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Why You Ought to Use Boolean Search Operators For Web optimization


The Boolean search includes a selected group of search operators that relate to the logic inherent within the phrases And, Or, and Not.

Though they’re three easy phrases, their impact on search outcomes – and the usefulness of Boolean Web optimization-related searches – can’t be overstated.

These search operators are used as conjunctions that permit one to mix phrases for looking (And), widen a search (Or), or slim the search to make it extra particular (Not).

Boolean search varieties the core technique of looking to acquire Web optimization-related knowledge.

As soon as Boolean searches are absolutely explored and understood, one can be taught different search operators past these of Boolean logic, which And, Or, and Not are part of.

As a result of Boolean searches are able to a lot, it’s straightforward to seek out oneself returning to them repeatedly as a result of they’re so helpful.

That is why it’s essential to know and grasp these search operators.

Why It’s Referred to as Boolean

Boolean refers to George Boole, a Nineteenth-century mathematician who invented Boolean logic.

Although George Boole lived within the early to mid-1800s, his contributions to logic and arithmetic are thought of a necessary forbear of contemporary laptop science.

Stanford College’s Encyclopedia of Philosophy writes of him:

“He revolutionized logic by making use of strategies from the then-emerging area of symbolic algebra to logic… Boole’s technique supplied common algorithms in an algebraic language which utilized to an infinite number of arguments of arbitrary complexity.

…Boole talked about the theoretical chance of utilizing chance concept, enhanced by his algebra of logic, to uncover basic legal guidelines governing society by analyzing massive portions of social knowledge by massive numbers of (human) computer systems.”

Don’t underestimate the ability of And, Or, and Not.

They’re a strong solution to extract helpful Web optimization-related knowledge from Google searches.

Why Boolean Search Operators Are Vital

Boolean search operators are helpful as a result of they’ll make a search granular and particular. However the Boolean search also can broaden a search to seek out much more knowledge.

Finally, Boolean search operators are essential as a result of they’re highly effective strategies for controlling what Google reveals within the search outcomes.

Boolean logic helps the searcher sidestep Google’s common algorithm to provide extra exact search outcomes.

1. The Idea Of AND In Search

Each phrase utilized in a search is taken into account collectively by default.

Trendy serps may also develop a question and start utilizing synonyms, which may typically change the ends in undesirable methods.

The issue with utilizing synonyms is that typically we wish particular phrases within the search outcomes, and so we’ve to make use of the “AND” boolean logic to drive the various search engines to return the search outcomes that comprise the precise phrases that we wish.

There isn’t a “AND” search operator in Google search. So, a solution to get the “And” logic into the search question is to require the precise phrases by way of citation marks (” “).

Citation marks drive the search engine to offer search outcomes that comprise the precise key phrases inside the ranked webpages.

The citation mark search operators should not explicitly “AND” search operators. They’re actual match search operators.

That is an actual match search, not an “AND” boolean search.

Nevertheless, with an actual match search operator, you may drive the various search engines to return outcomes utilizing the “AND” logic, comparable to webpages that comprise [keyword 1] AND [keyword 2].

While you search in Google like this (with out an actual match):

pie recipe apple turmeric

The search outcomes might not comprise the phrase “turmeric” in them, as is the case at the moment the place the primary search result’s a webpage for [apple ginger pie] that doesn’t comprise turmeric as an ingredient.

Utilizing the citation marks forces Google to return the specified search outcomes:

pie recipe "apple" "turmeric"
Screenshot of Search Results Using Screenshot from seek for [pie recipe “apple” “turmeric, ” Google, July 2022

The “And” searches are useful in many SEO contexts.

For example, one can use the AND logic to find link pages of sites that link out to personal injury lawyers.

"favorite links" "personal injury"

The above search forces Google to find webpages that contain the two phrases, “favorite links” and “personal injury.”

The “And” search logic is very powerful and useful because it opens the door to a wider range of search results that are useful for SEO purposes.

2. How To Use The “OR” Search Operator

The “OR” search operator function can be thought of as combining keywords, such as give me this OR give me that.

But what’s happening is that the “OR” search operator allows one to do multiple searches with one search.

Another way to think of the “OR” search operator is to force Google to show search results with specific synonyms or related words (if you want to see those specific words in the search results but not necessarily on the same page).

Searches with the “OR” search operator can be thought of as “give me this and give me that within the same set of search results but not necessarily on the same webpages.

The “OR” search operator can be conceptualized as a refinement of the “AND” search operator.

While the “AND” types of searches (using quotation marks) return websites that contain all keywords phrases in each of the websites shown in the SERPs, the “OR” search operator results in websites that contain either keyword.

If one is looking for personal injury lawyer links, one can do two simultaneous searches with one search query like this:

"favorite links" OR "Link Resources" "personal injury"

Important: Take note that the “OR” search operator only works when it is used in capitalized letters like this: “OR” and not like this “Or” or this “or.”

3. Concept Of Not: Exclude Words From Search Results

Excluding keywords from a search is a powerful way to search for SEO-related data.

There is no “NOT” search operator, but there is a minus sign (-) that accomplishes the NOT search operations.

The NOT searches (with the minus sign) find sites with the desired keyword phrases except for the keyword phrase that is prefaced by the minus sign.

In other words, every word that has a minus sign next to it will be excluded.

How To Use The Minus Sign Searches For SEO

In 2009, then-Google search engineer Matt Cutts (no longer at Google) explained how the minus sign worked.

Screenshot of Matt Cutts Explaining the Minus Sign Search OperatorGoogle Search Tips, Google Search Central, July 2022

In a YouTube Video titled, Google Search Tips, he explained:

“Now, suppose you’re interested in Matt, but not me.

You might do:

Matt (space) -Cutts.

And that will … only show pages that have Matt but don’t have the word Cutts.”

The minus sign is great for researching backlinks.

While many tools can do the same thing, searching Google itself is a good way to surface webpages that Google has indexed.

The minus sign is a way to find all the sites that link to a domain. The way to do it is to search for the domain but exclude the domain itself.

How To Find Competitor Backlinks With Minus Sign Example:

example.com -site:example.com

If the website has a unique brand name, then you can do a similar search using the brand name.

Brand Name Backlink Search

example -site:example.com "links"

If you’re having trouble with that, you can segment the links by Top Level Domain (TLD).

Segmenting Searches With Minus Sign Search Operator:

example -site:example.com “links” site:.edu

example -site:example.com “links” site:.net

example -site:example.com “links” site:.com

Boolean Logic For SEO Searches

Understanding what Boolean means and where it comes from helps to understand how important it is for SEO purposes.

These examples are only a starting point for a near limitless way of extracting meaningful SEO data using Google and Boolean searches.

More Resources:


Featured Image: Master1305/Shutterstock



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