If you are looking for targeted search results, using Boolean in our advanced search will help you zero in on what you’re searching for.
Boolean operators define relationships between keywords and exclude irrelevant mentions. Once you know how to construct them, you can start experimenting with your own queries.
To learn more, the article below will cover the following:
- How do I build a Boolean search?
- Boolean search.
- Boolean operators.
- Boolean for Social Media
- Advanced Boolean
If you haven't already watched our training series on Boolean, make sure to watch this video first before continuing below:
Build a Boolean Search:
- Start in the Search tab
- Select one of the two content types – News or Social – in the Search box drop down
- Select "Advanced Search" to write your Boolean search query
- Click "Update Search Results" to review your content or "save" to revisit your search later
If you are just looking to run a simple search, check out this article here.
Basic Boolean should be used when you need to search for more than just a single keyword/keywords. Always make sure you close out the phrase with quotation marks.
Example: "sailboat" AND "racing"
If you need to group together multiple phrases in a more advanced search, use parentheses.
Example: ("sailboat" or "boat") AND "racing"
*the example above will pull documents with either the keyword "sailboat" or "boat" and "racing."
Below are the commonly used boolean operators and some examples to help you build your search:
*Pro Tip: Use the Title, Ingress and Asterisk character to take your Boolean Search to the next level . Below are examples of when and why you would use these operators.
TITLE -Use this when you are searching for articles with a specific headline. Example: title:"Changes in 2016 Mackinac sailboat race"
INGRESS -Use this when you are looking for documents where a specific keyword or phrase is included in the first paragraph. This may help you pull documents where your keyword or phrase is the main topic of a document or if you are looking for very specific industry related documents.
ASTERISK - Use this when you are looking for one or more different keywords in a document. Example: "sail*" will return documents that have the keywords "sail", "sailing", "sailboat", etc.
The characters and operators in the section above are commonly used when building boolean searches and we suggest taking the time to get familiar with them.
*Still hungry to learn more about Boolean? Keep reading below for a guide on advanced Boolean characters and operators!
Social Content Searching
We offering social-friendly ways to search our content with Boolean. If you need to find content by a person, content that mentions a person, or content where the use of a person’s name is anywhere in the document, we've got you covered. See below to learn more:
- (author:”janedoe” OR author:”Jane Doe”) - finds social documents by janedoe or Jane Doe
- mention:”janedoe” - finds social documents about or mentioning janedoe
- “@janedoe” - finds social documents containing @janedoe anywhere in the document (but not content by @janedoe unless “@janedoe” is also mentioned in the body, title, ingress, etc.)
- hashtag:"cat" Returns content with the specific word that has a # (hasmark) prefix in the social document.
Advanced Boolean Operators, Characters and Fields
Preference or the caret or hat (^) character - This operator indicates where importance should be placed when evaluating the search result set. This is also called the 'relevance' operator.
This character is used to boost or reduce the score of a word, phrase or sub-expression and decide what is more likely to appear in the hit sentence. The default score is 1, so greater numbers can be used to boost the score, while decimal numbers between 0 and 1 can be used to reduce the score.
You must use the ^ in conjunction with numbers (ideally, multiples of 10). Depending on the number given to a keyword, the precedence will be given there. So the higher the number, the more the search is catered to that particular keyword.
*Example: cat AND (dog^2 OR mouse^0.5)
This example says that dog should be preferred in the hit sentence before cat, and that cat should be preferred before mouse
Examples of valid usage of ^ in boolean search queries to boost search term preference
- ("search term")^10
- ("search term"^10)
Question Mark – The question mark is a wildcard operator that can take the place of any single character. E.g. “sen?” will pull "sent" or "send."
Country - Returns all documents created in the specified country. You must use the 2 letter country codes to specify the needed country. Example: country:"US"
SourceID – Returns the documents published by the specified sourceid. The sourceid is not widely used as they can be retrieved only by an Engineer or Support. Example: sourceid:"4344"
URL – Returns documents from a particular url. Example: url:"http://www.wfxg.com/*"
Concept – Concept searching is used to specify which documents should be returned. Example: ("college football") AND concept:"Sports Injury"
Twitter handle - If a user name (ie twitter handle of @janedoe) is specified as a keyword when constructing social searches, the results will only include content where @janedoe is mentioned in the document; NOT the posts that @janedoe has written . If you want to search for content by someone they can apply this prefix to the author’s username in their boolean:
author:”janedoe” OR author:”Jane Doe”
Facebook page – If you want to track posts from a specific Facebook user or page use, find the name of the page in the URL, for example for https://www.facebook.com/MeltwaterGroup the page name is “MeltwaterGroup” the Boolean is: author:" facebook page name"
*Important Notes on use of fields:
The colon (:) is the preferred means of separating field names from the field values within boolean expressions; however, the colon-equals (:=) works as well; therefore, if there are existing boolean expressions containing := they do not need to be changed.
The use of colon or colon-equals (: or :=) in the same way these characters would be used with a field will be treated as if you specified a field. In other words, if you are wanting to find text containing a colon you will need to surround this text with double quotes to create a phrase, as described here:
NYSE:elle or HUS:test is improper boolean as it will try to treat 'NYSE' as a field, which it is not.
“NYSE:elle” or “HUS:test” is correct boolean when looking for the text strings of NYSE:elle or HUS:test
If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org!