Google Advanced Search Queries And Operators 2020

Getting the desired result in Google search depends on your ability to understand the search queries and operators,these operators are as follows.

Site:

This Limits your search to a single site.

Intext:

Intext tells Google that you want results where the text appears in the body of the page. (If the text appears in the title, but not the body text, it won’t be returned as a result. Since it virtually functions the same as a normal Google result, there aren’t many advanced uses. We kept it in the list to contrast it against this next operator “Allintext.”

Allintext:

Basically the same as intext, but every word in the query has to be in the body text of a page. Otherwise, Google does not include it in results. Essentially functions as using “ ” quotes on individual words.

Use to:

  • Find quotes.
  • Force accurate results for long-tail keywords.

Intitle:

Intitle tells Google that you only want results where pages include the search term in their meta title tag. This operator helps you understand how many pages target a particular search phrase.

Use to:

  • Check levels of competitiveness of keywords.
  • Find Backlink opportunities

Allintitle:

Same as intitle, but ensures every word in the query is in the title meta tag of all results.  If you sold airpods on your ecommerce site you could use this operator to find other websites that have ‘airpods’ in their titles.  This is a quick and easy way to spot your direct competition.

Inurl:

Like with Intitle & Intext, Google will only return results where the search words are included in the URL. This will often drastically reduce search volume and can be handy for finding potential direct competitors.

Allinurl:

All words included in the search query must be in the URL to become a result. For long search phrases, this often returns only a handful or no results at all.

Use this search operator to:

  • Filter out bad results for popular topics.

Filetype:

Filetype: tells Google to return only results of, you guessed it, a specific type of file. It is useful when looking for research, which is often in PDF or other document file formats, rather than HTML.

Related:

Related: is an operator that helps you find sites related to a specified URL. Using it is an illuminating look into how Google categorizes your website and your competitors.

For example, if we take a look at the results for airbnb.com, it returns the usual SEO suspects, but also some peripheral competitors for attention.

Obviously, Airbnb’s two biggest competitors VRBO and Homeaway made the cut, but there’s something else. A more generalist booking website is listed as well. So from that, we learn that Google understands the categorical hierarchy of SEO inside of online travel.

Use this search operator to:

  • Find competitors.
  • Understand how Google is categorizing your site.

AROUND(X)

Limit results to pages that contain search words within X words of each other. Useful for finding quotes and song lyrics you don’t quite remember, but not much else. Google will bold the phrases it thinks you are looking for, not just the search words. (Note: It defines a range with a max of X, not just X.)

Use this search operator to:

  • Find quotes you only vaguely remember.
  • Find official statements/case studies/research that back up a point you want to make.

Basic Search Operators

Google’s basic search operators help filter the results you get from your search.

You should be familiar with every single one of these, so consider this a review, not a lesson. (As such the descriptions will be brief and there are no screenshots to explain.)

“” (Quotes)

Putting your search term in quotes initiates an exact match search for that phrase. The exact words in that exact order have to be on the page or. Using it on single words excludes synonyms and related words.

Google will search for results related to both/all terms that you’ve typed in the search field. Typically Google’s algorithm will correctly estimate whether it’s a phrase search or multiple separate terms, making AND mostly redundant.

The hyphen (like a minus sign) helps you exclude words from your search queries. For example, you can search for “SEO California” but exclude “LA” if you don’t want results from that city.*

The asterisk tells Google to “fill in the blank”. Similar to the more advanced AROUND(X) but you don’t specify the max length of a phrase. Like AROUND(X) it can be useful for finding quotes and phrases.

Brackets group together terms or search operators to help structure an advanced search.

OR or | (pipe) tells Google a certain word in the query can be interchanged for another. Typically best used with brackets like in the example above.

This operator helps you search for products by price.

Putting two dots between two years creates a Google search command for results that fall within that year range.

Google Content / Card Operators

Google and SEO sites classify these as search operators. But, they interact with Google’s own content/function and don’t necessarily trigger an internet search.

  • Define:
  • Cache:
  • Weather:
  • Stocks:
  • Map:
  • Movie:
  • In / To

They might not be useful for research purposes, but understanding is a piece of the puzzle having a holistic understanding of Google search.

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