Hacking dating site algorithms to find a better match



If you’ve been on dating websites for a while you’ve probably thought to yourself as some point or another “where are they coming up with these suggested matches from?”

Some dating websites, such as OkCupid, base their compatibility scores on how you answer their questions; other sites determine whom they send your way via the general preferences you’ve listed on your profile. 

Depending on the website and how much profile information you’ve filled out, the matches that are being suggested may be more or less in line with you are looking to meet.

Amy Webb’s TED talk illustrates how she went from having horrible dates to finding Mr. Right. She reveals how she reverse-engineered the data from the dating sites she was on to find a partner who fit all of her criteria.

Watch the video for Webb’s story below:

While Webb goes to arguably huge lengths to find the match she’s looking for, it does pay off. We don’t think you necessarily have to start your own data mining operation to find the right geek for you; but there are some great take-away lessons from Webb’s story.

Be extremely specific

Many a bad dating profile suffers from a lack of specificity. It’s great that you list yourself as “fun-loving”, “hardworking” and “geeky” but give specific examples. Being Fun loving means lots of different thing to different people.

For example, to one person it could mean enjoying weekly tabletop gaming nights, or to another, being really into going dancing at nightclubs. Those are two very different interpretations from the same terms. Using specific examples will help your personality shine through and make your profile stick out.

Use key terms to search

A great way to find profiles that may not be showing up in the matches the dating site you are is providing you with, is to search for specific terms.

Make a list of your geeky interests and take it from there. Try searching for other users who mention Firefly, or comic books, or biology on their profiles.

A great time saving tricks when searching dating profiles is using your browser’s word-search function. Use Control-F on PCs or  + F if you’re on a Mac to quickly find keywords in the profiles you are reading.

What you write on your profile does matter

The last two points help to illustrate why it really does matter what your write in your profile. However, beyond the keywords and examples you provide in your profile, the overall content and style matter too. A strong profile should give the reader a snapshot of your personality and should provide a general, albeit preliminary overview of you as a person.

Don’t compromise

Here at Geek’s Dream Girl we firmly believe there is someone (or multiple someones) out there for everyone. If you’re not sure exactly whom you are looking to meet and try out this helpful writing exercise to get you started.

When you looking for matches on dating sites, be patient, take your time send and send thoughtful messages. With some smart searching and well-written profile, you will probably find the droid you are looking for.

Having a hard time finding Mr. or Ms. Right? Need some help finding better matches on dating websites? Maybe your profile needs a revamping or you could use some feedback on your photos? The Geek’s Dream Girl Team is here to help

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