What is Boolean Search?
A Boolean search is the most basic form of searching for information on the Internet search engines or databases. Boolean search provides the most basic and effective principles for searching the Internet. Boolean searches include the AND, OR, NOT, and NEAR operators that are used when searching for information in sentences containing keywords. A Boolean search is also known as a Boolean query.
A Boolean search, derived from the famous Boolean logic developed by George Boole, a 19th century English mathematician, is useful in Internet and database searches.
When using the Boolean search method, you can either use the words or the appropriate math symbol as given below:
AND is equal to + in math. For example, if the user specifies 'cats AND kittens', they will only return results that contain both terms.
NOT is the same - in mathematics. Example: 'cats NOT kittens' means that only results with the term 'cats' that do not contain the term 'kittens' are returned.
OR means that the search engine is looking for information related to all keywords entered by the user. For example, 'cats OR kittens' extends the search by combining all of the terms and returning results that contain either term.
NEAR means that the search engine looks for information related to all keywords that are within a certain number of words (which may vary depending on search algorithms) of each other. Example: 'cats NEAR kittens' would only return results that contain both terms in close proximity to each other.