Strategy for Building an Overall Search


Common Keywords vs. Unique Keywords

One of the first things you want to consider when crafting your search is how unique your terms and keywords are.


A common keyword is one that doubles as a brand or product, as well as a word or proper noun, such as “Apple” or “Target.” Some ways in which they might be used outside of a brand mention are:

  • A word in any language
  • The name of a place or thing
  • A person's name

A unique keyword is one that is distinct, in that whenever it is mentioned, it is referencing the brand. Examples of stand alone unique keywords or unique combinations of keywords include:

  • “Starbucks”
  • “IndyCar”
  • “DriveTime”
  • “TASER International”

When approaching a search with a common keyword, the optimal outcome would be for that keyword to become unique (i.e. isolated to be only referencing the keyword you want). To do this, it is useful to identify unique characteristics of the keyword that disassociate it from the common keywords it would be confused with. Some ways to do this are through:

  • Case sensitivity
  • Term inclusion
  • Term exclusion
Unique Keyword Strategy Common Keyword Strategy

1. Unique keywords are the simplest type of search to create, as you often do not any additional key terms or requirements to make sure you are only getting relevant mentions of the particular brand.

1. Use the text: operator if your brand is always capitalized or typically has specific letters/words capitalized. Remember to always combine this with the title: or headline: operator.

2. Use the various ways your brand is mentioned (e.g. “BP” or “British Petroleum”). Also, don’t forget about possessive forms (e.g. “BP’s” or “British Petroleum’s”).

2. Use the various ways your brand is mentioned (e.g. “BP” or “British Petroleum”). Also, don’t forget about possessive forms (e.g. “BP’s” or “British Petroleum’s”).

3. Often, adding the AND operator (inclusive) will actually ELIMINATE valuable results. So in this case, it may be best to keep the search quite basic.

3. Unlike with unique keywords, you may WANT to use the AND operator to include specific brand or industry jargon. This could help narrow your mentions to only those that are relevant to you.

For example, if your company is Apple, some types of keywords you might want to use are:

  • Competitive Brands: Microsoft, Samsung
  • Competitive Products: PC, Android
  • Keywords/Jargon: laptop, laptops, iphone, iphones ipod, ipods, technology
  • Campaign/Event Messaging: “think different”
  • Executives Names: “Tim Cook”

4. If you are still finding irrelevancies, then you may want to consider using the NOT operator. Look through the data you are pulling to identify irrelevancies, and attempt to find a theme amongst them.

For example, if your company is Avant and you find that there is an NFL football player named “Jason Avant”, you would likely add NOT “Jason Avant” to your search.