A closeup of a technology internet url address being typed out on a computer screen. A mouse is on the right corner.

Many times when you are searching for something on Google, Bing, you are likely to undertake a Boolean Search without even realizing it. A Boolean Search, in laymen’s terms, is a web search where you add a combination of keywords and so called “operators” together. The most common operators are words like OR, AND, NOT. For example, if you wanted to buy new lawn chairs or patio furniture this Spring, you might type into Google or Bing lawn chairs, which will land you all of the millions of results for lawn, chair and lawn chair. You could put quote marks around “lawn chair” or “patio furniture” to key in on those terms. You could do a search such as “lawn chairs” AND “walmart,” which should land you on an extensive selection of lawn chairs at Walmart. You could further do a search such as “lawn chairS” AND “walmart” OR “home depot” OR “lowes” OR “Costco.” That will result in more lawn chairs to choose from than you will have time to look at.

Use Boolean Operators & Wildcards

Boolean Operators also include less familiar items, called wildcards, such as the *, ?, + -. Here is a thumbnail sketch of Boolean Operators including common terms such as AND and so called wildcards.