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Search Tips

Search Tips

The Search site box at the top right of each web page indicated by the magnifying glass icon, performs a search covering most parts of the following websites: West Lindsey District Council (WLDC), West Lindsey Council and Committee Meetings, Trinity Arts Centre, Central Lincolnshire Local Plan, Lincolnshire County Council and Lincs Homefinder.

This page offers practical advice to help you find exactly what you are looking for on these websites.

Basic Search

The default behaviour for all searches is to match at least one term, for example if you search for council tax the results will include all pages that contain the word council and all pages that contain the word tax. If a search result contains both terms, it will be considered more important, and will be shown before search results containing only one of the terms.

The search terms are case-insensitive, for example Council Tax will produce the same results as council tax.

Our search engine will automatically pluralise words, so in the above examples both tax and taxes will be included and if the search term was council taxes then taxes and tax would be included. The search engine will also try and determine/correct any misspelt words.

Initially the top 10 results will be displayed and as you scroll down the page the next 10 will be loaded under the initial results, when 30 results are showing a 'Show More' button will appear. Clicking on the 'Show More' button will load the next 10, until there are no more results to be shown.

You may filter the results of your search by category/area or Documents on the WLDC website, or by showing results that are only on other websites by clicking on a category. Clicking on the down arrows will display any available sub-categories or websites. the numbers that appear in brackets indicate how many pages are in each category.

Cludo Filters

Advanced Search

You can perform more advanced searches by using the following command types:

Operators

When making a search such as council tax, it is usually interpreted as council OR tax, meaning that either term must match. It is possible to specify operators to control the search further. Operators supported are:

  • AND
  • OR
  • NOT

Each operator operates on the terms next to it, except NOT which only negates the term to the right. However, take notice that NOT takes precedence over AND, which again takes precedence over OR.

Examples on using Operators:

  • council AND tax will return results that contain both council and tax
  • council NOT tax will return results that contain council but not tax

Another way to control the search is to use + and - just before a term. The search string: insurance +car -bike states that car must be present, bike must not be present, and insurance is optional, but its presence increases the scoring.

Grouping

Multiple terms can be grouped together with parentheses (brackets), to form sub-queries.

For example, (mint OR new) AND condition will give results where either mint or new must be present along with condition

Further examples on using grouping:

  • (Harvard OR Oxford OR Princeton) AND University
  • (Harvard Oxford Princeton) AND University
  • (Hamster OR guinea AND pig) AND (Food OR nutrition)

Sentences

To match a specific sentence, simply wrap the terms with quotation marks.

For example, "Quick brown fox" this enforces that all terms must be found, and in the order specified.

It's possible to use fuzzyness on sentences to allow unknown terms to occur between the terms specified, but the order of the terms must still be the same. To do this use ~, for example, "Quick fox"~

Wildcards

Searching with wildcards lets the search engine insert zero or more characters within the string, in an attempt to match results. Use ? to specify a single character wildcard and * to specify a zero or more characters wildcard. You can use both and multiple wildcards in one search term.

For example, *bike will match bike, mountainbike, citybike and other terms ending with bike, whereas si?e will match site and size but not resize.

Fuzzyness

Fuzzyness helps with misspellings, by allowing insertion, deletion, substitution or transposition of characters. To allow fuzzyness add ~ to the end of a word.

Examples on using fuzzyness:

  • trukc~ would include truck (transposition)
  • bron~ would include brown (insertion)
  • schoool~ would include school (deletion)
  • skhool~ would include school (substitution)

The amount of fuzzyness allowed may be specified by adding a number such as ~2.

Fuzzyness are also available to sentences, to allow extra terms between the ones written.

For example, "car insurance"~2 will match car and motorcycle insurance, since ~2 allows up to two extra terms between the specified terms.

The less changes to a search, the more relevant scoring will the search result get.

Boosting

Sometimes you may want one term to be more important than another. To indicate this importance to the search engine, add a boosting score to the terms with ^# where # is the boosting factor. The boost value must be a positive number, and decimals are allowed. A boosting value between 0 and 1 reduces the importance of a word, whereas a value over 1 increases the importance.

Examples on using boosting:

  • waste^2 bin will double the score for waste
  • recycling^2 "rubbish bin" will double the score for recycling
  • black^0.5 green^2 "garden waste"^3 will half the score for black, double the score for green and treble the score for "garden waste"

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