Tilde (~) Search Operator for Real Time Search

by rishil on January 18, 2011

Based on the interest around my post on the real time Link operator for google results, I though let me see which other operators work in real time search. The first I tackled included the allinurl and allintitle which I really thought would be useful for real time analysis. Unfortunately that was a no go. However, one less frequently talked about operator did in fact work – and that was the “Tilde” (~) operator.

Tilde Search Operator?

The tilde helps you find synonyms of words, as the Google algo perceives them. This is usually done by preceding the term with a ~.

As you can see from the example below, the search for “~money” bolds the results for related words, including “currency” and “Gold”.  The operator also searches for the term with alternative endings, such as plurals. The tilde operator is pretty useful if it is applied in research for keywords that are considered  general terms and terms with many synonyms.

Tilde Operator Results for "Money"

Tilde Operator Results for "Money"

PPC Pro Tip: I havent used this but a few PPC experts advise it works. You can boost Quality Score of an ad by using tilde sourced words instead of your targets if you don’t want to use the target keyword. Gives you a larger number of words you can use to make up your ads.

So does the Tilde Work in Real time?

Yes. :)   As you can see from the example below – you can easily use the tilde operator in real time!

Tilde Operator Results for "Money" - Real Time

Tilde Operator Results for "Money" - Real Time

What use is the Tilde in Real Time?

Keyword variance and discovery is the first glaringly obvious one. In the various tilde based searches I ran, Realtime results gave be the biggest variety of words, rather than organic – all on the same page. In my opinion this improves the speed at which you can find related words / synonyms. All you have to remember is that there are millions of people tweeting content continuously – this is giving you a “real Time” view of what words are being bunched together in google algo…

Real Time Sentiment Analysis.

This was suggested by Chris Lake (founder of Heckler Spray) and further expanded by Sam Crocker (or Samuel Crocker), who introduced the idea of “Conversation Grouping”. The idea is to mine peoples sentiments around sets of keywords, while grouping their thoughts together – for Example, if you ran a seach for a footballers name + a related word, you may capture some of the conversations, however using the tilde function on the word, you will actually group similar conversations that use variances of your target word:

Tilde based Real Time Conversation Grouping

Tilde based Real Time Conversation Grouping

Fresh Synonyms!

Both Sebastian (Sebastians Pamphlets) and Wiep (Link Building Expert) Suggested this. Fact is that a larger number of the SERPs on the organic for the Tilde based searches are older, more established searches. However Real time allows you to see what related words people are using now! This could mean that your data from Tilde Mining would be fresher via Real Time than the ordinary SERPs.

Side Note: Thank you to Neyne of SEO Scientist fame for sparking a good discussion on twitter regarding this post.

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Rishi Lakhani is an independent Online Marketing Consultant specialising in SEO, PPC, Affiliate Marketing and Social Media. Explicitly.Me is his Blog. Google Profile

{ 1 trackback }

Weekly Search & Social News: 01/25/2011 | Search Engine Journal
January 25, 2011 at 7:27 pm

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Nichola Stott January 18, 2011 at 11:52 am

Really useful Rish. Would be useful for social media tools like SocialOomph etc to incorporate ~[keyword] into identifying suitable people to follow on Twitter.


Peter Unitt January 18, 2011 at 3:02 pm

I’ve got to say one area where I can see this being useful is job search, everyone knows twitter is a good place to find jobs but not every job has a generic title, for example SEO Analyst can also be SEO Executive or SEO Strategist or many more, so perhaps using tilde and realtime search for jobs could be a good for job hunters.


Dan Taylor January 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Again another awesome post! Agree with Nichola that social media monitoring tools should be actively integrating this into their systems.

Love the suggestion on using it for keyword research – because as you say it basically gives you a crystal ball to look into the algorithm! Cheers Google :P


archana January 21, 2011 at 12:47 pm

too good, it will help in searching keywords for PPC.


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