Boolean operators are simple words that, when combined with your keywords, extend or narrow your search and thus refine the results of a query.

They can help you optimize your queries and narrow down the search to get the most relevant results.

Why use them, you might ask? Boolean operators can help you focus a search and connect various pieces of information to find exactly what you’re looking for. They might seem intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be advancing your searches in no time!

In this article, we’ll go through all of them to help you define what exactly you’re searching for and get the most relevant results possible.

In the video below, we explained how you can properly use each Boolean operator on the pizza example.

Basic options

The first time you’ll encounter Boolean operators is while on the second step of setting up a query. Here’s a list of all basic boolean operators:

  • OR

  • AND

  • AND NOT

Unbeknownst, you’ve actually already been using the OR operator when adding multiple keywords without explicitly entering the operator itself. So, let’s start with that one.

  • OR

When you add multiple keywords, you basically tell the tool to track either one of those in order to get the desired results.

As established, if you enter keywords in the Match ANY of the keywords box, you will basically use the Boolean operator OR to tell the tool that you want to track any of these keywords. You’ll see that, as you enter additional keywords, the OR will automatically appear between those keywords.

Hence, the OR operator is usually used when we want the tool to match any of the given keywords.

  • AND

Likewise, the same happens if you enter keywords into the Match ALL of these keywords for the Boolean operator AND. This ensures that the tool tracks only those mentions where both (or more) of your keywords are present.

So, in the example shown above, we’d get only the articles that contain a mention of both the ‘pepperoni pizza’ and the ‘neapolitan pizza, as opposed to using the Boolean operator OR that would result in showing any article that contains a mention of either ‘pepperoni pizza’ or ‘neapolitan pizza’.

  • AND NOT

As for the Exclude these keywords box, AND NOT operator comes into play. By adding it, you are adding what is commonly known as negative words, i.e. words you don’t deem as relevant to your query.

But, what you need to keep in mind here is that you first need to specify what you do want to track in order to define which keywords you do not find relevant for your search.

Let’s say I want to track mention on Neapolitan pizza, but not when it’s mentioned alongside pepperoni pizza in this case. So, if we add "pepperoni pizza", we’ll get all the articles and posts mentioning Neapolitan pizza, but not those in which Neapolitan pizza appears with the word pepperoni pizza.

To conduct a more in-depth keyword setup, we recommend learning more about advanced Boolean operators.

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