What is 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," which would limit the search results to only those documents containing the two keywords.
Why Use Boolean Search?
Boolean search can help you get a better idea of what’s being said about your products and services online, especially within a specific niche like an area or topic. The more specific a search is, the more accurate the information it reveals. Specifically for TrackMaven, Boolean search enhances the tagging feature of the application, by allowing users to narrowly and accurately filter their content feeds for only content with a high degree of relevancy, tag the results, and then run a report measuring data for only that tag.
Boolean operators allow you to connect your search words together to either narrow or broaden your set of results. The three basic boolean operators are: AND, OR, and NOT.
Why use Boolean operators?
You can use operators to focus your search, particularly when your topic contains multiple search terms. You can also use operators to connect various pieces of information to find exactly what you want.
Uses for AND in a search
- Narrow your results
- Ensure that ALL search terms are present in the results
Uses for OR in a search
- Connect two or more similar concepts (synonyms)
- Broaden your results by allowing ANY of your search terms to be present in the results
Uses for NOT in a search
- Exclude words from your search
- Narrow your results by ignoring concepts that may be implied by your search terms
The following other operators can be useful in TrackMaven.
- Use quotes around words to identify phrases. For example, “golden retriever" will return results where the words golden and retriever are together.
- Use asterisks (*) to identify words with alternate endings. For example, walk* would search for walks, walked, walking.
- Use hashtags with colons to identify hashtags. For example, hashtags:dogs would return results where dogs is used as a hashtag (i.e., #dogs) but would exclude any mention of dogs that is not used as a hashtag.
- Use proximity (~) followed by the desired distance to include words that are physically near the adjacent search terms. For example, "golden retriever puppy"~5 means that "golden" has to be within 5 words of "retriever," and "retriever" has to be within 5 words of "puppy."