Tuesday, 3 January 2006

Technorati: improved tag searching and search syntax

Technorati, the blogosphere search engine, have provided more powerful ways to search Technorati's tags - it's now much further advanced than when they first introduced "OR" searching of tags back in August 2005. AND searching of tags definitely wasn't working then, nor in October, but it is now! Maybe I missed it earlier, but I've just noticed these improvements (with no official announcements that I could see on the point).

From some trial and error, I believe this is now the syntax for tag searching on Technorati:
  • A searches for the word A in a tag, whether by itself or as part of a multiple-word tag. Example consuming (finds items tagged "Consuming Experience" as well as those tagged only with "consuming")
  • A B searches for the word A and the word B appearing together in tags - so does A AND B (note the capitalisation of AND; the same applies to OR etc below) or A+B or A + B. Example Improbulus BBC.
  • A OR B searches for the word A or the word B appearing in any tags. Example Improbulus OR BBC.
  • "A B" searches for the phrase "A B" within tags - but so does /A B/ and (A B), and the final one using parentheses is the one I'd recommend as I've found it to work the most consistently and accurately. Example (Consuming Experience) or (Creative Archive).
  • A NOT B or A -B finds posts tagged with A but not tagged with B (i.e. NOT or the minus sign - both work). Example Improbulus NOT BBC.
  • You can also use parentheses "()" to search more complicated combinations. Example Improbulus BBC -(creative archive) (though if there are no results it says there are no posts with that tag yet and invites you to create a tag, rather than just saying there are no results). I've noticed that in the context of more complex searches like this one, using parentheses works for phrases but quotation marks or slashes don't seem to.

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