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How do the "restrict not" and "ignore" search statements differ?

Restrictions, as the name implies, limit the type of bids a search profile will match on. You can either restrict to only match on bids in a particular state; or restrict to only match on bids in FSG categories Y and Z; or your can restrict to only match on bids with a specific keyword such as IBM. Furthermore, you can set up a search profile to match on all bids that do not have a certain keyword.

A restrict not statement will elimate an article from matching to a client's search profile if the restrict not phrase appears in the article even if there are otherwise valid keywords in the article.

Let's say you have the following profile:

    restrict not cat:89
    restrict not apple<>street?
    select apple?
    select ipad?
    select ipod?
    select tablet?
And here is the text in a bid solicitation:

    70 --The City of Santa Barbara is looking to purchase 10 Apple computers and 25 iPad tablets for the city council. The computers are to be delivered to City Hall, located at 123 Apple Street no later than June 30, 2016. Bids are requested for the computers and tablets as per the specifications contained herein, no substitutes. The computers will be utilized by public safety personnel. The bid document shall be completed and returned with the response....

Because the words "Apple Street" appears in the article the client would never match on this bid. The restrict not statement would eliminate this article before the keyword matching even takes place. You need to be extremely cautious when using restrict not statements in your profiles; they may exclude much more than you intended. In the above example, the restriction to eliminate all articles found in FSG group 89 (Subsistence) is probably a good restriction as it will ensure that the profile will never match on any food-related bids. The one risk, of course, is that something may be miscategorized in FSG group 89 and the client would miss it. The restriction on "Apple Street" is not, however, advised.

This is where the ignore statement comes in handy. Like a restrict not statement, an ignore statement can exclude solicitations containing a specified phrase or word. However, ignore statements are more forgiving than restrict not statements because they don't automatically rule out a solicitation when an ignore term is found. Instead, the other key-terms in a profile are still searched for and, if any are found, the solicitation is delivered to your client.

The best way to think of ignore statements is that they mask out a phrase in an article but then continue to search the rest of the article to see if there is any other reason the client's search profile should match on the article.

Let's change the bid match search profile as follows:

    restrict not cat:89
    ignore apple<>street?
    select apple?
    select ipad?
    select ipod?
    select tablet?

Using the same article as above the client now will match on the bid opportunity. The phrase "Apple Street" will be masked out and the search engine won't even look at those words, but the search will continue to see if there is any other reason the client should receive this bid. We do still want to restrict on the FSG category because clearly the client is not interested in any fruits.

Generally speaking ignore statements are preferred to restrict not statements because they are less likely to exclude on valid matches. The restrict not statement is ideal for wide-reaching, absolute exclusions, but ignore statements are generally better for excluding mismatching phrases.

However, using an ignore statement only makes sense if you include the same words as found in the search profile. Adding an ignore statement for "windows computers", for example, has no benefit in the above profile. The client would have never matched on the term "windows computers" so there is no reason to mask out this set of keywords. If the client truly doesn't want to see any Windows-based computer contracts, then a restrict statement would have been a better choice to eliminate these types of bids.



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