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Advanced Search Syntax & Operators
What are the advanced search
syntax operators, such as Boolean, phrasing, and wildcard methods?
Increasing the accuracy of a
search can be accomplished by using special search query operators
supported by siteLevel.
By default, if a search
query is entered without any arguments between the words, each word
must be present in a document in order for it to show up on
the results list. Here is a chart of Boolean arguments and
some examples of each:
the AND argument, or the + (plus) which requires
the word be present in a document in order for it to qualify
as a matching result. In the example below, the words
central, park, and the phrase "new york" must
all be present in a document in order for it to show up on the
The the example below, the words William and Jefferson
must both be present in a document in order for it to show up on
the results page.
As important as it might
be to require a word to exist in a search query, it may be just as
important to provide words that you do not want to be present
in a search. This is where the NOT argument, or the
- (minus) comes in handy. This often helps visitors
remove documents by specifying words that may not have relevancy to their
search. In the example below, the words central and
park are required, however, the word mime must not
be present in order for a document to show up on the results page.
The same thing can be
accomplished with + and - operators in the example
The OR argument, or
the | (pipe) is a condition that states that the word or
phrase can be present (and thus give it a higher relevancy
ranking), but it is not required for a document to show up on the
results page. This argument is useful to include additional
search query parameters without completely removing other
candidate matches. In the example below, the word search
is required, but the word term is not -- however, if it
is present in a document, it will score a higher relevancy.
Searching for phrases
means that the words between the quotes must show up in that exact
order, adjacent to one another. In the example below, the
complete phrase "Detroit Rock City" must be present in a
document in order for it to show up on a results page.
Having the words Detroit, Rock, or City on
the document is not enough -- the words must be in the exact word
order as provided between the quotation marks.
Searching with wildcards
allows a query to search for a partial match of a word. The
conditions are that a wildcard can only appear at the end of a
search term, and at least two characters must be provided before
the wildcard * (asterisk) argument. In example
below, all matching documents that contain words that begin with
the characters De and contain the word Miller will
show up on the search results page:
Examples of words that
satisfy the De* wildcard search term are: Detroit,
Dennis, Dean, and Demolition.