Advanced Search - Part I - Search | InStream Tool

Advanced Search - Part I - Search

Why Advanced Search?

The drop-down filters and basic search only allow you to apply quick filters across multiple fields such as ad-network, geo, language etc. In addition, the search box provides a convenient way to filter results based on keywords. However, there are several notable limitations using this approach:

  1. You cannot apply multiple filters across the same fields in certain ways. For example, you can filter the results to show creatives from US OR Germany but you cannot filter the results to show the same creatives running in US AND Germany.
  2. The previous point demonstrates the use of the boolean logical operator AND. Similarly you cannot apply other boolean logical operators namely OR and NOT using simple filtering/searching mode.
  3. Advanced query expansion modes are not available such as stemming, synonyms and phonetic searches
  4. Finally there is no option to save your search query if you use the simple filtering/searching mode. This is particularly cumbersome if you are using the same queries very frequently.

We have tried to address the above issues by creating advanced searching as shown below.

Advanced Search Dialog Box

To see the advanced search dialog box, click on Search Button at the top right hand corner of the listing page, select Advanced Search from the dialog box. You will see the following content in your dialog box:

Advanced Search Dialog Box

For the purpose of this discussion, here are the important elements of the dialog box as labelled in the figure above. Important thing to note is that the dialog box contains 2 Groups labelled as Group 1 and Group 2. If your search expression is simple requiring only 1 type of Boolean operator, you may not need a second group. You can delete the the other group in such a case.

  1. Saved Search Dropdown - In this dropdown, you will find your previously saved searches
  2. Delete Search Button - Clicking on this button will permanently delete the search selected in the dropdown #1
  3. Boolean Operator Selector (Between Groups) - Select your Boolean operator. You can either select "AND" or "OR" but not both.
  4. Add Rule Button - This button will add a new rule for your search query
  5. Add Group Button - This button will add a new group (Think of group as an expression that is within a bracket or parentheses)
  6. Boolean Operator Selector (Within Groups) - This operator applies for various rules within a group.
  7. Field Name Dropdown - Each group contains a blank rule. Rule can be created by selecting the name of the field that you want to search. For example, Creative Text, Geo, Landing Page URL etc.
  8. Comparison Operator Dropdown - Once the field is chosen, this drop-down becomes visible and allows you to select the comparison operator from the list of the available operators. For example "Contains", "Is", "Does Not Contain" etc.
  9. Input Field - Here you specify your search term for the rule. Depending on the selection (3), this will either be a drop-down or a text input field.
  10. Add Rule Button: This button is located inside Group 1 as visible from the above figure. Therefore, this button will add a rule inside the group
  11. Add Group: This button is located inside Group 1 as well. Therefore this button will add a new sub-group within Group 1
  12. Delete Button for Group: This button will delete the entire group
  13. Delete button for Rule: This button will only delete the Rule where the button is placed.
  14. Sort By Field - How would you like the results to be sorted? You can select the sort order from a number of different options
  15. Sort Order Field - Whether you want the sort to be Ascending or Descending
  16. Save Search Name Field - Here you can specify a name for saving your search. Give long meaningful names so you can instantly recognize the search expression by looking at the name.
  17. Save Search Button - Clicking on this button will save your search with the name you provided in #16
  18. Close Button - This button will close the dialog box
  19. Search Button - This button will initiate the advanced search

Caveats in Advanced Search Query Builder

Caveat # 1 Mind your brackets/parenthesis

Please realize that

<strong>(Platform</strong> <em>equal</em> Shopify <em class="color-blue">AND</em> <strong>Creative Text</strong> <em>contains</em> food<strong>)</strong> <em class="color-blue">OR</em> <strong>Creative Text</strong> <em>contains</em> weight

is not same as

<strong>Platform</strong> <em>equal</em> Shopify <strong><em class="color-blue">AND</em> (</strong><strong>Creative Text/strong> <em>contains</em> food <em class="color-blue">OR</em> <strong>Creative Text</strong> <em>contains</em> weight<strong>)</strong>

although both statements are same and only the position of the brackets has changed.

Each statement will yield a different result.

  • The first statement will show ads that lead to Shopify store which has title containing the word 'food' and ads from other platforms that contain the word 'weight'
  • The second statement will show ads ONLY from Shopify based stores that has the word 'food' OR 'weight'

Let's look at how each query is constructed in advanced search query builder

Statement 1 in Adv. Search Query Builder
Statement 2 in Adv. Search Query Builder

Caveat # 2 Use "OR" Boolean Operator When Searching Across Multiple Ad-Networks

Let's say you are looking to perform search across two platforms, Shopify and Woo-Commerce. The intuitive reaction is to use the AND operator like this:

<strong>Platform</strong> <em>equal</em> Shopify <strong>AND </strong> Platform <em>equal</em> Woo-Commerce

However, this will yield you 0 results

The correct way would be to use the following syntax

<strong>Platform</strong> <em>equal</em> Shopify <strong>OR </strong>Platform <em>equal</em> Woo-Commerce

The reason for using OR operator is following:

An e-commerce site can run only on 1 platform. In the first condition, the search method will try to find creatives that lead to landing pages that run on both Shopify AND Woo-commerce at the same time. This is not possible. Therefore, an OR operator will yield correct results here

Caveat # 3 Basic Search and Advanced Search Results May Not Always Match

The results obtained through basic search may not always be same as advanced search even when search parameters are same. This is because basic search has several options (such as stemming, synonym match etc.) enabled by default to yield broadest possible matches. In advanced search, these results are disabled and optional. Therefore, the results might look different.