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How to Use Boolean Search Operators : SEO Application

How to Use Boolean Search Operators : SEO Application

Boolean logic consists of three logical operators:

  • OR [keyword1 OR keyword2] = either keyword1 or keyword 2 or both:

OR Google Boolean Operator

  • AND [keyword1 AND keyword2] = both words (Google and Yahoo use this opeartor by default):

AND Google Boolean Operator

  • NOT [keyword1 -keyword2]: excludes keyword2 from search results

NOT Google Boolean Operator

Now let’s look at each operator possible SEO application:

1. [keyword1 OR keyword2] shows results for at least one of the keywords:

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  • For link building / competitor research

(Yahoo) find who your competitor’s sponsors or partners with: [ intitle:partners OR intitle:sponsors]

Sample search: pages linking to as to their partner or sponsor

  • Search for both plural and singular nouns:
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(Google) find relevant forums: [keyword inurl:forum OR inurl:forums]

Sample search: [seo inurl:forum OR inurl:forums]

2. As noted above both Yahoo and Google AND operator by default, so there is no need in using it to include all search terms in the search results. However you can use + operator [+keyword] that allows for a forced keyword inclusion:

  • include stop words in the search results, e.g. [seo +for];
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3. [-keyword] excludes the keyword from the search results:

  • for backlink analysis: find only external inbound links (or exclude any other domain from backlink search):

(Yahoo) search: []

Sample search: [] – to exclude repeating listings.


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Ann Smarty

Brand amd Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas

Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as ... [Read full bio]

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