Order of Operations on Google

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When I found out that Google does not recognize parentheses, I was perplexed! I immediately had a flood of questions about syntax. I posed a question on LinkedIn concerning the topic. How does Google see the search: a b | x y?

Unfortunately, according to my poll results,  it appears that many of the participants  do not completely understand Google’s syntax either!

So how DOES Google view a b | x y? Is the string split in half by the OR symbol?

Google does not determine whether to OR or AND first. It simply reads the string.


b | x


So our desired results with this stringwould be:



That being the case, how could you produce results that present (a b) OR (x y)?

Attempt to get a results of
and NOT

A couple of suggestions were made in reference to the poll in the Boolean Strings group on LinkedIn:

“a * * * * * * b” | “x * * * * * y”

Theory: Quotations group the variables, asterisks allow for plenty of space between variables. However, this does bring up an issue of order of the variables. a and x will come before their counterparts in the search. If the b or y come first, it may not pick up.

x/y | a/b

Theory: Placing the / in place of a space will link the variables. It was pointed out that this gets the same results as “x y” | ” a b”. This is very limited.

Essentially, parentheses help us group our strings. Google ignores them, but the string still works since what is left after the parentheses are taken away is a string in a format that Google recognizes.

Let’s look at a string that has parentheses:

(site:linkedin.com/in | site:linkedin.com/pub) (xml | html | uml) (programmer | developer)

We are grouping by site, skill, title. This still works when the parentheses are removed.

site:linkedin.com/in | site:linkedin.com/pub xml | html | uml programmer | developer

The OR operator checks what is to the left and right of the operator. If there is a space, an AND is recognized and that is where the chain is broken. The results above are in the same order and appear to be the same with one exception. The string with the parentheses actually returned less results. I have yet to determine the underlying issue here.

Writing strings without the parentheses can be somewhat confusing at first, but I absolutely prefer it at this point. Thus far, I have not seen how including parentheses in your string hinders it in any way.  The most important aspect is that you keep your grouping correct, with or without the parentheses!

Happy Hunting!

inurl versus allinurl

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While perusing GoogleGuide, I came across allinurl:. My head immediately starts spinning wondering how exactly this syntax works!

I have used multiple inurl: operators in my strings.

Boolean is defined as an AND/OR/NOT search. The allinurl: operator is going to be taking advantage of the AND option.

At first, I thought I would be able to use the allinurl: operator to eliminate inurl:pub | inurl:in from a LinkedIn xray search. However, this is using the OR option of a Boolean search.

Results for allinurl:pub/in

This is proof of the AND search. Google is looking for pub AND in the url.

When would we need multiple keywords in the same url??? I’m not sure this is an operator I will be using often. But good to know it is out there. Let’s try ANYTHING just to see what results are like.


My best guess is that we can use this to search blogs (which usually put a date and long title in the url) or news stories. This is more of a search you would conduct at the beginning of your hunt, possible for information gathering.

Something new I DID learn in this search is including forward slash to connect your AND keywords. Will likely discuss this function further!!

Happy hunting!

UI/UX Architect

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These people are in high demand today! With the mobile market taking off, applications that will be most accepted are going to have that special something that speaks to the user. I’ve read blogs by these guys that say if you are truly good at what you do, the user will have no idea they are even “using” the application. Navigation will be seemless.

After reading my new job description, I am beginning to think I need a web developer who happens to be a UI/UX designer.

Today, I want to try something new to start. I have a hypothesis that developer types do not necessarily post their resumes and profiles to LinkedIn exclusively. So, we will try more of an open web search.

Here is the part of the boolean I am going to use instead of site:linkedin.com:

inurl:(in | pub | resume | portfolio)

Logic: in | pub still catches LinkedIn profiles, the addition of resume | portfolio will catch personal websites.

Away we go…

user-experience information-architecture (“site maps” | wireframes | “user flows” | prototypes) (develop | design) inurl:(in | pub | resume | portfolio) -jobs

Not bad. The first 2 results appear informational. The second 2 are just for what I was hoping! It looks like it picked up on some personal websites! I need to add location and figure out how to further qualify my results.

user-experience information-architecture “new york city” (“site maps” | wireframes | “user flows” | prototypes) (develop | design) inurl:(in | pub | resume | portfolio) -jobs

I think I am liking this one! Probably a good way to minus out some stuff, but I think I will play around with it a bit.

Happy Hunting!

Student Of Fortune