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"To Boolean or Not to Boolean"
Boolean is almost as much fun to say as it is to use. The “techie term” for special search operators can be a powerful tool when fully understood.
A Boolean operator is a way to make your searches SMARTER. Many websites, including Google and eBay, support Boolean operators in their search box interface.
Five of the more common Boolean search operators are:
- Double Quotes = Exact Phrasing
“Mexican Wine Glasses” = Will only return the EXACT phrase/word in that order.
- Dash (minus sign) = Excluding
Wine Glasses –French = Will return Wine Glasses that do NOT include French
- Asterisk = Wildcard
Wine Glasses Mex* = Will return Wine Glasses with any other word that starts with ‘mex’
- Tilde = Similar
Wine ~Glasses = Will return Wine with similar (synonyms) for Glasses
- OR = Either
Wine OR Glasses = Will return results with Wine or Glasses
When no Boolean operator is included in the search box, the default that most websites use is the AND (+) operator. This makes using the ‘AND’ operator redundant in most cases. Therefore, it is not necessary to include in the majority of your searches.
You can create some powerfully smart searches by combining Boolean operators. Next time you are using a search engine or web page with a search box, try out some Boolean operators to see which, if any, are available on that particular site!
Here are a couple of links for further information on Boolean Operators: