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December 2018
New Search Setup with Boolean now available
New Search Setup with Boolean now available


Linda Maruta avatar
Written by Linda Maruta
Updated over a week ago

After months of designing, developing and testing, our newly improved search setup is now accessible to all Pulsar clients. 

This overhauled search setup integrates feedback from you to make searches more intuitive, powerful, flexible and precise.

How's that for an early Christmas present! 🎁 

So what has changed? Below is a step by step breakdown of the 9 Main Changes you will now find at search setup.

1. Full Boolean option now available for Topic & Content Searches

You can now create your Topic and Content Searches using full Boolean. Our new Boolean editor is a simple and yet powerful tool, able to detect and highlight syntax errors. The editor can also auto fill your keywords, location and language, suggest some operators, plus it even supports a host of other new operators

Moreover, you can also now validate any expression before hitting submit, thus ensuring the queries you create are correct and relevant. And as if that wasn't enough, we've got some more good news! That's right, you can now simply copy & paste your queries, wherever they are stored, straight into our Boolean editor, making the transition from any other social listening tool to Pulsar easy as pie. 


And if you feel more comfortable with the guided search setup, fear not, because...

2. ... the Wizard option is still available, and more powerful

That's right, we haven't gotten rid of our popular search Wizard. This is still available as an option to use for creating your queries. So if you are not comfortable with Boolean, we still have you covered. 

Not a lot has changed in our search Wizard, but you will see as you go through the various steps that we have now moved the Blacklist into the same page as the Topics section. This means immediately after specifying your Keywords, you can now blacklist the terms and domains you want to exclude. 

You have to be careful though! Once you choose Boolean, or Wizard as your mode of creation, there's no going back! We do recommend Boolean if you want to simplify your search setup, for example if you want to avoid too many repetitions of the same term, which you'd need to do if you were using the the Wizard.

3. Selection of data sources has now moved to the first step

When you choose to create a new Topic, Content, or Audience search, the first thing you will notice that's different is that the data sources have now moved to the first step. 

We did this to ensure that the fields we make available to you, and the type of queries you create are relevant to your data sources. You can select all sources, or individually select the sources you want, one at a time, as shown in the image above. 

4. More Data Sources exposed!

You will also notice that we've made it possible to select other types of Review and Forum sites, separately. So if you wanted to tap into our Reddit data source, you no longer need to select the entire Forums data source; or if you were simply interested in just TripAdvisor Reviews, you no longer have to select the entire Reviews source. This means you can save on your mentions, plus keep your searches more targeted to only collect the data you need.

5. Get Suggestions during search set up

Not sure what to search for, or need a bit of inspiration? Thanks to search data, you can now search directly on the web and get tips on how people search for various topics. To use this feature, just click on the Open Suggestions button during search setup, type in a term, click enter and let Pulsar do the rest. We are able to suggest to you a list of Synonyms, Comparisons, Questions and Prepositions. If you find a term or phrase you think is relevant, hit copy and then paste it into the keywords field (if in Wizard mode), or in the Boolean editor (if in Boolean mode). 

Using our Suggestions panel is useful as we can give you some helpful tips on how to make your searches more robust, ensuring you don't miss out on any combinations or various ways people talk about a topic. At the moment this works only for English terms.

In anticipation of the deprecation of public Instagram hashtag tracking on Dec 11th, we have been working on migrating all of Pulsar’s products to Instagram’s New Graph API, which is designed for brands and businesses and has some cool features such as Stories, Insights and Business Discovery.

Some of these features you may have already seen on CORE and we've introduced some to TRAC as well.  

The first of these capabilities is the ability to track tagged media of your business or brand in a TRAC Topic search. To use this feature, you must add your business profile token to Pulsar TRAC, during your search setup, and in turn, if someone tags your business or brand in a photo, then Pulsar will collect that post.

You will find this option during the search setup for Topic searches. 

Whilst we are on the Instagram topic, you would have by now received an email detailing Pulsar's plans for collecting Instagram data. We'd like to point out that this is not a replacement for hashtag tracking. We repeat, this is not a replacement! As you are aware, Instagram announced recently, on Nov 1st that they have released a new Instagram Hashtag Search API and we are already in the process of integrating this into Pulsar TRAC. So whilst in this latest Pulsar deploy you will notice that hashtag tracking has been disabled, this is temporary, until we have done the work to integrate the new Hashtag Search API. 

If you've been collecting Instagram hashtags in your Topic searches, your older data will remain in your searches as is. However, if you want to keep collecting Instagram data in your Topic searches, you will need to update your searches to start collecting the new Instagram data.

This is a new addition to our Audience search capabilities on Pulsar.  Interested in tracking some Instagram beauty or fashion Influencers? Then all you need to do is add their business profiles to your Audience search. Key thing is the profiles you wish to track have to be business profiles, not regular Instagram profiles. The data we get includes the following:

  • the number of comments received, 

  • the number of likes received, 

  • and the post or video itself.

Lastly, one token allows you track 5 business profiles at a time: if you wish to track more profiles, then you have to add more tokens by just clicking on the Add Token button. The good news is that once you have done this the first time round, the process is now automatic and you don't need to go through the entire authorisation process all the time.

This is another new addition to Audience searches! 

If you are interested in tracking Twitter users who have specific keywords in their bios, then this option is for you! For example, you may want to know what people who self identify as moms OR mothers talk about in relation to "breast feeding". Or you want to understand how students talk about exams

The caveat to using bio tracking is that if you decide to collect tweets from authors with specific keywords in their bios, it is mandatory to specify the author bio topics, so that we only collect tweets from the author bios specified when they contain specific keywords. We made the decision to make this mandatory for a couple of reasons. Firstly, to help you build more defined user panels, and secondly, to keep in line with our data fair use policy. Otherwise we'd end up collecting the entire Twitter Firehose!

For clarity see the image below:

9. More flexible Historical data collection

We've now simplified the process of previewing and ordering historics, and we hope you find this useful. 

  • Select your start and end date as shown below.

  • Choose the data source (s) you want.

  • Select Preview.

  • Choose to Launch All Previewed historics, or choose to Launch a select few. 

There are a few things to note:

  • You can now individually select the data sources you want to collect historical data for. 

  • In the past, this has been particularly frustrating for News, Blogs, Forums and Reviews, which were previously bundled up into one historical order and you couldn't tell how many mentions each data source would bring back. 

  • You now preview only what you want, previously we'd auto preview all the data sources by default, which was unnecessary. 

  • By so doing, you can now specify different date ranges per historical data source, as shown in the image above. 

And there you have it! 9 significant changes and improvements to your search setup experience. We hope you find these new tools useful. 

As usual, any feedback on how we can enhance and improve this is welcome, so feel free to suggest any ideas and feedback on our Collaborate portal

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