Bing “contains” Operator: a great tool for blog search

This week’s article goes out to all the sourcers and web sleuths out there, and hopefully gives a few of you others something to think about too….

For instance: “liverpool fc” contains:(mp3) returns pages which feature the word “Liverpool FC” and at least one link to an mp3 file. It’s actually a fairly nice way of finding podcasts about Liverpool (for those of you inclined to care).

For the purposes of people search, this has many potential uses. For instance, you could use it to search for pages with links to .docs or .pdfs (you can do this using “filetype” as well, although contains is a nice alternative.

Probably my favourite use of it though is to find bloggers. I like finding bloggers because they’re easy to engage with, often lead you onto other relevant people (tip: always check the most recent comments) and are nearly always interested in hearing from you. Being able to find them (and no, Google Blog search doesn’t count) is (was), though, a bit of a pain.

Using contains: on Bing, and assuming that most blogs have some sort of feed on them – either an RSS, Atom or XML file, we can use “search term” contains:(rss atom xml), and we should theoretically get loads of bloggers in our results.

You’ll find this is more effective the more obscure your search term is. As it happens, we’ve been running a search for some Semantic Web specialists this week, and “Semantic Web” contains:(rss atom xml) has bought up some very interesting leads…

What other uses for contains can you come up with?

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