Google is a powerful search engine to help you find or learn about anything. But, do you know that you can perform smart searches and get accurate results in less time? If you are willing to level up your search engine marketing efforts, you should use Google Search Operators. With them, google searching becomes more efficient and accurate than ever before. In this article, we guide you through the list of Google Search operators and how to use them for your SEO and marketing benefits.
What are Search Operators?
Google Search operators are the special commands and characters you can use in your search to make your search results more precise. All you have to do is to enter your text in the corresponding operator syntax in the Google search box. Google delivers more specific search results for your topic. The good news is that you can use a single search operator or a combination of them to obtain more specific results. Some examples of search operators include OR, AND, cache: site: etc.
Are you confused about how search operators take your website’s SEO to the next level? Here is how it’s done:
- Using the advanced google search modifiers, you can find desired content and link-building opportunities.
- Spot SEO issues like glaring indexing errors etc.
- Perform competitor analysis for the entered keywords or phrases.
- Research effectively and get statistics to improve your content.
- Evaluate the competition for certain long-tail keywords you want to use.
Please remember that there are two rules you should follow while using the operators. Otherwise, you may get inaccurate search results. The rules are
- Google generally ignores punctuations if they are not a part of the search operator.
- Do not provide spaces between your operator or word command or the search word. Google search engine provides inaccurate results.
20 Advanced Google Search Modifiers in 2023
It may be a challenging task to remember these operators in the beginning. But, once you master these commands, Google searching becomes a cakewalk. Here is the SEO operators list:
By using the cache: operator, you can view the most recent cached version of a specific website or web page. It is mainly useful when you have recently updated your site’s content or design. This operator lets you know if and when Google has crawled the latest changes in your website.
The site: operator allows you to search for content in a particular domain. When you use this operator, Google provides results only from the websites mentioned in the command use case but not others. Additionally, it helps you determine the number of pages Google has indexed for a specific domain.
Syntax- site:command use case
As you can see from the above screenshot, Google displays the content in the domain seoboard.com when you use the operator site:
This google operator is used to find out websites that are related or similar to the websites mentioned in the command use case. But, you should observe that it is only effective for larger domains. It is an excellent way of understanding who your competitors are and how Google categorizes your site and your competitors.
Syntax– related:your question
See how Google recommends alternatives and related devices to iPhone using the commands google search.
You can opt for this command case when you want to search for a specific word or phrase in the content. It can be used for finding link-building opportunities for related words or phrases.
Syntax- word one intext: word two or intext: word
Example: marketing intext:SEO
You can refine your search by using this allintext: operator. It allows you to search for only pages that include all of the terms you have searched in the text.
Syntax– allintext: your word
Example: allintext: marketing SEO
Using allintext: google search modifier has eliminated over 45,000,000 search results. It is to be noted that this operator results in the words that are exactly present on the page. It doesn’t account for the proximity of the words on that particular page.
If you want to find a page with specific words in the URL, inurl: is the right Google search operator to use. This operator is extremely helpful to find out the websites with the strongest on-page optimization for the topics you have researched.
Syntax- inurl: command use case
In the example above, Google has displayed over 1,420,000 pages with guest-post in the URLs.
The allinurl: operator is an advanced search operator of the inurl: operator that narrows down the search and displays the pages containing all of the defined words mentioned in the URLs.
You can observe that the search results have refined to 3,320 by entering the operator allinurl: all these pages contain guest post sites in their URLs.
This is an advanced Google search operator which is used to locate pages containing inbound links with the anchor text specified. This operator is mainly useful while evaluating link-building opportunities or competitive link audits. However, the data provided is only a sample and isn’t accurate.
Syntax– inanchor:command use case
Example: inanchor:digital marketing
In the example above, using the inanchor: operator recommends pages with anchor text that includes the word ‘digital’ or the word ‘marketing’.
If you want to research pages that include all of the words mentioned in the anchor text, use the allinanchor: search operator.
Syntax– allinanchor: command use case
Example: allinanchor:digital marketing
In the example, using the allinanchor: operator refines the search to 39,900,000 results which means these many pages have anchor text including both the words digital and marketing.
The intitle: search operator allows you to locate pages that are targeted for certain words or phrases. It is a great function for finding out guest posting opportunities and evaluating the competitiveness of keywords depending on the search results.
Syntax- intitle:command use case
Example: intitle: write for us
The search operator shows 23,500,000 results containing any of the words mentioned in the command use case.
The allintitle: command refines the results and recommends the pages which contain all the words mentioned in the command use case.
Syntax- allintitle:command use case
Example: allintitle: write for us
In the above example, the search is narrowed down from 23,500,000 to 241,000 results after using the allintitle: search operator.
When you use the filetype: command in combination with a keyword, Google will return the results of the keyword in the specified file formats. These file formats include PDF, SWF, PS, HTML, DOC/DOCX, PPT/PPTX, XLS/XLSX, GPX, HWP, TEXT, BAS, CS, JAVA, XML, etc.
Syntax- filetype:command use case
Example: SEO filetype:ppt
Using the filetype: command, we are asking for content on SEO in the PPT file format and Google produces the same.
This operator is useful for proximity search. It lets you locate pages containing two words or phrases within X words of each other.
Syntax- around(x):command use case
Example: apple around(3) iphone
In the example shown above, the pages with the words “apple” and the “iPhone” are displayed in content no further than three words apart.
This is a Google search operator you might have used several times without actually knowing its significance. If you want to combine two searches, insert OR between the search terms (search term1 OR search term2). Google will recommend results that satisfy either the first search term or the second search term but not both. If you are unable to use caps lock, you can use the symbol “|” instead of “OR” to obtain identical results.
Syntax- OR:command use case
Example: seo OR ppc
When you want to search for exact terms, you place the words under quotes during a Google search. Google recommends every web page that has this exact term either in its body copy, title, or description. Using the “ “ google search modifier is one of the most effective ways of knowing if your content has been duplicated or not. Place the paragraph under quotes and you will find out if someone has copied your work or not.
Syntax- “Keyword” command use case
Example: “search engine optimization”
The above search results in all the web pages contain the term “search engine optimization”. Thus you can quickly get what you want using this operator.
16. Exclude words(-)
The minus sign “-” indicates exclusion. You can use this operator when you want to exclude certain words or phrases from the search results.
Syntax- -Keyword command use case
Example: seo -ppc
17. Add words(+)
The plus “+” search operator allows you to include specific words in the search results.
Syntax- +Keyword command use case
Example: “content marketing + SEO”
By using the plus operator between the two words, Google recommends pages with content marketing and SEO together.
Use this Google Search Operator to get a search containing both the words mentioned in the command. You should note that Google includes ‘AND’ in its search results by default. Thus, you don’t find much difference for regular searches. But, it is very helpful when combined with other operators.
Syntax- AND:command use case
Example: off-page SEO AND on-page SEO
You can use this google operator to search specific sources for a given topic within Google News. This operator also lets you know about the potential link partners or article resources who have written about a similar topic as mentioned in the command.
Syntax- source:command use case
20. Asterisk (*)
When you use this asterisk search operator, you would get more search results related to the entered keyword. Generally, it is used at the end of the keyword to find out the remaining phrases of the most searched terms. If used in between the words, you end up getting all variations of the phrases. This operator is mainly helpful for finding phrases and quotes.
Syntax- *command use case
Example: digital marketing*
In this blog post, we have provided the top 20 Google search operators to level your SEO strategy. But, this is not all. There are many other different types of advanced search operators available to make the most of Google. From conducting technical audits to content research, search operators help you enhance your marketing efforts in several ways. Thanks for reading!