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Google Search Operators [Complete List]

Google Search Operators [Complete List]

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Are you tired of scrolling through endless pages of irrelevant search results on Google? 

If so, using Google search operators can help you refine your search and get exactly what you’re looking for. 

In this detailed guide, we will explain what Google search operators are and how to use them effectively with practical examples. 

9 Unique Ways to Use Advanced Search Operators

Let’s get started!

1 What Are Google Search Operators?

Google Search Operators are a set of special symbols or words that you can use in your Google search to narrow down or expand your search results. They are highly effective in providing more precise and relevant information. 

You can use these operators to search for exact phrases, exclude certain terms, search within a specific website or domain, find related websites, and much more. 

Using Google search operators is simple; all you need to do is type the command along with your search term or domain.

using Google Search Operators

However, before you start using them, it’s important to remember a few tips.

  • Avoid spacing between the search operator and your search term to avoid errors. 
  • Note that Google ignores punctuation marks unless they are used as part of a search operator.

Google search operators can be categorized into basic and advanced operators, each with their own functions. Let’s list them in the next section.

2 Basic Search Operators

Basic operators are essential for effective search on a search engine. They are easy to remember and frequently used. 

Refer to the table below for an overview of their functions and examples:

Search OperatorsFunctionExample
” “Searches for an exact phrase or word match“content marketing strategies”
Exclude a specific term from the search results artificial intelligence -robots
ORExpands search results to include either of the specified keywordsSEO OR digital marketing
ANDCombine two or more terms in a search.chocolate AND milk
( )Parentheses group search terms together and specify the search order.(machine learning OR artificial intelligence) ethics
*Wildcard matching any word or phrasecar * career
|Allows to search for one of multiple phrases or keywords. It’s the same as ORcat|dog
$Search for pricescamera under $200
inChange from one equivalent unit to another.$200 in EUR

3 Advanced Search Operators

Google’s advanced search operators refine search results but need practice to use them effectively. They offer deeper control and specialized functionalities.

The table below shows useful advanced operators, functions, and examples:

Search OperatorsFunctionExample
site:Limits search results to a specific website or domain.site:rankmath.com
intitle:Searches for pages with a specific keyword in the title.intitle:samsung
filetype:Narrows down results to a specific file type (e.g., PDF)apple filetype:pdf
inurl:Shows results with a specific keyword in the URL.inurl:coffee
allinurl:Search for web pages containing several words in the URL.allinurl:apple iphone
allintext:Search for pages with multiple words in their content.allintext:samsung galaxy
intext:Searches for pages with the specified keyword(s) in the body text.intext:burger
cache:See the cached version of a webpagecache:nike.com
define:Get the definition of a word or phrasedefine:algorithm
allinanchor:Find pages with all terms in anchor textallinanchor:search engine optimization tips
source:Find news articles from a specific sourcesource:BBC climate change
stocks:Get stock quotesstocks:GOOG
weather:Get the weather forecast for specific locationweather:london
currency:Convert between currencies100 USD in EUR
map:Make Google display map results.map:agra
AROUND(X)search for pages with two specified words or phrases within X number of words of each other.SEO AROUND(5) content

4 Ways to Use the Google Search Operators

Let’s dive into using these search operators effectively to enhance your research and get better results.

Mastering these commands will improve your Google skills and help you uncover valuable information.

4.1 Advanced Content Research

Usually, when you research on Google, you start by entering keywords or phrases. Google then shows results based on these inputs. 

To improve accuracy, you can use quotation marks around specific keywords, like "content writing strategy" for more relevant results.

Advanced Content Research

But, if you’re seeking a post that discusses both the meaning and strategies, not just content writing, you can guide Google to prioritize the main keyword while including the rest of the information. 

To do this, enclose the most important keywords in quotation marks, as shown below.

enclose keywords in quotation marks

4.2 Find Guest Post Opportunities

Let’s say you’re searching for websites that accept guest posts on topics related to web design.

To refine your search, you can use the search keyword write for us

For instance, you can try using a search query like web design intitle:’write for us’ inurl:write-for-us , as demonstrated below.

finding guest post opportunities

4.3 Track Indexed Pages

To monitor your website’s visibility on search engines, track indexed pages using the site: operator with your domain name. 

For example, search site:rankmath.com will reveal all the indexed pages of our website.

track indexed pages

To check the performance of a specific page on search results, use the site: and intitle: operators. 

For example, search site:rankmath.com intitle:free SEO tools on Google.

This query will search for Free in titles with SEO tools or its variations on the site.

site and intitle operator

Regularly checking the indexed pages helps ensure that Google crawls and indexes your website and allows you to detect any potential indexing issues.

Additionally, you can use this approach to discover your competitors’ indexed pages by entering their domain and relevant keywords.

4.4 Research Topics and Keywords

You can use the operator intitle: to search for a particular keyword across multiple websites, such as intitle:"healthy eating" to find pages with that keyword.

research topics and keywords

But if you want to narrow down your search to specific websites within your niche, you can utilize the site: operator. 

For instance, you can use the query site:gardenista.com organic gardening to explore relevant topics about organic gardening, specifically within the Gardenista website. 

research topics example

4.5 Find Social Media Profiles

To find social media profiles, use the site: operator with the social media domain and the person or brand name. 

For example, to search for the Twitter profile of Rank Math, use site:twitter.com “Rank Math”

finding social media profiles

4.6 Using the OR command

The OR command broadens search results by including multiple synonyms or alternative terms. Use it by typing your search query, then adding OR followed by another term or phrase.

Example: "pizza restaurants" OR "pizzerias" OR "Italian restaurants"

  • You can also use parentheses to control the order of operations, like (“pizza” OR “pasta”) AND “vegetarian”.
  • To search based on a specific website, use “cheese pizza” OR “pepperoni pizza” site:dominos.com.
  • To find websites that syndicate content, use intext:”syndicated from” OR intext:”originally published”.
  • For question-and-answer platforms, use intext:”ask a question” OR intext:”post a question”.

4.7 Find Specific File Types

You can use Google Search’s filetype: operator to find specific file types. Type your search query, followed by filetype: and the desired file extension (e.g., pdf, doc, ppt, xls).

Example: Search for PDF documents related to climate change using climate change filetype:pdf.

This will help you find relevant PDF documents related to climate change.

Find specific file types

4.8 Get Definitions

The define: operator in Google search is indeed useful for obtaining definitions of specific terms or words. 

For example, if you want to find the definition of the word serendipity you can use the search query: define:serendipity 

Google will display a summary definition in the search results, along with information from dictionaries and other reliable sources.

get definitions example

4.9 Discover Plagiarized Content

To detect plagiarism of your content, use an exact-match unique phrase from your text with the “intext:” operator in quotes. Also, you can exclude your site with -site: operator.

For example, we detected plagiarism in our Divi SEO post using this operator. Here is the post with the highlighted paragraph used for detection.

plagiarism detection

And this was the result.

plagiarised content

4.10 Find Niche Forums For Engagement

To discover forums and communities related to your niche, use the search operator intext:forum along with a keyword specific to your industry. 

For example: "fitness" intext:forum

find niche example

4.11 Identify Pages That Aren’t Secure

You can use operators to identify any insecure pages that may have been indexed by Google. For instance, by using the following search operator:

site:ebay.com -inurl:https

You will find that the displayed pages have HTTP URLs. However, when you click on them, they will redirect you to a secure HTTPS connection. 

finding pages that are not secure

This indicates that these insecure pages have already been indexed by Google and have since been updated to a secure connection.

4.12 Build Internal Links

Adding internal links to relevant pages on your website improves traffic and search rankings.

For example, let’s say we wanted to add some internal links to our post on WordPress Speed Optimization.

Then, you can use the search operator in your query: site:rankmath.com/blog "Image SEO"

This search operator will display a search from your website containing the specified keyword. 

building internal links example

So, look for articles or pages on your website where you can add internal links using relevant anchor text. 

4.13 Make Research Based on Domain Types

To refine your research based on domain types, use search operators such as site:.edu for educational institutions, site:.gov for government websites, and so on. 

You can combine these operators with relevant keywords for narrowed results. 

For instance, site:.edu photosynthesis will generate search results on photosynthesis from educational websites.

Additionally, you can use parentheses and the OR command to search for multiple domain types, such as photosynthesis (site:.edu OR site:.com).

research based on domain types

4.14 Find Alternate Domain TLDs

To find alternate domain top-level domains (TLDs), you can use the following search operator:

site:amazon.* -site:amazon.com

This search operator limits the search results to the specific domain amazon.com and shows you variations of the domain with different TLDs. 

find alternate domain

5 Conclusion

We’ve covered the Google Search Operators and provided practical examples of how to use them. However, if you feel uncomfortable dealing with search operators, you can feel free to use the Google Advanced Search tool to refine your searches.

When applying these techniques, remember to replace the domains and words in the examples with your own.

If you like this guide, let us know by Tweeting @rankmathseo.

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