The main reason why Boolean search strings don’t work is syntax errors – that are, in fact, easy to fix. Google, Yahoo, Bing, LinkedIn are very picky about the ways we express what we are looking for – but it’s not hard to adjust to ways they want us to talk to them. Let’s take a look at some examples of strings from the Boolean Strings Network:
- (intitle:resume | inurl:resume | intitle:homepage | inurl:homepage) Accountant AND CPA (Atlanta | GA) (770 | 404) ~-jobs ~-apply ~-submit ~-required ~-wanted ~-write
- “business development” or sales and “staff augmentation” or “staff supplementation” or “staff agency” or staffing
- “structural engineer” AND (licens* OR regist* OR certif*)
- ((home OR any) resume OR resume.htm))
- *@companyemail.com JOB TITLE on any search engine
- ~cv (“, RN” OR “, BSN”) 75001..76670 -apply -job -jobs -send -submit -example -you -your
Why do these strings don’t work on Google? It’s simple – but often overlooked. Here are the reasons why the above strings don’t work as expected:
- Google doesn’t understand ~-
- “or” needs to be capitalized on Google: OR
- * means a word, not part of a word on Google
- Google can’t work with nested parenthesis
- Google ignores special characters, including @
- Google ignores special characters, including comma; can’t search for “, RN” OR “, BSN”
Have unexpected or “wrong” search results? Come to my webinar “Search Strings That Work” hosted by Bill Radin this week for extensive hands-on work on your strings. I promise you will get to the next level in searching if you attend, and maybe even find a candidate or two along the way.
(Whether you can make it or not, remember to check your syntax when you search – it helps a lot.)
You stated that the ~- commands don’t work in Google? Are you saying the Tilde “~” is not reconized in Google when using with the “not” “-” command?
PS. Noticed that you are using my CPA Accountant search string sample.
Daniel, yes, correct; give it a try on Google and you will notice that using ~ in this case doesn’t change the results.
Interesting findings. I never thought about it. Thought google is always smart.