Every day, billions of people search for different queries on Google. Searching on Google is an important skill that will make you an incredible researcher. I’m not talking about typing a keyword, search phrase, or simple query.
Here we are talking about using the right words to find tons of relevant information you might not get otherwise.
But is it really important?
Yes. By learning these operators, the research that took you hours and days to complete will be finished much earlier.
If you want to improve your search engine marketing efforts, learning in-depth about advanced Google operators is critical. You’ll be surprised to see specified results by using the right operators. Many SEO experts use it to make a complete list of keywords, formulate a winning content strategy, etc.
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll share major Google search operators you can implement to work smoothly. I’ll also share some of the most important tips you can apply and use to your advantage.
So keep reading.
What Are Google Search Operators?
Google Search Operators are special commands or symbols. They are used to refine and enhance results. It allows you to narrow down all the results, specify certain criteria, and find information more effectively.
But how do these commands work?
Every operator has a different function. They help you to target specific websites, exclude certain terms, search for exact phrases, filter by date or location, and perform other advanced search functions. So suppose you want to find something super specific, then by using these commands, you can do custom searches to get more accurate and relevant results.
These operators are also known as Google search commands or advanced search commands.
But what’s the purpose of these operators?
It’s to save you time and give you the best results. Every platform has its search feature. You can use these advanced operators there as well. You can use them on various social media platforms to connect with people and increase your reach.
How To Use Google Search Operators
Using these operators is not complex. You only need to know the right search terms. The best part is that you don’t need to be a tech expert to do this.
Go to the search bar and type a basic search operator.
In all cases, it’ll provide you with standard organic results. However, while using “in,” results won’t be organic. Using and/or words will make your search more accurate and precise. I’ll share more operators in a later section of this article.
But what happens when you type punctuation that’s not a command? Will it still show relevant results?
The web simply ignores these searches. That’s why you won’t get a super specific result, so use these commands properly. Avoid using any unnecessary space bars or wrong punctuation.
Why Use Google Search Commands?
According to stats, every year people do at least 2.8 trillion Google searches. Moreover, there are billions of web pages on the internet. What is the possibility that you can find a specific answer to your query? How can you make the process easier?
By using these commands.
Let’s look at some other benefits of using these operators.
- Website owners and digital marketers use these commands to check indexing status, find broken links, indexation errors, and perform site-specific results.
- Many developers use site-specific operators to identify web applications or website issues.
- Researchers, students, and professionals can utilize operators to locate scholarly articles, academic papers, and specific types of information.
- Businesses use these commands to analyze their competitors’ online presence, backlinks, and indexed pages.
Complete SEO Guide to Google Advanced Search Operators
If you use these operators, you’ll be surprised to see how quickly you get accurate search results. Here are some of the most advanced Google operators you can use.
This search operator narrows down all the results you get after typing the keyword. It’ll show you targeted results based on the title tag.
For example, if you want to find information about “best digital marketing services,” you should write this.
intitle:best digital marketing services
Do you want to find the most recent cache of your page or any other webpage? Then with the cache operator, you can check when a page was crawled last time.
Just type cache and the name of the webpage. So type like this:
This will show you pages that have exact keywords on the webpage. So suppose you are looking for SMMA. Then you’ll simply type.
However, this isn’t 100% accurate and may show inaccurate data.
If you want to find information on a global level without restricting it to any website or domain, then Intext is best. It’ll show you all search results with the keyword or phrase you typed in. This keyword might be in:
- Blog URLs
- Meta description
- Title tag
- Content of page
Many marketers use it to find out more about their competitors. It gives a deep insight into their on-page SEO footprints on the web. So type the keyword like this:
intext: future of AI
I’ve seen many blog researchers and writers use this operator. It’s an amazing way to create high-quality content. With this operator, you can find blog posts on different topics. You can check the type of content others are making and how you can make your content the best of all.
Suppose you want to have a glow-up and check the web to learn more about this topic. Write this:
If you want to write a blog and can’t find relevant information, then use this operator. With this, you can find relevant content that matches your keyword intent and blog.
You might want to write an article on AI. But before that, you have to see how other competitors write on a specific topic, then use this command.
allintitle: traditional AI vs generative AI
It allows you to find web pages with URL that contains all the requested keywords. Suppose you want to do social media marketing. You should type this. It’ll show pages that have all the specific terms mentioned.
allinurl:social media marketing
It shows you websites that have targeted keywords in their content and the website URL. You might be already doing some on-page search engine optimization. This thorough research will provide you make your research easier.
It performs similarly to inanchor; however, there’s a slight difference. It shows pages that contain all the keywords. Such as if you type how to become an anime artist. It won’t show you searches like anime, artist, etc. Instead, it’ll show a webpage containing all the keywords.
allinanchor:how to become an anime artist
However, now it often provides wrong results and isn’t a reliable operator.
You can find webpages containing inbound links to the specific keyword you type. So you want to find information about the latest series, just type.
But just like allinanchor, it doesn’t show accurate results often. The data is only sampled, so you might not get the right information.
This operator is perfect for your search query if you want a specific file type such as a ppt, doc, gif, or jpeg. It’ll narrow down results to relevant file formats. Suppose you type:
filetype:pdf file TikTok SEO guide
Or you can add text before it, which provides the same results. You can find any type of file by using this command.
ext:pdf TikTok SEO guide
It’ll narrow down your searches. But how? What’s the difference?
Basically, it’ll help you analyze how and where two keywords are present on the web page or content. You can write a number in parentheses to denote how close they appear to each other. This is how you can use this command.
Hollywood films AROUND(2) Oscars
@ & #
Getting bored by seeing long-form posts and web searches? Use this command to restrict results to social media only. You can also use another symbol, #. It’ll make finding information related to hashtags much easier.
You can find pages that have either one phrase from your query or another. Sounds confusing?
Let’s understand with an example.
You want to start drawing. But you don’t want to use watercolors, paints, etc. Instead, you are opting for digital art. Then you should write something like this:
digital drawing OR digital painting
So Google will show all the results containing either keyword.
In this command, Google shows you a much more specific and precise result. Imagine it’s a rainy day, and you want to order pizza. All you need to do is type:
“Best pizza place in South Korea”
It will show you pieces of content that have this word altogether.
Exclude Words: (-)
We all know what minus sign means. It means subtraction removing something. Right?
So it’ll remove all the keywords you don’t want to appear in the results.
You are searching for the best visual marketing guide. But you just want to learn it and not information from a business insider, so keeping this term in mind, we’ll type this.
“Visual marketing guide -businessinsider.com”
Add words: (+)
A plus sign means addition. So it’s a given that it will show results containing both keywords.
Anime + PFPs
It will show you web pages that talk about anime as well as anime profile pictures.
The asterisk also known as wildcard operator will fill in the blank for you. It will make your results more refined. For example:
Suppose you have to write a paper, essay, or anything. But you can only collect material from one website.
The problem is how you can find all the information from a website that has around 100+ blogs. By checking manually?
Use this basic operator instead. Name of the site and your query. If the query is about the best book publishing method. So I’ll type it in the search box.
site:booksite.com best book publishing method
But what if you want information from more than one website? Then use this operator. It’ll show you websites related to a particular domain.
It’ll give you information about the domain. You can analyze many things about the domain using this operator. Some of them are:
- Related onsite pages
- Cache of website
- Text on page
Just type like this.
It’ll give you results for both terms. Suppose you want to buy pizza as well as pasta. So you’ll simply type
pizza AND pasta
AND operator is extremely important for making your queries more specific. Google automatically assumes that you want to get results for both terms.
You are studying and stumble across a very difficult term. You want to see the definition of the term, but Google shows you articles about its type, traits, and advantages.
How can we solve this issue?
By using the define operator. Type the operator and the term about which you want a definition. So it’ll be like:
Want to get a quick update on the weather? With this operator finding weather information for any location is much easier. Just type it like this.
Google will show all the weather information, including temperature, expected weather in weeks, and much more.
It’ll show you a map of any location you want. When you type:
Google will open the map and show you the location of London. You can zoom in to get an in-depth view of the place, zoom out, and move however you want.
Your favorite movie has been released, and now you want the latest information. Type:
movie:Alice in the borderland
Now Google will do its magic. It’ll show you trailers, a complete list of characters, ratings, feedback, and showtimes.
If you love investing in the stock market, this operator will make your web queries incredibly easier. You can check:
- Stock prices
- Current market cap
- Financial data of the company
All this and much more. You just need to type this operator.
Unreliable Google Search Operators
The operators are incredibly helpful. But some of them are no longer working, unreliable, or terminated by Google. Here’s a list of them.
- Blogurl was used to find all the blog posts of a domain.
- #..# Through this, you can find information from one specific time period to another, i.e., 1991..1999.
- ~ to know phrases or synonyms.
- date range: was used to find an article published in a specific year.
- phonebook: type the name of any person, and you can find their phone number.
- Location: gives results from a specific area or location
However, none of these operators work anymore. Commands like Around, inachor, allinanchor are also unreliable. Allinanchor shows pages that include inbound anchor text.
Combine Google Search Operators For Maximum Results
One of the best things about these commands is combining them, increases your result’s accuracy. You don’t have to worry about reading 1000 publications or scrolling past different websites to find the best documentation, news article, quote, or image.
But there’s one thing that you should know.
If you keep searching using many commands, Google may suspect you and consider you a bot. It’ll assume that you are spamming Google.
So what will happen? Will your account get reported?
No, a reCAPTCHA will appear. You have to fill it out accurately, and then you can keep researching however you want
Advanced Google Search Operators
I’ve already given you a list of the most important commands. But you might get confused while researching, so I will share some practical searches for me to put these Google operators into action.
Find Relevant Websites
Imagine you’re doing competitor research, and you found a website. A website that has high-quality content, organic traffic, SEO, etc. You want to create a list of similar websites.
How can you do it?
Use the command related:wordpress.org
So based on the URL, you’ll get your desired result. It’s that simple.
Find Perfect Matches
You’ll get exact matches if you use quotation marks around a term. Many link-building experts use this technique to build high-quality backlinks. The search parameters of Google can be used to get inter links and make your search strings.
They use the term “write for us + niche” for outreach websites accepting guest posts. You can also find websites, pages, and content that perfectly match your keyword.
If you want to find more guest post opportunities related to your niche, then try these operations:
- “become a contributor + niche”
- “write for me + niche”
- “guest post guidelines + niche”
Moreover, you can go one step ahead and find duplicate content which is a negative thing and Google can penalize such content. You can find it by typing this.
Remove Precise Words
That word will be excluded entirely if we use minus before any term. Let’s suppose you want to find books. But you don’t want to get history book results. Then you can eliminate it.
Many people commonly use it to remove branded keywords. But what if you want to reduce more than one term? Is that possible?
Yes, it is. Just add a minus (-).
Include Specific Words or Phrases
What should you do if you want to ensure that every keyword is included in the results? Which operator is suitable for this?
It works amazingly if you are searching for niche-relevant resources. Here’s how you can do it.
keyword1 + keyword2
Using this technique, you’ll obtain results containing both specified keywords. It enhances the precision of your results on specialized topics.
Add a “Fill in the Blank” Option
To get a high number of matches, use an asterisk. When you place the asterisk within a single phrase, it is a wildcard operator, capturing all possible variations of that key phrase.
This tactic proves valuable when seeking quotes and key phrases.
For instance, using the format
keyword1 * keyword2
It will give a range of outcomes associated with these two keywords.
Find Keywords Inside Page Text
Do you want to specify a keyword inside the text of the page? If you want to find a specific article on a subject. So you have two options:
- Either check every article to find relevant information.
- Use this command
So use the intext: command to make the process smoother and quicker.
Remove Multiple Subdomains
If you are working in a large corporation that faces issues related to the indexing of staging sites. But your main concern is the website’s functionality, not the site’s staging. This command lets you filter out all the staging site subdomain issues. It streamlines your results to focus solely on what truly matters.
site:domainname.com -inurl:stage -inurl:dev inurl:staging
Google is a powerful tool and knowing how to use the operators can change your research process. It’s a handy skill that everyone should learn. Many people still don’t know about it and spend hours finding the perfect results.
At EchoFish, we help our clients dominate SERPs by providing high-quality SEO services. Do you also want to increase your website traffic organically?
Contact EchoFish today.
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