In our brand monitoring guide, we explained how to easily find articles from specific sources by using the Google “site” operator. This is an incredibly efficient way of ensuring that you don’t miss important mentions, and makes your daily monitoring easier to manage.
Sites like Linkedin will have mentions of your brand that are very important to be aware of, and in some cases provide the opportunity for you to engage directly with people that are talking about your brand. However, to find these mentions you may need to filter through a ton of irrelevant results. By creating very specific targeted searches, you may be able to filter out the noise so you’re only seeing the most important results.
Creating The Perfect Search Filter
Let’s say you’re looking for articles and contributed stories on LinkedIn mentioning the subscription service Dollar Shave Club.
Try searching within LinkedIn, and you’ll get 232 results, all linking to LinkedIn’s Pulse blog.
Ideally, any articles you might be interested in would be posted here, in which case you could just check that same link regularly – maybe using the “Now – 1 week” filter on the left-hand side of the page – or you could set up a site-specific search in Google for the Pulse subdomain:
“Dollar Shave Club” site:linkedin.com/pulse
However, if you’re also looking for articles that may be posted to LinkedIn Groups or elsewhere on the site, you may want to start with a basic Google search and manually filter out any areas of the site that you won’t need to review.
If you start with a simple site-specific Web search like “Dollar Shave Club” site:linkedin.com, Google will give you an estimate of over 18,000 results, with 102 mentions over the last month.
* See our Brand Monitoring Guide for more info on Google’s estimated search results. While you may get an initial estimate of over 18,000 results, if you click through to the last page of results offered (with 100 results displayed), you’ll get a more accurate number of results that’s closer to 550.
Unfortunately, you will not be able to get more targeted results by switching to a News search. You’ll see 21 articles from LinkedIn Pulse for an “Any Time” search that should bring in any and all results. Clearly most LinkedIn Pulse articles don’t seem to be indexed in Google News results – remember, LinkedIn had 232 results for a search of their site.
*Why you might be seeing articles from Mashable, Reuters, and The Wall Street Journal here, I really couldn’t tell you.
Back to our Web search –
Looking at the URLs for these initial Web results, you’ll see that a fair number are for LinkedIn user profiles (/in or /pub subdomains), companies (/company), and job postings (/job)
It’s probably fair to say that you won’t need to review all of these profile listings and job posts – so to get more targeted results, we can adjust our search to filter these types of results out.
We’d recommend using the -site: search operator to start.
One by one, go through and identify any subdomains you may be able to filter out:
* Remember to keep the site:linkedin.com operator for this search, followed by any subdomains with the -site: operator.
After running these results – you’ll notice some additional results for job postings in a different subdomain (/jobs2), as well as results for job title searches (/title).
“Dollar Shave Club” site:linkedin.com -site:linkedin.com/in -site:linkedin.com/company -site:linkedin.com/pub -site:linkedin.com/job -site:linkedin.com/jobs2 -site:linkedin.com/title (No other filters applied)
This leaves you with about 400 results total (Any Time) * Actual total, not Google estimate
If you add a filter to search within the Past Month, you’ll be down to just 18 results.
To drill down even further, you could try to filter out some of the “Top Profiles” for job titles at Dollar Shave Club and other companies. Taking a look at the URLs for these “Top Profiles” lists, you’ll see that they do not share a common subdomain, so our best bet here would be to use a – (dash) search operator and keywords to filter out links with those titles.
To determine the keywords you’ll want to filter out, try to find a portion of the title that these articles share. The language that most of these seem to have in common would be “profiles at…”, “profiles in…”, “Top 24…” or “Top 11…” You might avoid going with the full search “profiles at Dollar Shave Club” because some of these lists concern other companies and simply exclude “profiles at”:
“Dollar Shave Club” site:linkedin.com -site:linkedin.com/in -site:linkedin.com/company -site:linkedin.com/pub -site:linkedin.com/job -site:linkedin.com/jobs2 -site:linkedin.com/title -“profiles at” (Sorted by Past Year)
This will trim your results back to include contributed stories on Pulse and LinkedIn group posts linking back to coverage for Dollar Shave Club:
Notice these articles all link back to one of three subdomains – linkedin.com/pulse, linkedin.com/grp/post, or marketing.linkedin.com/blog
With your results narrowed to include only the most relevant results, you may feel comfortable going forward with a targeted Web search that includes just the above subdomains:
“Dollar Shave Club” site:linkedin.com/pulse | site:linkedin.com/grp/post | site:marketing.linkedin.com/blog
Looking back at the results you found searching within LinkedIn and using the “Now – 1 week” and “1 week – 1 month” filters, you’ll find that not all of these results show up in a Google search of the website. This is good example of how you can benefit from using a combination of search methods for your brand monitoring platform – in this case, both a search within LinkedIn and a site-specific search in Google – to make sure you’re seeing any and all mentions.
When creating complex searches – remember that you can use multiple operators in one search string. In this case we had one “site” search, one to exclude certain sites “-site” and one to eliminate a specific keyword “profiles at”.
Troubleshooting problem areas like these takes a bit of trial and error, but with some careful filtering, you’ll end up with a curated monitoring platform that will save hours of work in your week.
This is just one way to streamline your tracking methods. Sign up to our email list to make sure you get all of our other tricks to optimize your searches – and save yourself some time/energy/frustration.
For extra help developing tracking methods to meet your specific needs, shoot us an email. We’re here to help.