Advanced Search - Part I - Search | Native + Push + Pop 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. For example, you can filter the results to show ads from Outbrain and Revcontent but you cannot filter the results to show ads from both Revcontent and Outbrain. Similarly, you cannot filter the results to see ads from both 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.

  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 - Select your boolean operator. You can either select "AND" or "OR" but not both. You can combine "NOT" with either of the previous options to result into an expression "AND NOT" or "OR NOT" respectively.
  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. Field Name Dropdown - This drop-down allows you to select the name of the field that you want to search. For example, Ad Title, Ad Network, Geo, Landing Page URL etc.
  7. Comparison Operator Dropdown - This drop-down allows you to select the comparison operator from the list of the available operators. For example "Contains", "Is", "Does Not Contain" etc.
  8. Input Field - Here you specify your search term. Depending on the selection (3), this will either be a drop-down or a text input field.
  9. Sort By Field - How would you like the results to be sorted? You can select the sort order from a number of different options
  10. Sort Order Field - Whether you want the sort to be Ascending or Descending
  11. 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.
  12. Save Search Button - Clicking on this button will save your search with the name you provided in #13
  13. Close Button - This button will close the dialog box
  14. Search Button - This button will initiate the advanced search

Please note that clicking on the Button # 6 and Button # 7 will allow you to add more search. Let's look at some video demonstration and caveats of advanced search queries.

Video Demonstration

This video demonstration shows several examples of advanced query building.

Caveats in Advanced Search Query Builder

Caveat # 1 Mind your brackets/parenthesis

Please realize that

<strong>(Ad Network</strong> <em>equal</em> Revcontent <em class="color-blue">AND</em> <strong>Creative Title</strong> <em>contains</em> food<strong>)</strong> <em class="color-blue">OR</em> <strong>Creative Title</strong> <em>contains</em> weight

is not same as

<strong>Ad Network</strong> <em>equal</em> Revcontent <strong><em class="color-blue">AND</em> (</strong><strong>Creative Title</strong> <em>contains</em> food <em class="color-blue">OR</em> <strong>Creative Title</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 from Revcontent which has title containing the word 'food' and ads from other ad networks that contain the word 'weight'
  • The second statement will show ads ONLY from Revcontent 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 networks, Revcontent and Mgid. The intuitive reaction is to use the AND operator like this:

<strong>Ad Network</strong> <em>equal</em> Revcontent <strong>AND </strong>Ad Network <em>equal</em> Mgid

However, this will most likely yield you 0 results

The correct way would be to use the following syntax

<strong>Ad Network</strong> <em>equal</em> Revcontent <strong>OR </strong>Ad Network <em>equal</em> Mgid

The reason for using OR operator is following:

We define uniqueness of an ad on it's title and image attributes. Since the image attributes across different ad-networks are different because of different image size requirements, very few ads are unique across multiple networks. The best option in this case would be to use OR operator.

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.