Guide to Using Advanced Search Operators

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Google is a complex search engine that allows you to get extremely specific with your searches. To find exactly what you’re looking for, you’ll need to use advanced Google search commands. Below are the top Google Advanced Search Operators you need to know.

For Finding Previous Webpage Versions

What You’ll Search: cache:domain.com

The “cache” search operator shows a version of the desired webpage from Google’s cache from a specific time in history. Archive.org is another great way to see what a website looked like at a specific time.

For Finding Specific File Extensions

What You’ll Search: ext:extensiontype

Using the “extension” search operator will return only webpages with the specified file extension (i.e. php, html, etc.)

For Finding Specific File Types

What You’ll Search: filetype:filetype

Similar to the “extension” search operator, the “filetype” search operator will only show results that are of a specified filetype (i.e. PDF, JPG, etc.)

For Finding Body Text Containing Specific Keywords

What You’ll Search: intext:keyword/keyword phrase

Using the “intext” search operator will return results that include a specific keyword in the body of the page’s text.

For Finding Title Tags Containing Specific Keywords

What You’ll Search: intitle:keyword

The “intitle” search operator finds pages that include a single, specified keyword in their title tag. This can be useful for finding alternative keyword phrases to include in your own site’s title tags based on what similar websites/competitors are doing.

For Finding Title Tags Containing Specific Keyword Phrases

What You’ll Search: allintitle:keyword phrase

Using “allintitle” finds pages that include multiple specified keywords in their title tag.

For Finding URLs Containing Specific Keywords

What You’ll Search: inurl:keyword/keyword phrase

The “inurl” search operator can be used to find a specific URL in Google’s index as well as to find pages that contain all specified words in its URL.

For Finding Similar Webpages

What You’ll Search: related:domain.com

The “related” search operator finds webpages that are similar to the specified webpage. This is a great tool for finding the websites you compete with on search engines and can provide insights as to what keywords you should be optimizing for.

For Searching Within A Single Domain

What You’ll Search: site:domain.com

The “site” search operator only returns results for pages within the specified domain and its subdomains. This is useful for

For Searching Broad Topics

What You’ll Search: *

The asterisk (*) search operator works like a wildcard for keywords and will take the place of any word or phrase. For example, the search query “best * in Royal Oak, MI” will return results for various “best” things in Royal Oak.

For Excluding Results Containing Specific Keywords

What You’ll Search: keyword

The “exclude” search operator is used to exclude results that include specific words or phrases. For example, the search query “wedding bands -music” will return results for wedding rings, not event entertainment.

For Finding Exact Keyword Matches

What You’ll Search: keyword/keyword phrase

Using the exact match (“”) search operator will return results that have an exact match to the specified phrase. This comes in handy when you are trying to find and remove duplicate content on your website.

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