6: Building Sourcing Speed

In this module, we will review how to increase one's speed while sourcing a Wonder question.


1. More Requests = More Sourcing Speed!
2. Mastering Boolean Google Searches
3. Become a Google Xray Search Pro! 
4. Leveraging Databases


1. Learn how to determine proper Google search strings to yield the best results
2. Learn advanced Google search tactics
3. Learn which go-to databases are available to use for common questions



Let's dive in!

More Requests = More Sourcing Speed!


The first few times that you do sourcing, it may take you a bit longer to finish up your work.

Don't worry, that's totally normal! 

There's a learning curve to working as a Wonder analyst - just keep at it and the more requests you complete, the faster you'll get!

Don't be discouraged if the first few questions that are sourced take many hours. 

As you become more experienced, the time it takes to finish your Sourcing work will decrease!



1. All kinds of searches, including basic & advanced Google strings. This is a great skill to have, and will serve you as a Wonder analyst very well! 

2. Once you're up and running, you'll be able to determine the right keywords for a search within seconds vs. minutes, as you'll know what keywords to use and what commands to use.  A seasoned analyst will be able to type a lengthy, complicated Google search string within seconds and continue to tweak it within seconds. Sounds fun, right?

3. Once you have a few sourcing requests under your belt, you'll also be able to spot a great source from a mile away.  A seasoned analyst will also quite often be able to know immediately whether a source is trusted or unreliable, thus avoiding time wasting websites. If you want to know more about source reliability, check out the "Components of 5-Star Sourcing" module!

4. Additionally, you'll master how to search established online databases and find the best go-to resources. A given question will prompt the analyst to remember a database that will quickly answer that question. As the weeks and months go on, an analyst become better and better and faster and faster at sourcing tasks.

Mastering Boolean Google Searches


Knowing the right keywords and command language will allow you to find the best information as opposed to not finding any helpful information at all with a poor quality search string. 

The most important part of the search string is selecting the right keywords.

Take a look at the rest of this module to learn about some tips & tricks for source searching!

Sample Question

Sample Question: 

What Google keywords should a hardware company website have in order to for many people to find its website?

Thought process and pre-search for this question: When doing pre-search and brainstorming for this question, an analyst would quickly find out that affiliated terms of the concept the client is requesting include “Adwords” and “SEO.” 

Accordingly, those keywords may be quite useful to add in a Google search string.

One GOOD Google search example would be:

(SEO OR Adwords OR “internet keywords”) “hardware stores”

One POOR Google search example would be:

Good google keywords for hardware stores

Now, it’s a possibility that the poor search string may find some quality hits, but the good search string will be chock full of quality hits. 

A good search string makes the best hits come to the first few pages of results. 

Additionally, a poor search string will even miss quality websites altogether.

The commands of “OR” and the “NOT” (- negative sign) are also important for mastering Google searches. 

These commands are useful, and potentially essential, for any search string.  An “OR” command may need to be nested in parentheses when adding additional keywords in the string.

Negative Sign (-)


Putting a negative sign in a search string can be helpful to remove irrelevant hits. 

For example, let’s say that a client wants to know about the Pandora jewelry store but an analyst keeps on getting hits about the music company called Pandora. 

If so, an analyst could use the “NOT” (negative) command below:

Pandora jewelry –music –songs

The negative signs before each word prevents any hits containing those keywords from appearing in the search results.

Ellipsis (...)


Advanced Boolean tactics can also be quite useful. Such tactics include the ellipsis to have a date range search and the asterisk (*) for truncation. 

One good search example:

new england patriots players 1994…1999•sweet potatoes cook*

One poor search example:

sweet potatoes cooking*

The hits for the New England Patriots string should only bring up hits that mention the years between 1994 and 1999. The asterisk at the end of “cook” in the good search example will bring up hits that have the words “cook” and “cooks” and “cookery” and “cooking.” 

Within the poor search example, the asterisk is too far after the suffix to be useful. There are hardly any truncated words that could be found after cooking, so the positioning of that asterisk is not ideal and will miss many hits.

Become a Google Xray Search Pro!

All About Xray Searches

A Google Xray search tactic searches a given website, not the entire Internet.

It’s useful to use a Google Xray search on sites that have poor internal search features. 

A key part of an Xray search uses the “site:” command in a Google search string in order to search a given website. 


Crunchbase.com has a poor search feature, so to thoroughly search this site, 

a Google Xray search like this may be helpful.

One good example:

“new orleans” (robot OR robots OR robotics) site:crunchbase.com/organization

One poor example:

“new orleans” robot site:crunchbase.com

The good search string will find startups in New Orleans that are in the robotics industry. 

The reason why the poor example above is not ideal is that it will only bring up companies that mention the singular word “robot” and may not find substantive companies that mention robots or robotics.

Leveraging Databases


The Wonder Resource Center (WRC) provides a vast treasure trove of useful databases and directories. 

These sources have been compiled over time because they have been proven go-to resources with reliable and authoritative information. 

Some of the most useful resources there include business directories like:




Additionally, statistical sources like the U.S. Census 

& website analytical tools can be helpful:


US Census

American FactFinder

Economic Census Data


Overall, business directories, statistics resources and Web/social media analytical tools are some of the most used resources by Wonder analysts.

Since every question can be unique, an analyst should also be able to seek out new databases and directories that are not necessarily in the WRC. 

For example:

Let’s say there is a question asking for 10 quotes by Donald Trump. 

If the analyst searched for directories/databases on this topic via Google, they will find a website called abouttrump.org that has a multitude of such quotes. 

Such a database could greatly speed up finding such quotes instead of going through multiple screens of hits via Google that may or may not be quality websites!

More Questions = More Speed: Quiz

Why will continuous searching of multiple Wonder questions help to speed up the sourcing process?

List 1 sourcing skill you will have once you are up & running as a Wonder Sourcer:

Mastering Boolean Google Searches: Quiz

Think of a theoretical question you could be doing in which the “NOT” (minus sign command) would be useful in your search string:

Try another:

Now think of a theoretical question that would require a Google Xray search:

Try one more!

Become a Google Xray Search Pro: Quiz

Try to form a complex Boolean Google search string using “OR” and the * (asterisk) commands for a question regarding how marketers or marketing departments promote the billiards/pool industry:

Do a Google Xray search on LinkedIn to find 5 Baltimore marketing employees with experience in the automotive industry:

Leveraging Databases: Quiz

By checking the WRC, find sources that would be helpful to have when finding a list of advertising agencies in France:

If I can't find an existing specific industry database in the Wonder Resource Center, should I assume it simply doesn't exist?

  • Yes
  • No


Module Success Code: wisdom.