Irina Shamaeva has posted this easy to use (and frankly self explanatory) chart comparing the different Boolean operators between the popular search engines. I’ve read reports that the Synonym (~) operator has been rendered obsolete as Google now enforces a synonym search for all their searches. However, I did a quick experiment to test out this theory…
Using the following Boolean string, I first established my base line:
(intitle:cv | intitle:vitae | intitle:resume | intitle:bio | intitle:about | intitle:profile) engineer php (sydney | australia | +61) -job -apply
The results of this string returned about 660,000 results.
With my lab coat on and smoking pipe in my mouth, I then plugged the following string into Google’s search engine. Keep in mind that I limited the number of variables to only that which we were testing between each experiment.
(intitle:cv | intitle:vitae | intitle:resume | intitle:bio | intitle:about | intitle:profile) ~engineer php (sydney | australia | +61) -job -apply
The results was scaything… In no uncertain terms, Google reported the new string produced about 916,000 results! That was a 256,000 increase in results. Think of all those extra pages you could have clicked through in the hopes of finding your gold had you only used the search string WITHOUT the tilde (~) key… Outrageous!
In summary, it appears that Google’s Synonym operator is still in full effect and can come in handy when you don’t have a thesaurus lying around.
You can check out the Irina’s original post and other interesting sourcing tips here.