In our previous two articles in this series, we have introduced you to Boolean search logic and presented tools that you can apply to create highly relevant searches. If you care about the little things, you will likely enjoy the trick we will introduce in our final article - namely how to ensure that your search results are displayed to enable quick decision-making.

In most markets, Meltwater displays what we call a hit sentence (see screenshot below). The purpose of the hit sentence is to help you quickly understand the context in which your keywords are mentioned so that you can determine the relevance of the content (is it important? Should I tag it as earned media?).

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The more keywords we have used to define our Boolean, the less relevant the hit sentence could appear to a user. Let's illustrate with an example where we broaden our original search with many additional qualifiers (e.g. Apple products).

apple AND (watch OR iwatch OR iphone OR ios OR macbook OR icloud OR ipad OR airpod) NOT ("apple sauce" OR "apple juice" OR "apple orchard*")

Say that we want to ensure that the product name is always displayed in the hit sentence. You can give preferential treatment (not sound parenting advice but works well here) to specific keywords.

Preference is assigned using the hat (^) character, followed by a number. The number dictates the level of preference (e.g. 10 is a higher preference than 9). Let’s look at our previous search example and play out two scenarios.

Scenario 1

Say that we wanted to give preference to all of the Apple product keywords and no priority between them (as long as we see the product name in the hit sentence we're happy), then we would do the following:

apple AND (watch OR iwatch OR iphone OR ios OR macbook OR icloud OR ipad OR airpod)^9 NOT ("apple sauce" OR "apple juice" OR "apple orchard*")

Scenario 2

Say that we wanted to give preference only to the keyword iPhone, then we would do the following:

apple AND (watch OR iwatch OR iphone^9 OR ios OR macbook OR icloud OR ipad OR airpod) NOT ("apple sauce" OR "apple juice" OR "apple orchard*")

Assigning preference is not only valuable when you evaluate the results of a search during the creation process, but it also helps any users who will utilize our search for alerts and reporting. Context helps users quickly determine the relevance of the articles in their reports, which saves time and time is 💰.


Next Steps

Boolean is a valuable skill, and that skillset takes practice to acquire. In case you haven't already tested our search above, I can inform you that it's not particularly good. Copy and paste it into our Boolean search box, apply what you've learned, and make a winner out of it. Hint 👀 - watch out for one of the product names.

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Other Articles in this Series

  1. How to Master Boolean Search (1/3)

  2. How to Master Boolean Search (2/3)


Thank you for reading. If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out to us via Live Chat!

Team Meltwater

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