll get results like ”Energy” or “Broker.” Quotation marks help to narrow down the search and eliminate errors.
To exclude, use “NOT.”
This Boolean operator allows you to eliminate search results that do not interest you. For example, suppose you’re looking for a new marketing company to help with advertising your services. In the search bar, you type “marketing.”
With this search, you will likely come across “Marketing freelancers.” However, they are most likely not your intended audience for handling the scope of work desired.
By specifying “Marketing NOT Freelance,” the search will automatically exclude potential candidates whose job title includes the word “Freelance.”
The great thing is that you can include as many NOTs as you want in the same search, for example, “NOT Assistant NOT CEO NOT Freelance.”
To include parameters, use “OR” and “AND.”
You can use this X-ray search to combine search items to refine your query and better segment your results.
Looking for Energy brokerage and sales professionals? Type “Energy Broker AND Sales” in the search bar.
You can, of course, refine your sourcing by combining xray search types.
Use of Brackets
Parentheses are used to make combinations.
(Marketing NOT freelance) OR (Copywriting AND SEO NOT freelance) – this way, you can both search only for digital marketers with the combination of SEO and Copywriting that don’t work freelance.
Niccolo Gas and Power – A better choice
Unlike some suppliers, we actually want to talk to you.
If you are interested in our wide range of tailor-made product offerings then simply get in contact with us today. When you reach out to us, we will respond as soon as possible with our best prices – saving you money on your energy supply.
You can visit our website at https://niccolo.co.uk/contact-us
Or give us a call on 0131 610 8868
You can even email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to hearing from you!