Seeing what is really there, a story of how to X-Ray
The term “X-Ray” sounds so cloak and dagger that it confuses Recruiters more than anything. The purpose of x-raying or “domain searching” is to find something within a particular domain name or server. Microsoft owns the www.microsoft.com domain name or server. You can tell a search engine to only search those pages that are in the www.microsoft.com server. This works particularly well for finding “employee directories”, bios and high-level executives (searching by title).
A good Sourcer knows that just because you are not allowed access to a page, does not mean you can’t still get in. If you can’t get in the front door of the site (by going to www.microsoft.com), then back door the server by using the advanced function on a search engine. You can do this relatively easy by x-raying the server. X-ray allows you to ask a search engine for every web page on a server. Many times companies will have pages on their server that are not linked to any of their main pages. Search engines still index those pages so they may be able to pull them up for you.
All you need to do is go to the advanced search function on most search engines and type in host:thesite.com AND the words you expect to find on your page. Remember that you might also try domain:thesite.com AND the words or even try site:thesite.com and the word. IN some cases putting the word "in" in front of the search helps, meaning also try inhost:thesite.com. Best bet is to try all of the permutations to see which works best. In our Microsoft example we can ask a search engine to search for a title of an executive within the Microsoft server in order to find names of potential candidates with those titles that work for Microsoft:
host:microsoft.com AND “public relations manager” or domain:microsoft.com AND “public relations manager” or
site:microsoft.com AND “public relations manager” or try all there with in in front.
Once you have a name, it is easy to gather more information on this individual by using a metasearch engine( a search engine that searches multiple other engines).
It never ceases to amaze me how often companies give all of the information on several of their key employees directly on their site.
Remember, X-Ray is great for searching for candidates within a specific industry or organizations. You can search for "bios", "employee directories", or specific titles of candidates for best results.