Google advanced search operators are an essential tool within the toolbox of any search engine optimisation consultants. Through innovation and also the investment from the business world, Google has evolved to a degree to provide unmatched experience for finding useful information with just a click of your computers mouse button.
The first thing we need to understand is the fact that Google search engine determines results set calculating it based on many factors (as opposed to the exact keywords typed (or the order/sequence in which it is typed) by the searcher) and unknown to typical Google searcher, all result sets are calculated per keyword basis by default.
Google calculates all unmodified search queries based on its Broad Match Type (unless you use advanced search operators). Furthermore, each keyword goes through ANDing process by default, which you can specifically override by using the OR operator.
- Example = Services Solutions
- Searches for Services AND Solutions
- You can override it by searching Services OR Solutions
Use Quotes for Phrase Match
When you wrap your search query inside Quotation marks “Quoted searches are good to conduct for your SEO keyword research” which then this suggests to Google, hey, fetch me results based on the “phrase within the quotes” instead of calculating it on your default settings per keyword & broad match types.
The – operator (minus sign located next to digit 0 on your keyboard). This placed just before any keyword tells Google, hey, fetch me results but DONOT include the -minusTheKeyword
Now we have covered some of the useful operators, let’s now take a look at
inurl, allinurl, intitle, allintitle, inanchor, allinanchor, intext and allintext. First let us understand the difference between the all part of these search queries;
allintitle versus intitle
If you are like me, then it’s easy to get these operators confused. Meaning, there is a difference between intitle: and allintitle: but what’s the difference?
The difference is quite simple; when we attach the all in front of intitle: then what we are telling Google is, fetch results that are ALL within the title of the web document
- Example = allintitle:seo in melbourne
Will fetch results that ALL of the keywords to be within the title portion of the document. Whereas if we used the operator without the ALL part intitle:seo in melbourne
Then Google may fetch results based on SOME OF those terms appearing in the title of a web document, but not necessarily ALL of them appearing in the title of the document. That is the difference. Simply keep in mind that when you use these advanced operators with the ALL part, you are basically saying that the keywords to be searched are to be fetched according to specified part of the document, whether the part is, URL, title, anchor or text portion of the document.
Finds the keywords within the URL, it may also work on words and not necessarily on the URL component, but then again, use allinurl: to find every single keyword only in the URL component of the web resource.
- Example = allinurl:seo services melbourne
As the name suggests, these operators tells Google to look at the anchor text of HTML hyperlinks, once again, we use the allinanchor: to bring results that has the keywords in the anchor text in its entirety.
- Example = allinanchor:Google Specialist
These advanced search perators tell Google to look the search pattern within the body portion of HTML
- Example = allintext:Google Search Operators
This operator will show you what Google has on a particular website
- Example = site:www.rankya.com
cache: (Google Updated Cache Operator to show encrypted results in 2015)
Operator will show you what Google has stored in its database for a particular web document in a given moment in time (Update in 2015 you have to use Google’s SERP to see cache
- Example = cache:http://news.google.com.au
The file type operator will give you an option to search files according to your search query.
- Example = web design services filetype:pdf (will tell Google to fetch and bring you what it has as far as Adobe PDF files.)
Adobe Shockwave Flash (.swf) — Adobe Portable Document Format (.pdf) — Adobe PostScript (.ps) — Autodesk Design Web Format (.dwf) — Google Earth (.kml, .kmz) — GPS eXchange Format (.gpx) – Hancom Hanword (.hwp) — HTML (.htm, .html, php other file extensions) — Microsoft Excel (.xls, .xlsx) — Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx) — Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx) — OpenOffice presentation (.odp) — OpenOffice spreadsheet (.ods) – OpenOffice text (.odt) — Rich Text Format (.rtf, .wri) — Scalable Vector Graphics (.svg) — Text (.txt, .text and other text file extensions) — Wireless Markup Language (.wml, .wap) — Extensible Markup Language XML (.xml) — Lotus 1-2-3 Spreadsheet (.wk1, .wk2, .wk3, .wk4, .wk5, .wki) — Lotus WordPro (.lwp) — MacWrite (.mw) — Microsoft Works (.wks, .wps, .wdb) -Microsoft Write (.wri) — Adobe Illustrator (.ai) — Adobe Photoshop (.psd)
Now that we covered most important advanced Google search operators, keep in mind that there are many more. You can also combine these operators to really help you find anything you want quickly
- Example = seo -inurl:google.com
- Example = intitle:search engine optimisation site:google.com
These are the most useful ones that I as an Search Engine Optimization Expert use almost everyday. And once you understand their simplicity and their power to pin point exactly what you want to find, then, you will never search Google the same way again. Did you know that you can actually search Google through the address bar of your internet browser (See figure below)
- Example = http://www.google.com/search?q=SEO+Expert&q=inurl:rankya.com
- Example = http://www.google.com/search?q=SEO+Expert&q=-inurl:wikipedia.org
You can actually learn more from Google itself by visiting Search Education, or you can check out more on how to use advanced Google search operators on my YouTube channel and as you can see Google Data-centers are simply mind blowing.