Perhaps hundreds of times that you have searched through Google and are unsuccessful. It is likely that this happened to you because you did not know the codes secrets from Google, which will help you search like an expert. It is about the so-called google booleans, which will help you make the most of the content indexed in the most popular search engine on the internet.
In one minute, more than 4.4 million searches on Google. With this demand, powerful servers are needed to deliver what you want instantly, but also in a fast and efficient process.
How does Google do it? When you enter a query, its algorithms go to work to organize the information available over billions of pages to bring you a result. This requires prior work: indexing the information. This process is done with tracker programs or crawlers. They visit sites, browse internal links, and read metadata of the webs, with an emphasis on new, modified or “dead” pages. The crawlers they determine which sites to crawl, how often, and how many pages.
The information they collect is sent to a Google library that the company says contains hundreds of billions of websites and is more than 100,000,000 gigabytes in size.
With a database of this magnitude, you probably now understand why it is sometimes difficult to find what you are looking for. Google knows this and has introduced innovations.
Either by your previous searches or those of other users, while you type it automatically offers you possible alternatives. And while they are practical, they are sometimes insufficient. This is when it is good to know the booleans. Also known as logical operators, are codes or symbols that connect, separate or exclude words to narrow a search.
They are not exclusive to Google, but are available -with small variations- in practically all databases.
Google secret codes (or booleans) in action
Main booleans Google’s are OR, AND, “”, (), – and * and this is how they can facilitate your search.
AND: this operator returns results with all the words entered, for example, laptops AND tablets. Although in some databases it may be necessary, in Google it is assumed by default at the time of your search, so it would only be enough to enter: laptops tablets.
OR: This operator -which should always be used in full capital letters- returns pages that contain one term or another, that is, they should not necessarily appear both. If you want to find articles about “laptops” or “tablets”, you must write: laptops OR tablets.
“”: quotes are one of the most useful. They restrict results only to pages that contain an exact phrase. If we want to find the best laptops of 2019, we must write the following: “the best laptops of 2019“.
-: the minus symbol is also versatile, because it excludes pages with a particular term. Let’s say you are looking for laptpops for professionals, but information about tablets is mixed in the results. To exclude them, type: laptops for professionals -tablets. For it to work properly, there should be no space between the excluded word / phrase and the minus symbol.
(): parentheses are useful when you want to mix one or more booleans. With them, you can tell Google the order in which it should read the codes, as if it were a basic algebra operation. The combinations can be infinite:
- (“The best laptops” hdr) -tablets: you will see the results of pages with the phrase “the best laptops” and the word “hdr ”(high dynamic range), excluding those with“ tablets ”.
- (“The best laptops for professionals” OR “the best laptops for companies”) – “cheap laptops”: it will show pages with the phrases “the best tablets” or “the best for professionals for companies”, but will exclude those with the text “cheap laptops”.
- (“The best laptops” hdr) OR (“the best tablets” Android): it will deliver the results of pages with the phrase “the best laptops” and the word “hdr”, but also those with the phrase “the best tablets” and the word “Android”.
Important: the booleans can be entered in the query box of the search engine itself or in the bar of your own browser, although for the latter you must configure Google as your main search engine.
Besides booleans from Google, there are other operators to narrow your searches. Although some can be used with the advanced search form, if you know them you can mix them and do it much faster. Two tips: do not leave a space after the colon of the command you use and if you enter a phrase in quotation marks, as we saw earlier, it will search for exactly that sentence.
- if you: you search for information in a specific geographic location or domain. For example, to find information about laptops in pages of Mexico, you must write: best laptops site: .mx. If you want to inquire about a specific site, like Digital Trends in Spanish, enter the same text and the full domain: best laptops site: es.digitaltrends.com.
- allintitle: it shows you the pages with that phrase or word in the title. In the same example on laptops, the search is done like this: allintitle:best laptops.
- allinurl: Like the previous case, it tells Google to present the results with a phrase or word, but now in the URL. The query is done like this: allinurl: wireless cell phone chargers.
- allintext: it asks Google to show you pages with a certain phrase or word in the text. The search is done in this way: allintext: wireless chargers mobile.
- allinanchor: With this code, you will be able to obtain the webs that have a certain word or phrase as a link. If you are looking allinanchor: the best laptops, you will have as a result only the pages that have that phrase as a link within the text.
- filetype: allows you to search for pages that contain or are certain file types. If you want to find the Romeo and Juliet book in PDF format, just write Romeo and Juliet filetype: PDF. Here you can consult the types of files that Google indexes.
Combine Booleans and Advanced Search Commands
As you already know the booleans Google and advanced search codes, it will now be much easier to combine them and perform precise searches. Some (allintitle, allinurl, allintext, allinanchor) cannot be combined with booleans, although yes with other codes. We show you some examples.
- (“Apple watch” OR iphone) – “ipad pro” site: en.digitaltrends.com: you will get pages of Digital Trends in Spanish that allude to Apple Watch or iPhone, excluding iPad Pro.
- “Romeo and Juliet” filetype: DOCX site: .es: you will have pages with DOCX files about «Romeo and Juliet» and that are only hosted in domains .es (Spain).
- allintitle: gaming site: es.digitaltrends.com. you will see pages of Digital Trends in Spanish that have in their title the word gaming.
Google offers other commands And, although the result of some is not always as accurate as we would like (especially those of social networks or numbers), others provide very practical functionalities.
- @: If you write the at symbol in front of a word, Google will search for it on social networks. However, other sites that mention that account also appear in the results. For instance: @: digitaltrendses
- #: It is useful for searching for a hashtag on social media. As in the previous case, traditional sites may appear, but the priority will be for social networks. For instance: #Android.
- $: If you write the currency symbol in front of a number, it will show you products that have that price in dollars, although their results are not always so accurate. For instance: laptops $ 400.
- ..: these two points will allow you to search between two values. For example, for pages containing information about the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) between 2016 and 2019, you must enter the following code: “Electronic Entertainment Expo “ 2016..2019.
- date: Are you totally disoriented and don’t know what day it is today? Just enter the code date: and you will get not only the exact date, but also the time and place where you are.
- define: To get a meaning, enter this code and the word you want to know, as follows: define: index. The results will also be associated with answering questions such as “what is” the term you are looking for.
- map: With this command, followed by the name of a place, Google will show you the map of that city, country and even continent. For instance: map: Portland or map: Spain.
- movie: displays the results associated with movies. This can be useful if you only remember part of the name of the tape. If you enter movie: spiderman, you will get all the movies about this superhero including the latest one Spider-Man: Far From Home.
- related: Do you like the content of a site and want to know if there are other similar ones? You just have to write the code followed by the ULR of the particular web. If you do it with Wikipedia (related: wikipedia.com), you will see how the Encyclopedia Britannica or the Merriam Webster’s Dictionary.
- time: with this code you will get the time of the place where you are. But if you accompany it with the name of a city, you will know what time it is in that place. For example, to find the time in Portland, the headquarters of Digital Trends, you must enter time: Portland.
- stocks: Do you want to invest in stocks? With this command, you will be able to consult the stock market performance of a company in the United States stock exchanges, such as Nasdaq or NYSE, simply by typing the code stocks: followed by the name of the company.
- weather: You will know the climate of the city where you are. If you want to know the weather conditions of another city, enter its name after the command: weather: Portland.