Refine your search rules to find relevant content

Analyze your results and optimize your search queries regularly to make sure you get the most relevant data. Your searches may return posts that are irrelevant in the context you are looking for. For example, if you want to search for the Microsoft Windows operating system and have “Windows” as your search keyword, you are likely to find results about house windows. In this case, consider adding “OS” or similar terms to make sure you’re searching for the operating system.


This topic is part of a walkthrough on how you can set up searches. More information: Set up searches to listen to social media conversations

Terms and sources change. New abbreviations may gain popularity, or news about your topic will be defined in a different way with different words. A recommended approach is to read carefully through new and important posts to identify emerging topics or changes in wording.


You need to be a Social Engagement Administrator or Power Analyst to perform this task.

  1. Go to Search Setup.

  2. In the list of search topics, find the topic you want to refine and select the list entry.

  3. Review your keywords, inclusions, and exclusions. Add synonyms, alternative spellings, typos, abbreviations, and the singular or plural forms of your terms.

  4. Click Save Save button to apply your edits and the updated search topic.

    Using the updated rules, Social Engagement starts searching for posts immediately after you save the changed search topic. You’ll see the first results from the updated rules after a few minutes, when you set the analysis time frame to Today in Analytics. To see the newly-acquired posts, open the Posts view.


When you have updated a search topic, existing posts that matched the former configuration will remain in the database, but your analytics will adapt to the updated configuration. It may take a few hours to reflect the changes in the existing data.

In addition to refining your search rules, you can block the data acquisition for certain terms or domains by adding items to Blocked Content. More information: Manage the quality of your search results

Privacy notice

Microsoft Social Engagement offers hosted online services available to a wide variety of customers and comprises the following social capability components within the software application:
Social Media Monitoring – ability to listen to and monitor publicly available social communications across public and managed networks administered by third parties.
Social Analytics – ability to identify, compute, and project queries related to publicly available documents and posts.
Please note that Microsoft Social Engagement may enable access to third-party services, such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, and blogs whose privacy practices may differ from Social Engagement. Your use of such services, and any information you provide to them, is governed by their service-specific privacy statements. When establishing these connections, certain data, such as the search query used to retrieve the Social Content and your IP address, may be shared with those services. You are encouraged to review these other privacy statements. You are also encouraged to review the Microsoft Online Services Terms.

See Also

Add a search query to a topic
Create or delete a search topic
Set up searches to listen to social media conversations