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Boolean and Proximity Operators

Boolean and proximity operators can create a more precise query.

To Search ForExampleResults
Both terms in the same page access and basic  Pages with both the words “access” and “basic”
Either term in a page cgi or isapi Pages with the words “cgi” or “isapi”
The first term without the second term access and not basic Pages with the word “access” but not “basic”
Both terms in the same page, close together excel near project Pages with the word “excel” near the word “project”


  • You can add parentheses to nest expressions within a query. The expressions in parentheses are evaluated before the rest of the query.
  • Use double quotes (“) to indicate that a Boolean or NEAR operator keyword should be ignored in your query. For example, “Abbott and Costello” will match pages with the phrase, not pages that match the Boolean expression. In addition to being an operator, the word and is a noise word in English.
  • The NEAR operator is similar to the AND operator in that NEAR returns a match if both words being searched for are in the same page. However, the NEAR operator differs from AND because the rank assigned by NEAR depends on the proximity of words. That is, the rank of a page with the searched-for words closer together is greater than or equal to the rank of a page where the words are farther apart. If the searched-for words are more than 50 words apart, they are not considered near enough, and the page is assigned a rank of zero.
  • The NOT operator can be used only after an AND operator in content queries; it can be used only to exclude pages that match a previous content restriction. For property value queries, the NOT operator can be used apart from the AND operator.
  • The AND operator has a higher precedence than OR. For example, the first three queries are equal, but the fourth is not: 

a AND b OR c
c OR a AND b
c OR (a AND b)
(c OR a) AND b