It’s not easy remembering all of those Boolean search commands. So here’s Stafflink’s new and improved Boolean Search Cheat Sheet to jog your memory.

Practice a few searches in Google and pretty soon you’ll be stringing together those search strings like a pro!

Stafflink’s New and Improved Boolean Search Cheat Sheet


How It Works


Search for more than one keyword

AND (or a space)

To search for two or more words list each word followed by a space. Putting AND between the words is optional.

“engineer developer”

produces the same results as “engineer AND developer”

Search for either word but not both


Use OR to find pages that may have just one of several words in a phrase. OR must be capitalized.

“java developer” OR “java programmer”

Search for an exact phrase

“exact phrase”

Surround a phrase with quotation marks to search for that exact phrase.

“senior software engineer”

Exclude a word

-job -jobs

Put a – (minus sign) before a word to exclude results containing that word.

-job -jobs

excludes jobs from the results

Search within a site or domain


Get results only from one site or domain.

“java developer”

Search within a webpage title or url

:intitle :inurl

Get results that contain a certain word in the page title or the page URL.

(intitle:resume OR inurl:resume)

returns resumes

Wildcard – fill in a missing word


Use an asterisk as a placeholder for unknown terms or letters.

Use * with other words withing quotation marks to find variations of that phrase.

Use * within a word to search for that word with different endings.

“java * programmer”

produces results for java programmer/developer and java/j2ee developer.


produces results for financial, finance, finances

Build complex strings with brackets    ( )

Use brackets with quotation marks to build complex searches with multiple search strings.

(“Program Manager” OR “IT Director”) AND (IBM OR Oracle OR “Red Hat” OR Microsoft)

Now Take the Search Strings for a Test Drive

The best way to learn Boolean search strings and operators is to take them for a spin. It will ingrain the search syntax on your brain so pretty soon you won’t even need the cheat sheet.

Copy and paste these examples in to the Google search box to see the results that come up. This shows how much better your results can be when you understand Boolean search commands a little better:

  • engineer developer
  • engineer AND developer
  • “java developer” OR “java programmer”
  • “java developer” OR “java programmer” -job -jobs
  • “java developer” OR “java programmer” -job -jobs (intitle:resume OR inurl:resume)
  • “java developer” OR “java programmer” -job -jobs (intitle:resume OR inurl:resume) toronto
  • “java developer”
  • “java * programmer”
  • financ*

If you have trouble with these search examples, please let met know. I’ll figure out a way to explain it a little better.

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