Yahoo! and Bing Make Changes to Their Exclusionary Search Connector

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Bing has made two significant changes in the way it handles and recognizes search connectors to exclude keywords/phrases or entire domains from search results. The changes also effect Yahoo, because Yahoo Search is powered by Bing.

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First, Bing and Yahoo no longer recognize the Boolean connector NOT to exclude terms from a search. To exclude a keyword, multiple keywords, or a phrase, you must type a minus sign immediately to the left of each term you want to exclude. For example, If you wanted to search for results that included President Barack Obama and Iraq but wanted to exclude results that included Angela Merkel, Germany, and Iran, you would enter your search into the Bing (or Yahoo) search box this way:

"Barack Obama" Iraq -"Angela Merkel" -Germany -Iran

Previously, you could use the minus sign in this way or preceed the terms you wanted to exclude with the Boolean connector NOT (in all caps). Bing and Yahoo no longer recognize the NOT Boolean connector.

Second, you can once again exclude results from a particular site (or multiple sites) from your Bing and Yahoo search results. For example, if you wanted to locate Web pages that included information about President Barack Obama and Iraq but did not want to see any results from the Web sites of The Washington Post or Newsweek, you would enter your search into the Bing (or Yahoo) search box this way:

"Barack Obama" Iraq -site:www.washingtonpost.com -site:www.newsweek.com

Owner's of the 13th edition of the new "The Cybersleuth's Guide to the Internet" (IFL Press, 2015) book should update these functions as discussed on pages 52 and 77, respectively. Owners of earlier editions may want to check the index to see where these concepts are discussed.

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