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Search engine booleans

  1. Hi,

    I browsed though the support documentation and did not find any help on how to search posts and pages on a specific blog through the search widget.

    I have two specific questions:

    • Can you include/exclude terms? On some search engines you can use booleans (AND, OR, NOT) or symbols (+ -), but I tried both and they don't work.
    • Is there any way to specify, for example, to restrict the search to a specific category?

    I did notice one thing though: using quotation marks to specify an exact phrase works wonders.

    Thanks!

    The blog I need help with is airodyssey.wordpress.com.

  2. You will have to ask staff directly on this since none of the volunteers here would know I don't think.

    http://en.support.wordpress.com/contact/

  3. @thesacredpath: I just contacted staff and I'll post their answer here

  4. Thanks for doing that. I'm sure the subject will come up again.

  5. There is no need for boolean search operators here as the default algorithm converts the multiple word query into a boolean sql query...
    Say you are searching for "free website tutorials" then it automatically converts into free+website+tutorials in sql,furthermore the word is searched in descending order of priority from first to last...So free gets more priority then website and so on...so input your query accordingly.
    So no need for boolean operators..
    for further help on how to optimise your search results on a search engine read up the following link

    http://technebula.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/finding-what-you-need—the-magic-of-search-engines/

    http://technebula.wordpress.com/2010/08/08/how-google-works/

  6. @avisaustin, your posting has been reported to staff as I suspect you are a spammer looking only to get a link publicized as it has nothing to do with wordpress technical issues.

  7. @thesacred eye....Prompt vision!!!
    Good move...

  8. Thanks, and do you know for a fact that what you wrote applies to the search function here at wordpress.COM? I'm virtually certain that is what the original poster is referring to.

  9. Yes it is a fact....wordpress uses database(here database refers to the broader sense in which i can speak of Mysql database used for server management) to store its massive data on its servers....
    So such search functions are embedded into some sort of programming code(javascript or PHP to be precise) to convert the "space seperated" query string into a boolean format which the sql query understands...i.e word1+word2+word...so on.
    Infact ,if you use boolean expressions here they are treated as an independentent character an may dilute your search results..
    You can try this simple trick...post something you would like to search about in a WP searchbox say "cheap hosting in singapore" an see it get converted to "cheap+hosting+in+...." so on in the address bar...
    Hope this solves your 'query';-).

  10. Thanks for the information, that answers in part my question regarding the "AND" boolean.

    But what if you need to restrict a search? For example: "ipod NOT shuffle" or "mac OR pc".

    Staff hasn't gotten back to me yet, but since it's Monday 8 AM where I am, I'm patient.

  11. I didnt get why you shifted from a website to a blog??
    I am curious....
    Coz even the blog looks so good,there is a strong possibility that a self mnaged website must have been better....
    Why the transition??

  12. Using Boolean Logic to broaden and/or narrow your search is not as complicated as it sounds; in fact, you might already be doing it. Boolean logic is just the term used to describe certain logical operations that are used to combine search terms in many search engine databases and directories on the Net. It's not rocket science, but it sure sounds fancy (try throwing this phrase out in common conversation!).
    Basic Boolean Search Operators - AND
    Using AND narows a search by combining terms; it will retrieve documents that use both the search terms you specify, as in this example: Portland AND Oregon

    Basic Boolean Search Operators - OR

    Using OR broadens a search to include results that contain either of the words you type in. OR is a good tool to use when there are several common spellings or synonyms of a word, as in this example:
    liberal OR democrat
    Basic Boolean Search Operators - NOT

    Using NOT will narrow a search by excluding certain search terms. NOT retrieves documents that contain one, but not the other,of the search terms you enter, as in this example:
    Oregon NOT travel.
    Keep in mind that not all search engines and directories support Boolean terms. However, most do, and you can easily find out if the one you want to use supports this technique by consulting the FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions) on a search engine or directory's home page.

  13. @technebula: Thanks for the copy-paste from About.com, I know it was in good faith, but I already know how booleans work. I just want to know why they don't seem to work on the WordPress.com search widget.

    And in response to your question about why moving to a blog: I guess it was time for a redesign. Plus it will save me money too :-)

    Staff just got back to me saying they're looking into it and they'll post an answer on this forum.

  14. I would be interested in wp.com support staff's response too.

    Airodyssey is asking a good question. The use of "OR" and "NOT" boolean operator is useful too. I realize in Google there are command statement driven search strings that one can plug into the search box, which some support volunteers have given over the years.

    But the reality is that it's just one more thing to remember ..and the search syntax must be accurate for proper execution and results.

    Over time when our own blogs grow with some more content, it just becomes more useful to locate the article we/our writers wrote. It becomes more complicated if already we have a blog that specializes in a particular subejct matter. Certain keywords are very common, so using the NOT boolean operator might be a useful filter at times.

  15. Yup the copy paste:-) i was about to signout and dwanted to help you,so i pasted it...
    As you say ,i good faith...
    Yup it will save you money but it takes away the flexibility of owning a website,including the earnings and customization.
    Oh ya..and what about your earnings on the website??
    You planning to forefit that?

  16. Hi all. In answer to @airodyssey's original questions... Boolean operators (AND, NOT, OR, etc) do not work with the WordPress.com search engine a the present time. Search can be restricted by site, username, and tags, but it cannot be restricted by categories right now either.

  17. @hewsut, thanks for that clarification.

  18. @hewsut: Thanks

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