OSINT: Advanced Search Skills (Virtual Course)

Open enrolment and in-house options available

Knowledge of Google’s search operators is no longer sufficient for research professionals. Knowing how to navigate the many levels of the internet and overcome the limitations of traditional search engines is key to surfacing competitive insights or advancing national policies. This course will show you how to plan, organise and execute a range of research projects, leverage an extended set of search tools and strategies, and mine the internet for different insights, expertise and content types. Further, we will show you how to capture, organise and process the data you collect for analysis and reporting purposes. Finally, we will provide guidance on how to sustain your knowledge of the OSINT discipline and which sources you should consult for learning and inspiration.

The course will be delivered live over five, 3.5 hour sessions. There will be separate iterations of the course for Asian, European and North American audiences.

Course Outline

Planning Your Research


  • Advanced search: challenges, principles, and axioms for OSINT practitioners
  • Advanced search strategies
  • Searching across the many levels of the internet
  • Crowdsourcing information requirements

Advanced Keyword Indexing

  • Extending your keyword index
  • Keyword research tools
  • Working with online dictionaries
  • Working with SEO tools

Mastering Google

Advanced Search Strategies for Google

  • Mining the web with advanced queries
  • Working with URL conventions
  • Working with search parameters
  • Working with dork and exploit databases
  • Searching in foreign languages
  • Managing and manipulating your results
  • Developing a custom search cookbook

Searching Beyond Google

Searching Beyond Google

  • The variety of search engines
  • Choosing the right search engine
  • Working with Bing, DuckDuckGo and Yandex
  • Layering and comparing results
  • Working with foreign-language and specialist search engines

Mining the Deep Web

  • Deep web search strategies
  • Working with directories and databases
  • Finding cached and archived data
  • URL manipulation for deep web research

Custom Search

Working with Google's Custom / Programmable Search Tool

  • Building a programmable / custom search engine
  • Defining your source base
  • Configuring your search engine
  • Finding third-party search engines online
    Monitoring the web for new search engines

Managing Your Search Results

Web Scraping

  • Working with data scrapers
  • Scraping data via Google Sheets

Advanced Research and Data Management

  • Personalising your research productivity
  • Key principles of effective data management
  • Understanding data quality issues
  • Data validation schemas

Course Details

Who is this Course For?

This course is intended for researchers and investigators wishing to strengthen their portfolio of online research skills.

How You Benefit

On completion of this course you will have the ability to:

  • Maximise your research efficiency and effectiveness
  • Apply an extended portfolio of search tools and strategies
  • Mine the many levels of the internet for relevant information, including for foreign-language content
  • Develop and maintain custom search tools
  • Use web scrapers to capture and organise relevant information
  • Manage your research findings to improve learning and sharing
  • Create an action plan to develop and maintain your OSINT skills

What You Receive

  • A full set of course slides / user guides in PDF
  • Tip sheets and cheat sheets to enable rapid learning
  • An index of research workflows
  • An index of recommended OSINT sources
  • Six months of post-course support
  • A certificate of completion

Course Fee

EUR 1,300

Course Prerequisites

This course assumes you are familiar with basic search operators and generic OSINT processes (requirements planning, keyword indexing, data collection, data collation, etc.). We also assume you have a solid working knowledge of major web services and social media platforms. We recommend that participants wishing to take this course first complete our OSINT: Foundations course.

Technical Requirements

Please observe the following requirements:

  • You will need a Windows or Mac laptop (tablet computers are not recommended)
  • Install Google Chrome. You will be required to install a range of browser extensions, so it is important that you have administrative rights to your laptop
  • Install Microsoft Office
  • Install Zoom
  • Set up a Google account to facilitate the use of different tools
  • A second monitor is recommended but not essential

Additional software requirements will be sent prior to the start of the course.