Basic search: ANDs or ORs?

When searching, i would expect the engine to return lower number of hits as the search is refined with more words, that is the search should use AND operators to replace the spaces separating words. Instead, (the basic search bar above the message list) uses ORs and more messages are returned for more words entered. To me this is counter-intuitive and not helping. Is supposed to be so?

Hi @ondra,

Yes, this is by design, and works similarly to web search engines – but we may consider changing this default behavior depending on user feedback.

– Geir

Hi @Geir,
Are you sure? If this was true the search for paris weather would return results about paris OR weather. Google and DuckDuckGo instead return pages about weather in Paris. And there is nothing about Hilton on these pages which is the case with paris hilton.

I do not find any direct proof in google’s help but this page explains that one can use OR, which implies that a space is an AND.

@ondra You are correct in principle – in practice I find that Google (especially with multiple search words) returns results without one or more of the words.

What do others here think – should we change the default logical operator in searches from OR to AND?

– Geir

I think that AND is the expected operator.

AND appeals to me. How about “+”? What about putting separate words in quotes, e.g., “Paris Weather”? Does a NOT operator exist, e.g., Paris !Weather, to get Paris but not weather? Is there an OR operator, e.g. “|”? Do we allow parenthesis “()”, to group different search criteria?


Larry, these are the rules:
The question is whether by default the spaces should be replaced by an OR or an AND.