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Google Search Operators

What are Google Search Operators

The popular Google Search Operators are also referred to as "advanced operators." Google Search Operators are defined as special commands and characters which can extend the proficiencies of regular text searches. We can make use of the Google Search Operators in the field of content research and in technical SEO audits.

How to Use Google Search Operators

If we want to use the Google Search Operators, just enter the name of the operator in the Google Search Box.

Google Search Operators

In the above figure, where we have written "google search operator", at that place, we have to type the name of google search operator such as 'in', 'or', etc. then Google will provide you the standard organic results.

Types of Google Search Operators

Google Search Operators are broadly classified into three types:

  1. Basic search operators
  2. Advanced search operators
  3. Unreliable search operators

1. Basic Search Operators

We use basic search operators to filter the results which we get from our search.

The basic search operators are given in the below table:

S. NO Operator Use of the Operator
1. " " (Quotes) If we put any phrase in between the quotes, then Google will provide you the exact-match for that phrase. If we put any single word in between the quote, then it will give you the synonyms or related word to that word.
2. OR (|) The OR operator is used to tell Google that in the query, some words may be interchanged for other words.
3. Parentheses ( ) With the parentheses' help, we can group the operators and control the order in which they are executed.
4. Hyphen (-) We can exclude words from our search queries by using a hyphen.
5. Asterisk (*) An asterisk (*) functions as a wild card and matches any word
6. Dollar ($) With the help of the dollar operator, we can search for products by price.
7. In The In operator is used to convert between two equivalent units, and it will return you the special result in the form of a knowledge card style.
8. #..# We can use (..) with the numbers on either side to match any integer in that number range.
9. AND With the help of the AND operator, we can get the result related to both/all terms we have typed in the search field.

2. Advanced Search Operators

The advanced search operators are the special commands which can alter the searches. An additional parameter like the domain name is needed for the advanced search operators. Typically, we use advanced operators for narrow down searches and drill the results deeper.

The Advanced search operators are given in the below table:

S.NO OPERATOR Use of the Operator
1. Intitle The intitle search operator is used to find pages in the title with a certain word or phrase. For example, If, we wish to find pages which are related to the game, then type like intitle: game.
2. allintitle: The allintitle search operator is just like the intitle operator except the fact that in allintitle, we will get the results, which include all the specified words in the title tag. For Example, allintitle: indoor game
3. inurl: With the help of the inurl search operator, we can find the pages in the URL that have a certain word or phrase. For example, inurl:game, it will return the result that contains the "game" word in the URL.
4. allinurl: The allinurl is just like the inurl except for the fact that in allurl, we will get the result, which includes all the specified words in the URL. For example, allinurl: indoor game
5. intext: With the help of the intext search operator, we can find the word or a sentence (in quotes) but only in the document/body text. For example, intext:game it will give you the results containing the word "game" in the page's content.
6. allintext: The allintext is like multiple intexts. But in the query, each word must be in the page's body text. Else the Google will not include in the results. For example, allintext: outdoor game.
7. filetype: Restricts results to those of a specific type of file. For example, PPT, DOCX, PDF, TXT, etc. For example, game filetype:docx.
8. related: With the help of the related search operator, we can find the sites related to the given domain. For example: related: apple.com
9. AROUND(X) Using the AROUND(X) search operator, we can find the pages comprising two words or phrases within the X words of each other. For example, the terms "apple" and "iPhone" should be included in the content and not more than four words apart.

3. Unreliable Operator

The unreliable operators are those Google search operators that have either been found to generate inconsistent outcomes or have been removed entirely. In early 2017, the "link" search operator was officially removed. It seems that the "inanchor" Google search operator is still in use, but sometimes it gives unreliable and very narrow results. Only the link-based operators are used for primary research.

The below table shows the list of unreliable operators:

S.NO Operator Name Use of the Operator
1. ~ This operator includes synonyms. It sounds unreliable, and the synonym addition is default now.
2. + Force accurate-match on a single sentence. They are deprecated with the launch of Google+.
3. daterange In the daterange search operator, results are returned in a specified range. It can be inconsistent, and it requires Julian dates.
4. Link With the help of the link search operator, we can find pages that link to a particular domain or URL. In 2007, Google removed the link operator, but it still shows some results, though they are not particularly accurate.
5. Inanchor Find pages to which a specific anchor text is linked. The data is sampled heavily.
6. allinanchor Find pages in the inbound anchor text with all the individual terms after "inanchor".

The Right Way to Use Google Search Operators

1. Find Out Who is Copying your Content: - One can easily search out if anybody is copying your content on their website. All you have to do is find that type of phrase unique from your content and place it within quotation marks after the intext operator. Then with "site," exclude your own site.

For example, Enter intext: "best free on-page SEO tools"-site: JavaTpoint.com.

Google Search Operators

If we want to identify the copy of your content, then we can use the intitle operator on the same line.

2. Find Indexation Errors: - You can find out the number of pages indexed by Google, with the help of a site operator. When you use this operator Google will only provide you a rough approximation.

The below figure shows the usage of the site operator:

Google Search Operators

3. Help you Audit http -> https Transition: - The job of migrating a website from http to https is difficult. If you want to find which web pages have not been re-crawled by Google, then you can find it by using the various search operator such as the inurl operator, the - (minus) operator and the site operator.

For Example, Enter site: javatpoint.com -inurl:https on the Google search bar.

Google Search Operators

4. Find Internal Linking Opportunities: - One of the important feature of on-page SEO is the internal linking. By using internal linking, user can explore the website and, it is also essential for SEO.

If you want to find the opportunity of internal linking, then in the following ways, the search operators can be used:

site:javaTpoint.com -site:javaTpoint.com/what-are-lsi-keywords/ intext:"LSI keywords".

Google Search Operators

5. Find Websites where you can Pitch Infographic of yours: - It becomes simple and easy to search for those websites which accepts infographics via the search operators.This will support you to access your website with backlinks and traffic.

To check how to do it, enter seo intitle:infographic incurl:infographic in the Google search bar.

Google Search Operators

6. How to Decide Whether a Website is Relevant for a BackLink to Your Website or not: - If you wish to find the website from which you need a backlink.

If you want to check whether the link is relevant for your website or not, you have to follow the following steps:

  • Perform a search like a site:domain, for example, enter site:javaTpoint.com and jot down the number of results.
    Google Search Operators
  • Next, we have to perform the site:domain [niche] search, for example, site:javaTpoint.com seo and jot down the number of results.
    Google Search Operators
  • We need to make division of the second number by the first number and after that, if the ratio of the resultant is more than 50 %, we are able to approach that website for a backlink to your website.

7. Find Social Profiles for Outreach Program: - With the help of the search operator, we can find the social profiles of individuals or industry leaders you wish to contact. For example, Justin Bieber (site:twitter.com | site:facebook.com | site:linkedin.com)

8. How to Find the Number of Pages Related to a Keyword on a Domain: - For a particular keyword, we can find several web pages with a specific keyword. For example, domainname keyword.

Ten Useful Google Search Operators in 2020

The ten useful Google search operators in 2020:

1. Search a Specific site's Content with Site

The site keyword is an interesting keyword. We can easily search out anything from a particular website using the site operator. We can use the site operator if we need to see a post on a specific blog. Various SEO experts also use the site operator to find the site's contact page while removing bad links. This command displays not only the pages, but also the sub-domain of the websites:

  • Operator: site: [URL] [term]
  • Example: site: JavaTpoint.com WordPress hosting

2. Add a "Fill in the Blank" with *

An asterisk operator is another amazing Google search operator. With the help of the asterisk operator, we can add two different keywords and find the search results which contain both. For whatever comes in between the two search terms, think of it as "fill in the blank."

  • Operator: [term1] * [term2]
  • Example: WordPress * developer

3. Search Exact Match with " " (Quotes)

If you want to find the exact match for any term or phrase, then this operator is helpful. Place the term or phrase which you want to find inside the quotes. It is advantageous if we need to find details about a particular website or blog. All web pages with that particular keyword are listed on the SERP by this search operator.

  • Operator: "[term]"
  • Example: "domain name generators"

4. Force Match a Single Word or Phrase with +

Google search operators also allow you to add a specific word to your search results. We can use the + search term to do an exact match on a word.

  • Operator: [term1] + [term2]
  • Example: Car + Fortuner

5. Return the Cached Version of a Page with Cache

The cache is one of the advanced search operators. The most cached web page version accessible on Google will be returned by this operator.

Don't forget that it will show you the recent crawled version of the page. If the page is indexed, not the latest version of the page, just enter the word 'cache' in order to use it, followed by the URL you are looking for. If a site is getting down and you still want to see a post, this can be incredibly helpful.

  • Operator: cache: [URL]
  • Example: cache:themesile.com

6. Exclude Words or Phrase With -

The minus search operator is the opposite of the above operator. If you want to delete a particular keyword from the search results, then the minus sign is placed before the search term. If you wish to find out something which has more than one meaning and you want to eliminate the other meaning, it is incredibly helpful.

  • Operator: [term1] - [term2]
  • Example: car -Fortuner

7. Search in Results' URL with inurl:

With the help of the inurl search operator, we can find the specific keyword within a URL. It means that if you search for the post from a URL, for example, after the inurl: operator, you can use the word eCommerce.

On the other hand, you can use a broad word before the operator and then add the Keyword, which must be in the URL.

  • Operator: inurl : [term1] [term2]
  • Example: inurl:guest-post WordPress

8. Search between Years Using . .

This operator is just like the date operator except that it does not use the Julian date format. With the help of (..) operator, we can search between two years' ranges. Although it does not allow you to search for particular days as daterange allows.

  • Operator: [term] [year1] . . [year2]
  • Example: WordCamp announcement 2016..2018

9. Search for Specific Types of Files with Filetype:

The filetype operator is one of the best useful advanced Google search operators. The filetype operator is used in order to find out the target page in a specific format.

It limits our search results to a specific file format such as TXT, PDF. Thus, by using the filetype search operator, we can easily find the documents for the topic which we are searching for. It is also helpful for finding PDF reports in order to create statistics for sites such as Facebook and HubSpot.

  • Operator: Filetype: [file_extension] [term]
  • Example: HubSpot filetype:pdf

10. Search between Dates Using Daterange:

By using daterange search operator you can find the latest information on a search term. By using the operator, we can find the results within a specific date range. The Julian date format is used in the daterange operator.

  • Operator: [term1] daterange : xxxxx - xxxxx
  • Example: Themelsle daterange: 19001- 19365

Google Search Operator Tips & Tricks

There are various tips and tricks for Google search operator:

  1. Audit your HTTP-> HTTPS transition
  2. Chain together operator combos
  3. Hunt down plagiarized content

1. Audit your HTTP->HTTPS Transition

The task of switching a website from HTTP to HTTPS can be difficult. Check your progress again by seeing how many pages Google has indexed for each type. On your root domain, use "site:" operator and then exclude HTTPS pages with "-inurl:" For example, site: javaTpoint.com -inurl: https.

It helps you to track down any stragglers or discover pages that Google might not have re-crawled.

2. Chain Together Operator Combos

Mostly, any combination of text searches, advanced operators, and basic operators can be chained together.

For example, "nikola tesla" intitle: "top 10 ..115 facts" -site:youtube.com inurl:2017

The above search result returns the exact match of "Nikola Tesla", have the phrase "Top (X) facts" in the title, where X ranges from 10 to 15, are on YouTube.com and have "2017" somewhere in the URL.

3. Hunt Down Plagiarized Content

We can find the uniqueness of the content or if anyone is plagiarizing your content. From your phrase, use a unique phrase and place it in a quote after an "intext:" operator, and exclude our own site "-site:"…

Similarly, for the long exact-match phrase, we can use "intitle:" to find the duplicate copies of your content.


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