Advanced Search Operators on Google

Don’t you wish that sometimes Google could read your mind? It’s easy to waste time typing in search after search, only to give up in frustration, after not being able to find what you’re looking for.

If only there were a way to unlock some hidden features of Google search that could help you find exactly what you were looking for. Well…there is, and they’re called Google search operators.

Below we highlight some of the most common Google search operators that will help you craft more defined searches, so you can find exactly what you’re looking for every time you search.

1. Search For Exact Phrases

Searching for exact phrases in Google

The most effective way to find very specific search information is to use quotation marks around your search terms. This will run a search for your phrase in the exact order they’re presented. For instance, if you search for “how to play basketball” it will search for that exact phrase in that exact order.

2. Search For Information Within A Single Website

Google information within a specific website If you’re looking for information that’s featured on a single site, then you can use a crafty search variation to filter out all other websites.

Just search for relationship site: to search for all mentions of the term relationship across the website Huffington Post.

3. Search For Similar Content

Find Related Sites Using Google Advnanced Operators If you know there’s a website you love and enjoy, and you’d like to find more content that’s in alignment with that website, you can use a search term like

Just substitute the site mentioned above for the site of your choosing.

4. Exclude A Type Of Word From Your Search

Excluding a word in Google search

Sometimes the word or phrase you’re searching for might have an alternate meaning that you’d like to exclude from the search results. For cases like this you’ll want to use the exclude modifier, which will look like this: inception -movie.

The image search results aren’t always modified, per the example above.

5. Search For Words Within The Text Of The Website

Find words within the text of a website

Sometimes you’ll be looking for an exact phrase to appear within the text of the website. This will enable you to find the exact phrase you’re looking for. This search can also be expanded to the page title or URL as well.

Using intext: will search the text, intitle: will search the title, and inurl: will search for the URL.

6. Search For Number Ranges

Search number ranges in Google

If you’re looking to search for a number that’s in-between a range of numbers, then do the following search, president 1910..1920. Substitute the phrase and numbers for the range you’re looking for.

This is a great kind of search if you’re trying to answer a specific question that demand and exact date.

7. Search For An Either Or Scenario

Using the OR Operator in Google

When you’re searching for something, but don’t know the exact terminology that’s going to be used you can use this search to help you find what you’re looking for, for instance, web app OR website, can be used to help you determine the difference between the two terms.

8. Search For A Particular Location

Search by location in Google If you’re looking for news stories, or information, that are tied to a specific location, then use the search new bakery location:austin.

This will only pull up websites that are related to your search terms, and are in close proximity to the location you specified.

9. Search For A Specific Type Of File

Search Google by File Type

If you’re doing research, or need to find a certain downloadable file type, then you can use Google to execute this search for you. This will only work if the file you’re looking for is hosted on the specific website.

To look for certain files, use a search like filetype: pdf.

You can also use a more general version of this search, without including the exact site specification to turn up a larger number of results.

10. Search For Missing Words

Find missing words in Google

Sometimes you might be looking for a missing word to a song lyric, or phrase. By using the * symbol Google will attempt to find that missing word for you.

For instance, we’ll do a search for the phrase “* in the rain.” This brings up a collection of topics that are related to that missing word search.

Never again do you have to go without the information you need to find. By using the operators above you’ll be able to craft expert searches that will help you find the perfect statistic, research document, reference, or obscure movie fact.

Have more advanced Google search operators that you use? Let us know in the comments!

Kevin Wood writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes Wooden Writing and Counter Culturist.

2 thoughts on “Use These 10 Nifty Google Operators To Search Like A Pro

  1. I found this very helpful as I search for a lot of things that are hard to pin down in a word or two.

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