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.
Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University. They incorporated Google as a privately held company on September 4, 1998 (Source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google)
Google’s philosophy is quite simple, gather world’s information and give the internet searcher access to the vast information available on internet, so we can even think of Google as the gatekeeper to the information on internet public domain. The reader should realize that although Google is a unique search engine, the concept of storing information available on internet dates back to early creativity of other search engines such as Archie and Veronica and others (http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061014011121AAiekrZ)
Indexing the public domain of internet is a task which demands utmost precision, the complexity of indexing the entire internet (interconnected network of networked computer devices) also known as World Wide Web (WWW) is gigantic, and how Google does that is explained in this video.
Let us now explore some of the most useful Google search operators while you embark on your own SEO projects.
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
Then comes the phrase match, if 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.
Another important one is the – operator (minus sign located next to digit 0 on your keyboard). This placed just before the -minusTheKeyword tells Google, hey, fetch me results but DONOT include the -minusTheKeyword
Example: keywordOfInterest -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.
inurl: 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
inanchor allinanchor 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
allintext intext and these operators will work on any text within the web document as known to Google.
Example = allintext:Expert in Google Rankings
filetype: 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.) Here are the types of file Google keeps an eye on;
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)
site: this operator will show you what Google has on a particular website
Example = site:www.rankya.com
cache: operator will show you what Google has stored in its database for a particular web document
Example = cache:http://news.google.com.au
It is also surprising to note that cache sounds just like cash, doesn’t it? And it is only fair for Google to gain more since Google Inc. is a business, but also, they invest money and energy making their services available for you and me.
SEO Tip = you can also combine these operators to really help you become a webmaster
Example = seo -inurl:google.com
Example = intitle:search engine optimisation inurl:google.com
Now that we covered most important advanced Google search operators, keep in mind that there are many more. Yet these are the most useful ones for your SEO projects, and unless you have plenty time and you are keen & passionate about becoming a Search Engine Optimization Expert. And thus, if you are passionate about SEO, then you can actually query Google through the address bar of your internet browser (See figure below)
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.