What’s the Relevance of Using Parentheses in a Search?

What’s the relevance of a parentheses? It makes a big difference – just look below.

Does 3+3×3 equal 12 or 18

3+(3×3) = 12 – Multiply first and then add. Multiply is similar to “AND”

(3+3) x3 = 18 – Add first and then multiply. Addition is similar to “OR”

Parentheses will help you group search terms for effective searches.

Your recruiting manager asks you to find a Java/J2EE developer with an active Top Secret clearance who can work in Northern Virginia.

The search is on to: “get a developer or programmer or software engineer and java and j2ee and top secret, but no permanent resident can work in Northern Virginia.


(developer OR programmer OR “software engineer”) AND (java and j2ee) AND (virginia or “VA”) AND “top secret” AND (703 OR 540 OR 202 OR 301 OR 410) AND NOT “permanent resident”

Didn’t get the results you expected? If so, email me your search algorithm: bret.hollander@gmail.com.