Over the past few weeks we have discussed Boolean search syntaxes that we can use in our Google search strings (site: inurl: and cache:). However, Google only covers approximately 40% of information available on the web – so what about the other 60% of information floating around cyberspace? Well, there are a plethora of search engines you can use! Today I am going to introduce you to one search engine in particular, Exalead, and the power of the “Flip Search.”

Logo for Exalead


Exalead is a free search engine (www.exalead.com/search). You have the option to sign up for a free account (this allows you to save your searches and change your personal preferences) – but you can also search without signing up. Although some will argue that Flip Searches are possible on Google, if you compare your results in both search engines – I find my results in Exalead to be much more clean. You will notice that in Google, your results are not limited to profiles connected to your target domain.

What is A Flip Search?

  • Flip Searches allow you to find pages that link to a domain name
  • Essentially, you are ‘flipping’ backwards to find pages which link to your target domain
  • This search works best if you are targeting candidates from a specific educational institution, company or social media website
  • Often, we forget that many individuals add links on their personal resumes to websites of their past employers, educational institutes or their social media profiles (think LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook).

Stafflink Explains Flip Search

Let’s Get Flipping!

If I was looking for a programmer who has previously worked at IBM, I might want to try targeting IBM’s domain to see if I can find profiles which link to the website. I would conduct this search by using the link: syntax followed by the website domain and then my search string.


link:ibm.com programmer (inurl:resume OR inurl: vitae OR title:resume OR inurl:bio)

As you may have noticed, I have combined my Flip Search with my inurl: search (inurl: and site: searches both work on Exalead). Since I am trying to target individuals with ibm.com on their resume, I use my inurl: search to direct my search to online resumes, CV’s, profiles and bios.

Try it out and let me know how it goes! If you have the same success I have had with my Flip Searches, I guarantee you will shouting, “flip.. flip.. hooooray!!!” ..followed by a few awkward glances from your coworkers

Do you have any other Boolean search strings to share? I’d love to hear your feedback.


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