The World Of Search Is Changing…

…and I have no clue where it’s heading!

CASE ONE

A good friend of mine is looking for a new job and I was about to help her. I went on LinkedIn Jobs to look for some openings and then sent her the link of the results. Almost 200 interesting opportunities!

Three days later we talked again and I replicated the same search on LinkedIn Jobs. I used the same keywords with the same location. But this time: not even 100 openings. How is it possible? It was almost 200 just a few days ago!

Can you spot the difference? I have Hamburg, Germany as the location but in the first search I’ve added management consultant hr as keywords and the second time I’ve written them in this order hr management consultant. Just because I changed the order of the words – LinkedIn has eliminated 111 results from the search.

Wow!

CASE TWO

We had the Web Searches Class today on the Sourcing Masterclass. On this session, we talk about Natural Language Search techniques – among many other methods. One of the examples I like to use is a German search that nicely demonstrates how spoken language patterns can reveal certain candidates.

I was in rush. I had to quickly make some screenshots.

Instead of writing my regular long search (“Frau * ist Marketing Managerin” which means “Ms. * is a Marketing Manager” in German) I only typed the first few words of it (“Frau * ist Marketing”) and hit enter. Due to regular Google search methods this should be sufficient to find what I was after but Google brought only 7 results and none of them was the one I remembered. Strange…

When I wrote then the entire string – which is only one word longer than the previous search phrase! – Google brought 9 results and all were brand new!

Do you see what is happening?!

The longer search phrase is supposed to be a subsegment of the shorter phrase but Google seems to ignore basic Boolean Logic.

NOT A CONCLUSION. I’M LOST

There is a massive shift in the way how these giant search engines work. Probably, because regular users are not proficient researchers, both LinkedIn and Google try to better “understand” what people may be potentially looking for. This “guess work” though overwrites the algorithm of these search engines which basically gives super hard times for those who are more educated users.

Finding reliable information has never been easy and we can say it with great confidence: it will never be any easier.

The amount of available digital data is not static but exponentially growing, as much as the amount of fake information!… regular users prefer to not learn more complex search methods and because all of it, search engines try to constantly adapt their search algorithm to these changes.

People are struggling to find information, let’s face it. …and this will be even moreso the new reality.

WHAT CAN YOU DO THEN?

Well… not much. First of all, educate yourself. Understand the concepts of various search methods and pay attention to all of these nuances.

In a world of digitalization you must have search skills, so you better start working on it now!

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

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