Ontolo V3 Sneak Peek: Advanced Search Operators
By: Ben Wills |

Our number one, insanely-focused goal of the next version of the Ontolo Link Building Toolset has been this: To help you be able to quickly find the most valuable sites in your market for high-quality link prospects. In this post, we want to let you in on a significant new feature to help you accomplish just that, faster than ever.

The next version of the Ontolo Link Building Toolset comes out on June 28th, in less than two weeks. As we're wrapping up revisions and finalizing new features, we want to give you a sneak peek into what's coming for our users. In addition to Link Building Workflow Management features, a Simpler UI, and some New Pricing, we're also advancing the Ontolo technology to continue leading the innovation in link building technology available to you.

Introducing: Ontolo's Advanced Search Operators

Right now, I'm going to share with you some of the ways you can quickly find relevant, valuable and high-quality link prospects in the next version of The Link Building Toolset.

So let's dive right in, shall we?

That's a screenshot of the new "Basic Search" form. One of the things that we've done to improve our usability is that we have gone from 27 (yes, 27) different link prospect search forms, down to two. What you see above is one of those two link prospect search forms.

It doesn't get easier to use than that. You simply search your link prospects database just like you would with Google or Bing. We then return a sortable list of link prospects with dozens of key metrics like PageRank, SEOmoz scores, and more. But that's for next week.

One difference between searching for link prospects on Google or Bing and searching for link prospects with Ontolo is that we offer a much wider range of Advanced Search Operators than either of the two search engines.

What is an Advanced Search Operator? Put simply, any time you use a - (minus) or OR or "quotes for phrases", you're using advanced search operators. (Respectively; Exclusion, Optional Inclusion, and Phrase Searching.)

But what if you could weight specific words in a query higher than others? What if you you could group your queries? What if you could search URL, Title and Body Texts separately? And what if you were able to search this way on your own, customized link prospect database that's updated every night with fresh new link prospects for you?

Might your link prospecting searches begin looking something more like this?

The way this reads is: Search for the phrase "rock climbing" and weight it 5 times more than other terms in this query, remove any link prospects that contain words that start with the word "boulder" (which includes bouldering, boulderer, boulders), and require that every link prospect at least have the word "gear" or a word that starts with "shoe" or a word that starts with "rope".

Searching like this yields a very different quality of link prospects. They're more relevant. And they're more valuable. And, because they're specific to your campaign, your Link Acquisition percentages should also increase.

In short: Less work, more links.

A List of Ontolo's Advanced Search Operators

To get your gears turning, here is a list of the Advanced Search Operators that are a part of Version 3 of The Link Building Toolset, along with examples and how to interpret them.

If you're the type that prefers detailed documentation, Click Here for the full Advanced Search Operators Documentation.

Wildcard Searches: Use an asterisk (*) for multi-character wildcards and a question mark (?) for single-character wildcards.
ie: ap*le
Returns: Results such as "apple" or "applicable" or "approachable".

Fuzzy Searches: Use a tilde (~) at the end of a term to find words that are similar.
ie: test~
Returns: Results that contain "best" or "tess" or "jest".

Proximity Searches: Use a tilde (~) followed by a positive integer, appended to a phrase, to find words within a certain closeness of each other.
ie: "add site"~4
Returns: Results that contain "add your site" or "add a site" or "add your wonderfully amazing site".

Boosting a Term: Use the caret (^) symbol with a positive number at the end of the term you are searching. The higher the boost factor, the more the boosted term will increase the relevance score for that document.
ie: boulder "rock climbing"^4
Returns: Results with "rock climbing" occurrences become four times as valuable as "boulder" in a link prospect's content.

Optional Inclusion: OR, ||, : Use OR to make a term optional.
ie: "rock climbing" OR bouldering
Returns: Results with the phrase "rock climbing" or the word "bouldering".

Required Inclusion: AND, &&, + : Use AND or plus (+) to make a term required.
ie: +"rock climbing" +shoes +ropes
Returns: Results that must contain the phrase "rock climbing" and the words "shoes" and "ropes".

Exclusion: NOT, !, - : Use NOT or minus (-) to exclude link prospects with this term in the content.
ie: "rock climbing" -bouldering
Returns: Results that may contain the phrase "rock climbing" but do not contain the word "bouldering".

Grouping Terms & Phrases: Use parenthesis (()) to evaluate groups of term phrases.
ie: (link OR links) AND building
Returns: Results that contain "link" or "links", and must also contain the word "building".

Field Grouping: Create a query group and prepend it with the field name. We offer three field names that you can search independently: Body Text (body_text), Title Tag Text (page_title) and URL Text (text_url).
ie: -page_title:("link building") +body_text:(link* prospect*) text_url:(link~ resource*)^8
Returns: Results that don't contain the phrase "link building" in the title, contain terms that begin with "link" or begin with "prospect" in the body text and may contain words that are similar to "link" or begin with "resource" in the URL text. If that URL text is found, that part of the document's Relevance Score is weighted higher by 8 fold.

And, So....

What would you do with this kind of advanced search capability?

Share your potential queries, brainstorms, whatever, in the Comments section below.

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