Home » How to use Booleans to enhance your Google Search?

How to use Booleans to enhance your Google Search?

by Soft2share.com

Ever since its inception, Google has transmuted the way we search and access information. Google’s Googlebot endlessly crawl the World Wide Web and download the entire content, creating an index that can be accessed by Google’s search engine. The engine uses a highly classified algorithm to assign a numerical value to the links and web pages, known as PageRank. This complex algorithm is constantly updated and is hard to cheat, this ensures that the search results are of high quality. When we key in a search string, the engine looks for the most relevant content and the URL with the highest page rank is displayed first.


Although searching with strings work fine, you might have to sort your way though the maze of results that Google throws at you, before you find what you were looking for. This is where booleans comes in! The Boolean concept has been around for over 150 year. Rather than using variables and fuzzy logic, booleans rely on truth values – true and false. In order to derive these truth values, negation, conjunction and disjunction functions are used in mathematics. Google’s search engines recognize these functions and when you incorporate them in your search strings, you can narrow down the search results.

The AND Function

This is basically the use of the ‘plus’ sign or AND. Suppose you wan to know how to use a 50 mm prime lens for macro photography using extension tubes, your search string would normally be ’50 mm prime extension tube macro photography’. A string like that would search for content that is relevant to the 50 mm lens or macro photography or extension tubes. On the other hand, when the search string is changed to, ’50 mm lens AND macro AND extension tubes’, the search will be confined to websites that discuss about macro photography using 50 mm lenses and extension tubes.

The OR Function

This function can be initiated using the ‘pipe’ sign or OR. This boolean function searches for one or the other string that you’ve keyed in. For example, if you are looking online to buy either blue or a black Gibson Les Paul, you can use the search sting ‘Gibson Les Paul back | blue for sale’. The ‘pipe’ sign instructs the search engine to include either a black guitar or a blue guitar.

Similarly, the ‘minus’ sign can be used to exclude certain results. Just like the previously example, if you are looking to buy a Gibson Les Paul, but not a blue colored one, you can use, ‘Gibson Les Paul for sale -blue’ as the search string. This would give you a list of all the Les Paul models available for sale and exclude blue colored guitars from the search results.

Permutations of these basic boolean functions can be used to refine your search results. If you are comfortable using these, you can move to ‘Google Advanced Search’. SQL queries can be used under advanced search and this comes very handy for data mining and in some cases pulling out a specific file, instruction or a web page.

This article has been brought to you by MyTechHelp – a leader in providing support across various products brands and tech devices for individuals and small businesses in need of instant tech help.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment