24 Advanced Google Search Operators for SEOs in 2020

Written by Shreoshe Ghosh

Updated on Sep 3, 2020
Category: SEO Tools

Google search operators are not new to SEO experts and webmasters around the world. 

Even though most of you know what exactly are search operators and how to use them, let me give an overview of it to my readers who are new to this concept.

What Are Google Search Operators?

Google Search Operators are special commands that enhance your search and help you in a number of ways, like conducting SEO audits to content research.

The advanced search commands on Google help you narrow down your search queries and get accurate results. 

There’s more than you can imagine doing with Google search operators and it doesn’t require any additional technical expertise. 

Most of them are short and simple commands that’ll get you closer to your search results and save ample time. Knowing these special commands is very helpful in making your day-to-day work simpler. 

Here are some of the best Google search operators list.

Exact Match Searches

If you are looking for something specific, you can insert the search terms within quotation marks (“”) to get answers for the exact query. 

Syntax for Exact Match Search” 

“Search word

For example, your search term is “book,” which may refer to the books we read or the act of making a reservation. If you intend to learn more about reservations, you can use your command as book -“reading.”

Without the exact match search command, observe the search result number below.

without exact match search command

With the exact match search command, observe how the results are more refined.

Exact Match search operator

Try out some exact search examples with:

  1. “Content Marketing”
  2. “Google Algorithm Update”

Exclude Words

If you want to look for words that might have more than one meaning, you can do so through a particular Google search command.

You’ll have to add the desired work followed by a hyphen (-) and then the meaning you want to exclude from search results. 

Syntax for Exclude Word: 

-Search word

For example, your search term is “book,” which may refer to the books we read or the act of making a reservation. If you intend to learn more about reservations, you can use your command as book -“reading.”

Without the exclude word command, observe the search result.

without exclude search term function

With the exclude word command, observe the search result. They are now more refined. 

exclude search term command

Try out exclude terms searches with:

  1. Steve jobs and steve -jobs
  2. On page seo and -on page seo

Exclude Exact-Match Phrases

If you are still finding it hard to find the desired result by excluding words, you can choose to exclude an exact-match phrase by writing your search term, followed by a hyphen (-), and then writing the phrase that you want to exclude from the search.

Syntax for Exclude Exact-Match Phrase

“Search word” -search term 

Or 

-search word “search term”

For example, you want to learn technical SEO without going through the schema markup concept immediately; you can write technical SEO- ”schema markup.”

You can keep adding multiple phrases to the above command by adding a hyphen and then typing the particular term you want to exclude within quotation marks. 

Without the exclude and exact Match search, observe the search result number.

without exclude and exact match term search function

With the exclude and exact match commands, observe the search result number.

exclude and exact match term to know brand awarness on internet

When you use the exclude exact match command for a website, say, stanventures.com, Google will filter results for the search term you’re looking for from all around the web except the stanventures.com website.

This is also a great way for marketers to analyze their brand awareness without using any tools.

Try out these examples for exclude-exact terms:

  1. Google search engine and -google “search engine”
  2. Social media and “social” -media

Using OR Command

If you don’t want your search results to be precise but still want to control the search result, try using the OR command. 

The OR command is used to tell Google to show results related to either of the two keywords placed before and after OR.

Syntax for OR Command:

Search word OR search term 

or

Search word | search term 

For example, if you want to look up results for social media marketing, you can use the command [social media marketing sprout social OR social media examiner]. 

You can also use the pipe (|) symbol instead of OR to get similar results. 

OR function to search if not this then that

Try out these examples for the OR search command:

  1. Sej OR search engine journal OR stanventures
  2. Keyword Density | Keyword Staffing 

Customize OR Command

If you want to look for two specific phrases in the search results, you can use the OR Google search command to specify them.

Syntax for Customize OR Command:

“Search word” OR search term 

or

“Search word” | “search term” 

You can try multiple search combinations as you require. 

For example, you can look for “content marketing” OR “social media marketing.”

exact match search operator with if else condiction

With multiple search function

search operators exact exclude with if else or conditon

Try out the customized OR search operator with this example:

  1. “John Muller seo” or “john muller twitter” -Cena

Get More Results With Wildcard (*)

The wildcard operator is denoted by an asterisk (*). If you add this asterisk in the search command, it will show all the searched phrase variations.

Syntax for Wildcard Command:

Search*word 

For example, How to write*on

search command for content research using wildcard operator

Try out the Wildcard search operator with these terms:

  1. Link building*strategy
  2. SEO*2020

Include Words (+)

Just like you can exclude words from the search, you can also include words by using the plus (+) command. 

Syntax for Include Word Command:

Search +word 

For example, searching for content marketing +video

include search operator is must include in web result

Try out the Include search operator with these terms:

  1. Iron man +movie
  2. twitter +webmasters

Find Words Around Each Other

One of the Google search commands that people hardly use is the AROUND (X) operator. This command can be used to look for terms that are close to each other in a sentence

 X denotes the number of words that can separate the two terms at most. This is useful when you want to look for information connecting two topics.

Syntax for Around() Command:

Search word() 

For example, you can use the command off-page SEO AROUND (7) link building.

Try out the AROUND() search operator with these terms:

  1. SEO audit AROUND(10) tools
  2. Social media hashtag research AROUND(15) tools

Search Specific Sites 

If you want to get the search result from a specific website, site: name of the site you want to see your search result from.

Syntax for Specific Site Search Command:

Site:yourwebsite.com “Search term”

You can also specify the keyword or keyphrase you are looking for on that particular site. So, the command will look something like this example site:site:stanventures.com “Cumulative Layout Shift”

Search specific term from any website

Search Related Sites

This command is used to find sites that are related to sites you already know. You should use the command related:site name.

Syntax for Search Related Sites Command:

Related:site name

search command related sites which shares same niche

Try out these examples for search related sites command:

  1. related:google.com
  2. related:moz.com

See Cached Versions

The cache:site name command is used to find when the most “recent” cached version of a web page google indexed.

Syntax for Cached Version Command

cache:site name

cached-version-search-command

As you can see in the image above, the last time google crawled google.com site was on 30th August 2020, 11:53:44 GMT.

Search Specific Domain Type

If you want to see search results from a specific domain, say, for example, .org, you need to use this command site:net.

Syntax to search specific domain type

site:domain type

to search domain type

Try search specific domain type command with these examples:

  1. site:.edu
  2. site:.org

Search Using a Range of Numbers

Google can find results involving a range of numbers. For this, you need to add two periods (..) between both the numbers to define the range.

Syntax to Search Using a Range of Numbers

keyword Starting range number..ending range number

search function to find withhin the range

For example, if you have a specific budget to purchase a laptop for yourself and don’t want to see models that exceed it, you can use the google search function [laptop price $200..$600].

Find Keywords in Page Titles

If you are looking for a specific keyword within a page title, use the Google search command intitle:keyword.

Syntax to Find Keywords in Page Titles

intitle:keyword

to search keyword in title on serp

Try using the intitle command with these examples:

  1. intitle:SEO
  2. intitle:marketing

Find Phrases in Page Title

Use allintitle: phrase command lets you search for an entire phrase in the title.

Syntax to Find Phrases inPage Title

allintitle:phrase

all intitle search function

Try using the allintitle command with these examples:

Allintitle:seo services

Allintitle:content marketing services

Find a Keyword in Page Content

You can use the operator intext: keyword to search pages containing certain words anywhere in the content.

Syntax to find Keyword in Page Content

intext:phrase

intext search funtion

Try using the intext command with these examples:

  1. intext:seo 
  2. intext:content

Find Phrases in Page Content

Just like how you find phrases in the page title, you can use the command allintext: phrase to find phrases from the body text.

Syntax to find Phrases in Page Content

allintext:phrase

intext search operator

Try using the allintext command with these examples:

  1. allintext:seo services
  2. allintext:content marketing services

Find Keyword or Keyphrase in the Anchor Text

To find a keyword in the anchor text, just type the command inanchor:keyword. 

For finding a keyphrase in the anchor text, you’ll have to use the Google search operator command allinanchor: keyphrase.

Syntax to Find Keyword in the Anchor Text

anchor:keyword

Try using the inanchor command with these examples:

  1. inanchor:seo 
  2. inanchor:marketing

Syntax to Find Keyphrase in the Anchor Text

allinanchor:phrase

Try using the allinanchor command with these examples:

  1. allinanchor:seo services
  2. allinanchor:content marketing services

Find Keyword or Keyphrase in the URL

To find a keyword in the URL, just type the command inURL: keyword. 

Syntax to Find Keyword in the URL

inurl:keyword

inurl search operation

Try using the inurl command with these examples:

  1. inurl:seo 
  2. inurl:content 

For finding a keyphrase in the URL, you’ll have to use the Google search operator command allinURL: keyphrase

Syntax to Find Keyphrase in the URL

allinurl:phrase

Try using the allinurl command with these examples:

  1. Allinurl:seo services
  2. Allinurl:content marketing services

Finding Content by a Specific Author

Find content written by your favorite influencer or guest blogger easily using this command from the Google search operators list-[allinpostauthor: name of the influencer/blogger].

Syntax for Finding Content by a Specific Author

allinpostauthor:name

For example, if you want to see content written by Barry Shwartz, type allinauthor:Barry Schwartz

Narrow Down Search to a Specific Location

For local SEO optimization, location-based searches are always necessary. 

Therefore for location-based searches, you can use the command loc: location name to narrow down the results

For example, to find an SEO agency in London, you can use the command SEO agency loc: London.

Syntax to Narrow Down Search to a Specific Location

loc:name of the location

Try using the loc command with these examples:

  1. loc:birmingham
  2. loc:paris

Identity Pages that Aren’t Secure

If you want to identify the pages that can be harmful, run a command like this site:etsy.com -inurl: https. 

Get Definition

Want to get the definition for a search term? Use the Google Search Command define: search term.

Syntax to Get Definition for a Search Term

define:keyword

what is define search function

Try using the define command with these examples:

  1. define:digital marketing
  2. define:schema markup

Search by Filetype

If you are looking for a specific file type, say PDF,  enter the search term followers by this command filetype: pdf. You’ll only get results that contain PDF files.

Syntax to Search by Filetype

Filetype: specify the file format

Try using the filetype command with these examples:

  1. Filetype:.pdf
  2. filetype:.gif

Conclusion

If you’ve made it this far, it means you were really keen about learning the Google search operators list.

We recommend you bookmark this content and keep going through the commands unless you absolutely master it, which honestly, is not a big deal.

Google search operator list is really a great resource for all those budding SEO professionals and digital marketing enthusiasts, so utilize it at your benefit. 

 

About Shreoshe Ghosh

Shreoshe has been crafting and editing content on multiple niches for more than 4 years. She specializes in blogging on SEO and digital marketing. When she isn’t writing, you can find her working for the welfare of street animals. Reach her @ Mail | LinkedIn | Facebook or View all posts by Shreoshe

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