Google X-Ray Search in LinkedIn

Posted: January 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

Using Google to perform an “x-ray search” of LinkedIn is one of the best ways to find the profiles of people that are outside of your network. X-Ray searches work for any website, but we’ll focus on LinkedIn for now. To perform an x-ray search, you simply start your search with the following search criteria: site:linkedin.com I will use an example of a recent search I did in an effort to find individuals with software security experience. Here is an example of one of the search strings I used in Google:

site:linkedin.com “greater seattle area” security (intrusion OR authentication OR firewall) support network* CISSP –profiles

When examining this Boolean search string you will probably notice a couple of things. For one, I did not use “AND” in between several of the words. The reason for this is two-fold: one, Google recognizes spaces as the “AND” operator and, secondly, since Google limits the number of words you can use in a search (I believe it is 25), you don’t want to waste valuable “real estate” with the “AND” operator if you don’t need it. You will probably also notice that I included “-profiles” at the end of my search. Why did I do this? The reason is to eliminate results that will show up for a list of profiles that are sometimes unrelated to what you are looking for and only clutter your search results. Try taking it out of your search string and you will see what I am talking about. Any time you add a minus sign (-) in front of a word it will filter and not show results with that word, also known as a “negative” keyword. Another thing you may have noticed was the asterisk (*) after the word “network.” In case some of you are unfamiliar with this Boolean operator, it is the “wild card” operator, meaning it will show any word that has “network” as its root. For example, this search will provide results that include the words “network,” “networking” and “networked” among others.

Good luck and happy hunting!

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