Instructables Search Operators

About: “There's always something.” - Violet Baudelaire:

Intro: Instructables Search Operators

I went looking for a single source for using the native Instructables search engine. I like seeing the project pictures as the result of a query. Conventional wisdom says to use Google with site:instructables.com, which is my normal modus operandi..

The native search engine does not support Google operators such as “+” AND, “( , )” OR, or “-“ NOT. It also does not support Advanced Operators from Google or Bing (allintitle:, site:, etc.).

I found bits and pieces in a number of locations (Projects and Answers) and then actually tested this search engine. The results are as follows (and it could change at any time):


Where it searches

The search engine accessed the Ible’s text. For example, Pyrex AND chipboard correctly brings up Pyrex Lid Organizer. Chipboard is only in the text.

The search engine accessed the Ible’s Step titles. For example, Pyrex AND "Layout and Cutting" correctly brings up Pyrex Lid Organizer. "Layout and Cutting" is only in the Step title.

The search engine accessed the Ible’s channels. For example, Bee AND homesteading returned bee related projects from Homesteading.

I don’t have any examples where a word shows up in only in the Title or Keywords so I couldn’t test that.


Operators

AND

AND finds projects that have all of the listed terms. Spaces are interpreted as ANDs. AND has precedence over OR

OR

OR finds projects that have either of the listed terms. Piping “|” is interpreted as an OR.

NOT

NOT excludes projects that have the specified term.

Asterisk

It ignores them. Beehiv* produces the same results as beehiv.

This explains the curious behavior of getting beehives (plural) when searching for beehive (singular). It makes it “easier” to construct a query and more difficult to construct a targeted query.

Quotes

It requires them to be preceded by Escaping Special Characters. Fortunately the engine adds them automatically. However, you can;t start a query with a quote.. "Bee hive” does not work and results in an error “Sorry, we couldn't find what you were after.” Beehive AND “Bee hive” works.

Parentheses

It ignores them. (bee hive|beehive) has the same results as bee hive|beehive.

You can build a more detailed query like Beehive OR bee hive OR beekeeping NOT hair NOT cake NOT Pi AND homesteading but there aren’t any guarantees you aren’t missing something. For that higher level of accuracy you need to go Google.

Let me know any corrections or comments.

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    3 Discussions

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    YourMagesty

    2 years ago

    My HERO! I almost understand what you took such lengths to mine and share! The intricacies of the 'search,' the pitfalls inherent, and the victories awarded the diligent who can....well, just take my breath away...ala Scarlett O'Hara. lol. But truly, I'm very impressed!

    2 replies
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    QuadrifoglioYourMagesty

    Reply 2 years ago

    Well. I declare (in keeping with the GWTW theme). Thank you for your enthusiasm.

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    YourMagestyQuadrifoglio

    Reply 2 years ago

    "Sah," she said, dropping into a deep curtsy, fan aflutter. (laughing).