Google is an indispensable part of our lives in this digital age. It has been woven into the fabric of society in many ways, and we couldn’t imagine a world without it. But did you know that Google advanced search operators can help you take SEO to a whole new level?
You might be familiar with the standard Google search, but you’re about to learn some of the lesser-known tricks that will significantly transform your SEO strategies and the way you conduct research.
What Are Google Advanced Search Operators?
Advanced search operators are your secret code for wading through pages of irrelevant information. You can view them as custom filters that narrow down the type of information you want to find, essentially acting as personalized electronic assistants! They’re more for power users and not so much for beginners who might be overwhelmed by all the possibilities that they can offer. But that’s why I’m here, to guide you on how to become a master researcher.
You’ll be amazed at the power of these simple commands! Below is a google search operator full list:
Basic search operators
- “Quotation mark”: This search operator is great for finding instances of exact words. When you need to filter out synonyms or ambiguities, reach for this search tool! i.e., “French Fries.”
- OR: When you search for two terms with this operator, Google will return results related to either of them or both. The symbol “|” can also be used in place of “or.” i.e., Mercedes or BMW (Mercedes | BMW).
- AND: Can be used to find any information that contains two different terms. For example, if you google Mercedes and BMW, results related to those two words will appear on the screen.
- : This is one of the most unique commands on the Google operator list. The asterisk is a wildcard or truncation symbol that can help you search for pages with the exact same words or phrases, as well as broaden searches. i.e., tankwater.
- (): Controls how the search results are displayed by grouping terms or operators together. i.e (AM GT 63 or 4Matic) Mercedes.
- : Excluding a term, phrase, website, etc., from your query can be helpful when trying to focus on one aspect of your search. For example, if you’re only looking for results related to Samsung, but you’re not interested in their phones, then using the exclusion operator will limit those search results accordingly. i.e., Samsung -phone
- $: The quest for finding the best price is never-ending. You can use this operator to find prices in Dollars ($) or Euros (€). i.e BMW $10,000
- In: When it comes to converting units, “in” is the ideal operator for that. i.e 10cm in mm.
Advanced search operators
Define: : This advanced search operator can reveal a wealth of information. For example, you might want to look up definitions for words that either have not been found in your research or are key terms related to what it is you’re writing about. It’s also an easy way to organize content on topics by defining keywords before presenting them through other means like bullet points and paragraphs. i.e., define:digital marketing
Site: : The google search operator full list can never be complete without this command, as it is one of the most commonly used. The “site:” operator offers a great way to beam your searchlight on one specific website. For example, to see the latest articles on your blog with Google, you can do so by using “site:domain.com”
Inurl: : The inurl operator will show you a list of web pages that contain your specified word (s) somewhere within their URL. i.e., inrul:tech, inrul:page-rank
Title: : Search for pages with your specified phrase in the title field. i.e intitle:piano
Intext: : It limits your search to only content with the exact word you are requesting, helping you find what is most relevant and important, i.e., intext:seo
Inanchor: : This is another way of searching for pages containing your keywords in their anchor text. i.e., if you search inanchor:digital marketing, results with inbound links containing either “digital” or “marketing” in the anchor text will be returned.
Related: : This google advanced search operator finds results similar to a specified domain. Similarity can be determined by syntax and terms. i.e., related:domain.com
AllIntitle: : Shows results that contain all the specified characters in the title. For example, if you want to search for a blog post or article with more than one keyword in the title, use this. i.e., Allintitle:dog biscuit. Web pages that contain “dog” and “biscuit” in their title will be returned.
Filetype/ext: : Specifies a file type for the search results. It can be Pdf, Docx, Txt, ppt, among others. i.e online marketing filetype:pdf / online marketing ext:pdf
AllInurl: : Returns results that contain all the specified words in the URL. i.e., allinurl: Samsung phone.
AllIntext: : Returns results that have all the specified words in the content of a page. i.e., allintext:online marketing
Around(): You can view this as a keyword proximity search within the content. If you search two phrases using this operator, it will return results that contain both words but must be within a specified distance from each other. i.e., Milk Around(6) cookies, which means that “milk” and “cookies” must be present in the content and no further than six words from each other.
Weather: : Used to search for pages that include information about the weather in a specified location. For example, suppose you type “weather:dallas” into Google Search. In that case, it will return snippets of Dallas’s recent forecast and other relevant pages containing information on what people should expect from their day.
Stocks: : See information on a specific stock. i.e stocks:jpm
Cache: : Cache operators allow you to identify when a web page was last crawled by retrieving its most recent cache. i.e., cache:domain.com
Source: : This advanced search operator is useful for finding interesting stories on Google News from a specific source. i.e., presidential election source:cnn
How Can I Harness Google Advanced Search Operators For SEO Audits?
Use search operators simultaneously
There is almost no limit to the combination of operators you can use to create an efficient and customized command that will optimize your research on any topic imaginable.
Let assume you want to search for articles with digital marketing in their titles from the blog of a specific site, which should only be in text format. Your query will look like this: intitle:digital marketing site:digitaltrends.com/blog filetype:txt
Track down sites that are using your content
One of the most important things to know about your content is who, if anyone at all, copies it and uses it without permission. Another important thing to know is whether your content is unique. All you need are some advanced search operators to find out!
Simply pick a unique word or phrase from a published article that only appears in one place, then enclose it inside quotation marks. Add intext for an exact match and use the exclusion operator “-” before your site name so that Google won’t return results from your website.
The command will look like this: intext:”but rather discusses the most common ones” -site:domain.com
Find out if your web pages have been indexed
Google’s “site:” operator can help you see how many web pages have been indexed for your website. If the number of indexable pages is less than it should be, rectify the problem immediately to get your content in front of your target audience.
For example, input the site:domain.com command to view all the content on your site. If the results do not return all your published posts, that indicates that some of your articles have not been indexed.
Gain access to a host of relevant backlinks
There is no debate that link building, when done correctly, can be the most efficient way of achieving higher rankings in search results. This method allows you to reach a wider audience, bring relevant traffic to your website, and increase its authority.
After you’ve evaluated a site for relevance, you may use advanced search operators to find extremely comparable sites that offer the same or almost equal traffic opportunities.
You can do this by using the command related:domain.com/blog. Here, you are searching for other sites that are related to the one that you have evaluated. In addition, you are not focused on the entire site but only on the blog posts.
Evaluate pages for relevance
Google advanced search operators can help you evaluate pages for relevance, especially if it’s a site you have little knowledge about. How? You can do this in three simple steps:
- To begin, search site:domain.com and keep track of the number of results. Let’s say 4,160
- Second, use the site:domain.com(topic/niche) command and also keep track of how many search results you get. Let’s say 3,525
- Now it’s time to do some math. Divide the second result by the first (3525÷4160 = 0.8). Answers above 0.5 show that it’s perfect to use. If it’s above 0.75, then you’ve hit the jackpot!
When it comes to checking the relevance of a site, you should always take the time and effort to manually check as well. While the automated method can help determine whether or not a potential link is relevant, many other factors could go overlooked if you don’t examine them yourself first-hand. A lack of thorough examination may lead you astray from catching warning signs such as an irrelevant website or spammy links on your prospect’s page before contacting your prospect for linking purposes!
Find opportunities to contribute as a guest blogger
The blogosphere is always on the lookout for new blogs to feature. If you want your content shared and seen by a wide audience, you can use advanced search operators to seek out guest post opportunities.
You can use commands like inurl:guest-post, “guest blogger”, “become a contributor”, and others. You can also be more specific on the niche you want to contribute to. In that case, you can combine the “intitle:” and “site:” commands. For example, digital marketing intitle: “become a contributor”.
Try out a number of keywords and see what you can find. To search numerous keywords altogether, add the “|” symbol after each command or combination. For example, digital marketing intitle:”become a contributor” | “guest blogger” | “digital marketing” inurl:guest-post.
You can also use something like (digital marketing | social media marketing) AND (inurl:guest-post | “guest blogger”).
In addition, you can limit your search to specific countries by adding commands like site:.co.uk, site:.us, site:.au, etc.
Locate influencer profiles in your niche
Digging up contact information and social media profiles of influencers has never been easier with advanced search operators!
You can do this by typing the person’s name alongside a relevant keyword that makes the person stand out (a niche, occupation, workplace, etc.), then adding the “site:” command for the specific social media platforms you want to search. Finally, enclose in a bracket.
For example, Becky Anderson CNN (site:twitter | site: Instagram | site: Facebook). This will bring up results for all three social media platforms simultaneously, and you can proceed to reach out to the influencer.
Detect pages that are not secure
The Internet has become the hub of commerce, and nowadays, nearly every transaction is conducted over cyberspace. That means all sites, especially eCommerce, need to have all their web pages encrypted by using HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure). Not only does it protect sensitive information from getting into the wrong hands when someone visits your website, but it also protects you in case something goes awry during credit card transactions or other secure submissions you make online!
Google advanced search operators are great for detecting non-https pages. You can do this by combining the “site:”, “-” and “inurl:” operators. For example, site:domain.com -inurl:https. The “site:” operator helps you beam your searchlight on a particular website, while the “-inurl:https” operators exclude HTTPS pages, thereby returning only HTTP (non-secure) pages from the specified site.
Spy on our competitors
With a little help from Google advanced search operators, you can find out what your competitors are up to.
Just how fast are your competitors publishing new content? Use the site:www.domain.com/blog command to find out! When you search, select “Tools” at the top right (just below the search bar), choose a period of interest from “Anytime” or set up a custom range in minutes. The more data points you have, after all, the easier it might be to see patterns that could give clues about their strategy for success.
You can track mentions by your competitors with this clever trick! Combine two commands as follows: domain.com intext:yoursite.com to find all the pages mentioning you and plan accordingly. If it’s something positive, then use that interest for a partnership or content marketing campaign depending on what they’re talking about in their posts.
Google advanced search operators are a different kind of gravy. Whether you’re using them for business purposes or just plain old curiosity, the results are always awe-inspiring. What’s even better? They don’t cost a dime! If there was ever an excuse not to use them, I haven’t found one yet.
If you’re looking for a way to up the ante in search engine optimization or digital marketing campaigns, then this post will be just the thing. So go ahead and search away – who knows? Advanced search operators might change how you see the Internet forever.