Monday, 19 April 2021 02:29

How to Effectively Use Boolean Search Techniques

By  [Source: This article was published in By Ahmed Maher]

Boolean search query makes it simple to find people, tweets, or articles that mention any name, keyword, company, hashtag, etc. We’ve compiled this guide to help you make the most of your search.

Selecting a term

Start searching for tweets, articles, titles, and bios with some suggested searches:

  • Companies or Topics (e.g. iPhoneMicrosoft)
  • Phrases (e.g. "cloud computing") — use quotes to keep the terms together
  • Twitter handles (e.g. @username) — returns those who have mentioned or replied to given user
  • Names (e.g. "David Pogue")
  • Hashtags (e.g. #sxsw#london2012)
  • Bio details (e.g. veganOlympicsfather)

Advanced terms

Advanced Boolean Search operators:


Find results that mention multiple specified terms, use AND or +. This is the default behavior of our search when no operators are used. For example, ensure each result contains both Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg by searching Musk AND Zuckerberg or Musk + Zuckerberg.


Use the operators OR or , to broaden your search when you’d like either of multiple terms to appear in results. For example, results will contain either cake or cookie by searching cake OR cookie or cake,cookie


Use NOT or - to subtract results from your search. For example, searching Disney will yield results about the Walt Disney Company as well as Walt Disney World Resort. To exclude mentions of Disney World, search for Disney -World or Disney NOT World.


When using one of these operators with a phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. For example, you can find results about smartphones excluding Apple’s iPhone 4S by searching smartphone -"iPhone 4s".

Exact match

Searches automatically have common suffixes like -s, -ed, -ing added and removed to increase the number of results returned (even when terms are enclosed in quotation marks). To avoid having suffixes added or removed to your terms, add strict: and enclose your term in quotes. For example, find results with iPhone 4S by searching strict:"iPhone 4s".

Case matching or punctuation

If you’re searching for a brand name or keyword that relies on specific punctuation marks or capitalization, you can find results that match your exact query by adding matchcase: before the keyword, you’re searching for, like matchcase:E*TRADE .

Combining operators

Use parentheses to separate multiple boolean phrases. For example, to find people talking about having fun in Disney World or Disneyland, search for ("disney world" OR disneyland) AND fun.


An asterisk can be used to search for any variation of a root word truncated by the asterisk. For example, searching for admin* will return results for administratoradministrationadministeradministered, etc.


near operator is an AND operator where you can control the distance between the words. You can vary the distance the near operation uses by adding a forward slash and number (between 0-99) such as strawberries NEAR/10 "whipped cream", which means the strawberries must exist within 10 words of “whipped cream”.

[Source: This article was published in By Ahmed Maher - Uploaded by the Association Member: Juan Kyser] 


World's leading professional association of Internet Research Specialists - We deliver Knowledge, Education, Training, and Certification in the field of Professional Online Research. The AOFIRS is considered a major contributor in improving Web Search Skills and recognizes Online Research work as a full-time occupation for those that use the Internet as their primary source of information.

Get Exclusive Research Tips in Your Inbox

Receive Great tips via email, enter your email to Subscribe.