Boolean Search

Boolean search is a type of search allowing users to combine keywords with operators (or modifiers) such as AND, NOT and OR to further produce more relevant results. For example, a Boolean search could be “hotel” AND “New York”. This would limit the search results to only those documents containing the two keywords.

Recommended Reading: Boolean expression.

Example Boolean Search Terms

The following example describe the different Boolean search operators. Note that AND, NOT and OR will generally need to be in capital letters when used as a search operator.

  • Quotes: Use quotes to search for an exact phrase. Example: “network administrator”
  • Parenthesis: Combine modifiers to create a more complex search. Example: network AND (administrator OR architect)
  • AND: Include two search terms. Example network AND administrator
  • OR: Broaden your search with multiple terms. Example: “network administrator” OR “network manager”
  • NOT: Use to exclude a specific term. Example: administrator NOT manager

Boolean Search Terms

Google Boolean Search

Basic Boolean search commands (quotes, AND and OR) are supported in Google search, however Google defaults to AND searches automatically, so you don’t need to enter AND into the search box. Google search uses additional symbols and words to refine searches such as “site:” to search a specific site or domain or use $ in front of a number to search for a price.

Recommended Reading: Google Search Shortcuts.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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