Forum Thread

Multiple keywords in alert: AND or OR?

39 281 November 14, 2016 at 05:20 AM
Basic stuff, really. I wanted to create a deal alert for a NAS I'm wishing to buy from one of three manufacturers. Should I make a single alert with all three MFGs or three separate alerts, one for each.
i.e.: Does multiple keywords in an alert will get me notified if any of the keywords match or all the keywords match?

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#2
What I would do is create one alert first and compare the result preview count to if you create several separate alerts. I have personally found the keywords to be wonky in some cases. For example having too many OR can actually lower results count.
Hope this helps!
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#3
This seems (to me) such a basic thing so it's a bit strange it isn't documented (as far as I could find, anyway) or has a straight-up answer.
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#4
Here you go... I'll agree the search isn't working that reliably these days.
Quote from Shorted
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I'm pretty confident I've definitively answered this myself by now. Originally I was just going to comment regarding this issue but seeing as how the old Deal Alerts FAQ went poof and it looks like the link to it has now made a similar stealthy exit, I thought I might try to write up a rough draft of part of a new one here for a temporary replacement. Furthermore, there were some finer details missing from the original IIRC that I and others have asked about in this thread and elsewhere. Feel free to comment on it, correct my mistakes, use it wherever, copy and paste it, print it out and hang it on your fridge, ignore it, whatever...

Entirely Unofficial Deal Alert Keywords and Search String FAQ (a work in progress)
(Update 3/4/15: Despite earlier beliefs to the contrary, a search is not a search when it comes to the DA system. I have no idea if this has always been the case or is due to recent changes but there are some minor yet significant differences between the results you get from the DA system versus what you would get for the same keyword string when simply searching the site. Further exacerbating this confusion is the fact that when previewing matches in the DA page, you may get different results depending on if you click the link to get the current matches while the alert is in edit mode or after it has been saved. I am attempting to identify as many of these variations as possible and will try to highlight them in the FAQ where appropriate.)


Word Families
Q: Do I need to explicitly include keywords for all forms of a word or just the root word?
A: No, the root word is all that is needed.

For example, a search with a keyword of "change" would also return results for posts that included words like "changing" or "changed".
This does not always (if ever) hold true for Deal Alerts. It appears that the DA system will only provide a notification on an exact match for a keyword, as if the '=' operator (see below) was being used on every single term.


Exact Keywords and Phrases
Q: How do I search for a phrase or an exact word?
A: Put quotation marks around the entire phrase and an equals sign in front of a single word.

If you want to set an alert for an iPhone 6 but don't want the alert to trigger if someone posts a deal like '6 foot iPhone 4 cable', set up your deal alert as follows.

Examples:
"iphone 6"
will trigger an alert only if the exact phrase 'iphone 6' is found

refurb "iphone 6"
will trigger an alert only if the exact phrase 'iphone 6' is found and the post also has the word refurb in it somewhere.

"change"
will return search results for 'change' as well as other words such as 'changed' and 'changing'. Quotation marks around a single keyword are effectively ignored.

=change
will return search results for only 'change'. It will not return results for similar words like 'changed' or 'changing'. When used in the search, there is currently a bug that disallows viewing of more than one page of results. (Link). This seems to be superfluous when applied to keywords in a Deal Alert.

Note: Keywords are case insensitive regardless of the use of quotation marks or equals sign.


Wildcard
Q: How do I easily search for a range of model numbers?
A: When used carefully, the wildcard character, an asterisk, can simplify otherwise complicated search strings.


Examples:
cha*ge
will return results for both the word 'charge' and the word 'change'. Note that it will also return results with any number of characters in place of the asterisk such as 'challenge'.

teg-s*g
will return results for posts that contain model numbers such as teg-s80g, teg-s16dg, teg-s50g, etc.

"free * shipping"
will return results for 'free shipping' as well as 'free prime shipping', 'free ground shipping' etc. This method can be used to search for a post/title that has both of the words included AND in a specific order but not necessarily immediately following each other.

Note: The wildcard does not appear to work inside of excluded keywords or phrases when used in a Deal Alert. EDIT - Current testing suggests that wildcards may not work in deal alerts at all. I'll update when/if I can confirm one way or the other.


AND vs OR
Q: How do I set up an alert that will trigger if either one of two keywords is found?
A: Spaces between keywords are treated as "AND"s. The pipe symbol, "|", can be placed between keywords to represent "OR".

(This symbol is found on the backslash key on most US keyboards.) Spaces are optional between the symbol and the keywords.

Examples:
tv samsung | sony
will trigger an alert for any deal that includes the word 'tv' and also either the term 'samsung' or the term 'sony'

tv samsung|sony
works the same as the above example

tv samsung | sony | panasonic | lg | emerson | "mitsubishi electric"
works the same as above but with several other manufacturers as optional keywords.


Excluding Keywords
Q: How do I set an alert that will only trigger if the deal post does NOT include a certain keyword or phrase?
A: Place a minus sign, "-", before each keyword you want to add as an exclusion.

Placing a space between the minus sign and the keyword is optional.

Examples:
kindle -ymmv
will trigger for any post that includes the word 'kindle' but not the term 'ymmv'

kindle - ymmv
will function the same as above

kindle -"price mistake"
will trigger for any post that includes the word 'kindle' but does not include the phrase 'price mistake'.

FS -shoprunner | prime
will trigger for any post post that includes the term 'FS' as well as either includes the word 'prime' or does not have the term 'shoprunner'


Title Only
Q: How do I set up an alert for a keyword or phrase that must be in the title (not just in the body of the first post)?
A: Use this modifier: @title

All keywords following the @title modifier must be in the title of a thread for it to trigger the alert. All keywords placed before the modifier can trigger the alert by being in either the title or the body of the first post. A space must be placed between the @title modifier and the first keyword following it.

Examples:
@title foo bar
will trigger an alert only if 'foo' and 'bar' are both found in the title

@title foo | bar
will trigger an alert if either 'foo' or 'bar' is in the title

foo @title bar
will trigger an alert if 'foo' is in the title or body and 'bar' is in the title

-foo @title bar
will trigger an alert if 'bar' is in the title and 'foo' does not appear anywhere in the thread's title or body

foo @title -bar
will trigger an alert if 'foo' is in the title or body of the post and 'bar' is not in the title. ('bar' can still be in the body.)


Body Only
Q: How do you set up a deal alert for a keyword that is in the body but not the title of a deal post?
A: For each keyword you want to be in the body only, the keyword must be present in the search string on both the left and right of the @title modifier with the one on the right having the exclusion minus sign in front of it.


Examples;
foo @title -foo
will trigger a deal alert for a post that has 'foo' in the body of the post but not the title

foo bar @title -foo -bar
will trigger an alert if both 'foo' and 'bar' are in the body of the deal post and neither of the two terms are in the title

foo | bar @title -foo -bar
will trigger an alert if either 'foo' or 'bar' is in the body of the deal post and neither are in the title.


Other Tips and Tricks

Parentheses
You can use parentheses to group a subset of terms in a search phrase together.

Examples:
@title alpha beta | gamma
will trigger an alert if beta or gamma is in the title and alpha is in the title.

@title (alpha beta) | gamma
will trigger an alert if gamma is in the title or if both alpha and beta are in the title

@title alpha -(beta gamma)
will trigger an alert if alpha is in the title and if beta and gamma are not in the title at the same time (one or the other would allow the alert to trigger, just not both).


Special Characters
(The following information is in need of further confirmation.)
Period ( . ) - treated as a space regardless of use of quotation marks or equals sign.
Hyphen ( - ) - ignored except when placed at the beginning of a term. Searching for foo-bar is the same as searching for foobar.
Asterisk ( * ) - treated as a wildcard regardless of use of quotation marks or equals sign.
Octothorpe (#) - treated as a space regardless of use of quotation marks or equals sign. (?)
For other characters, there is either not enough information yet or they are treated as regular searchable characters.


Preventing Duplicates
Sometimes a posted deal will match more than one Deal Alert you have created resulting in multiple notifications for the same deal. This overlap can be eliminated by placing the search string of the first deal alert inside parentheses with a minus sign in front and appending it to the second search string. Please note that this method may not be 100% effective for some reason.

Example:
Original Deal Alert 1: @title "harbor freight"
Original Deal Alert 2: @title "cordless drill"
Original Deal Alert 3: @title saw cicular | power
Modified Deal Alert 1: @title "harbor freight" -("cordless drill") -(saw cicular | power)

If a deal is posted for a cordless drill at Harbor Freight, with the modified version of Alert 1, you should only receive one notification vs the two you would have received with the original version of Alert 1.


Order of Operations
As far as I know, the order in which modifiers are applied to a search string are as follows:
  • Exact Phrase (quotes)
  • Parentheses
  • Exclusion (minus sign)
  • OR (pipe)
  • Title Only (@title)
  • AND (space)
Exclusive OR
It may be possible to set an alert to trigger if and only if one of two keywords is present in a deal post. In other words, it will trigger if one of the words is present but not if both are present.

Example:
foo | bar -foo | -bar
should only trigger if there is a deal posted that contains either the word 'foo' or the word 'bar' but not both at the same time.

@title foo | bar -foo | -bar
same as above but restricted to only looking at the title


...more to come later maybe. Construction
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#5
Quote from jkee
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Here you go...
Brilliant!

As always excellent support from jkeeworship
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#6
jkee - that's incredible. Where's this FAQ from? This thing should be stickied a.s.a.p. front and center in the support forum at least.
That's a help page right there 2nd to none.
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#7
Quote from koko.lamoral
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jkee - that's incredible. Where's this FAQ from? This thing should be stickied a.s.a.p. front and center in the support forum at least.
That's a help page right there 2nd to none.
It's from the index in one of the stickied help threads...


If you click the little symbol in a quote, it will take you to the source post.
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#8
Great! Today I learned 2 things.
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#9
Quote from koko.lamoral
:
Great! Today I learned 2 things.
i'm glad you got the help you were looking for! also, for future reference, as jkee alluded to there's a separate forum for site-related questions/issues where info like that is compiled. best of luck with your search for that NAS Smilie
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If you spot a repost, please click on the ModAlert button and include the link to the repost. Please do not bump the thread by saying it is a repost. shake head

Deal Alert Search String FAQ | other FAQ | Supported BB code | SD Email settings | Looking for a mod? | VQ's Unofficial Insiders Guide to SD
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thanks, driving me crazy
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