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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. As shown below, you can either restrict to only match on bids in a particular geographic region such as a state or multiple states; or you can restrict to only match on bids in FSG categories Y and Z, for example; or your can restrict to only match on bids within some of the database sources:

Positive Database Restriction restrict sec:fedbiz,bid The "sec:" abbreviation refers to the database sections. In this example, the client would only match on bids that are published within the FebdBizOpps database and the USABID database. For a complete listing of all databases, please see below.
Negative Database Restriction restrict not sec:fto In this case, the restrict line indicates the database sections that will NOT be searched. In other words, the profile will match on keywords in all database sections except for the FTO (foreign trade opportunities) database.
Positive FSG Restriction restrict cat:42,63,99 The "cat:" abbreviation refers to the federal supply categories as listed here.. In this example, the client would only match on bids that are published under categories 42, 63 and 99.
Negative FSG Restriction restrict not cat:y,z In this case, the restrict line indicates the federal supply categories that will NOT be searched. In other words, the profile will match on keywords in all categories except for Y and Z (the construction-based categories).
Positive State Restriction restrict state!ca or state!or or state!wa The state! index term is used to restrict the profile for certain geographic states.The actual state name does not have to be spelled out in the bid, The OutreachSystems search engine will also use its intelligence to determine where a bid takes place. In other words, a bid that references San Francisco but does not specifically call out the state of California will still be considered to be located in CA. In this example, the client's bid match search profile is limited to only matching on bids in CA, OR and WA.
Negative State Restriction restrict not state!ny In this case, the restrict line tells the search engine not to match on any bids that reference the state of New York.

You can also choose to restrict a search profile to include a keyword or phrase. 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.

What databases does OutreachSystems search?

Data Source Profile Abbreviation Description
Blue Tops sec:bt U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) award notices for major contracts of $5 million or more, called "blue tops" after the blue stripe that appears at the top of their printed counterparts. These award notices provide a key source for subcontracting opportunities.
FedBizOpps sec:fedbiz The U.S. federal government's Federal Business Opportunities database, which represents the single source for federal government procurement opportunities with award amounts exceeding $20,000.
DLA Purchases sec:dla This database consists of data gathered from the DLA DIBBS Bid Board. ( The DLA DIBBS System assigns an AMSC code to every solicitation. If a small business is interested in manufacturing for the DOD, then they will almost always be interested in "G" coded solicitations. These are solicitations where the government owns the technical data and support open competition. You can add a restriction to just these solicitations as follows: restrict (sec:dla and amsc<>g).

For a complete listing of all codes, please refer to:

Other Federal Purchases sec:small A OutreachSystems-maintained database consisting of federal government bid opportunities from a variety of sources, including agencies such as the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and FedGrants.
USABID State and Local sec:bid OutreachSystems' database of bid opportunities from city-, county-, and state-level government agencies. For a complete list of the resources monitored by OutreachSystems for entry into this database, go to
All Foreign Trade Opportunities sec:fto OutreachSystems's database of bid opportunities from a variety of foreign sources, including Canada's Internet-based electronic tendering service, MERX.

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