Google Search Operators: The Complete List

By Raghav Tayal

Anyone reading this can operate the Google search engine or every other search engine, for that matter.

It’s fairly simple. Just type your search query into the search bar and hit enter. You will be presented with all the content that the search engine finds relevant to your search.

However, that isn’t the only way to use search engines. In fact, it is perhaps the most elementary way of using the incredible potential of search engines to find relevant information. In order to tap into this power, users must make use of Advanced Search Operators or ASOs.

ASOs are commands that users can enter in a search engine to obtain specific results.

If this feels a little vague, don’t worry.

In the upcoming sections of this article, we will discuss all the Advanced Search Operators, along with their functions.

Let’s begin by understanding ASOs in a little more detail.

Disclaimer: Since Google is the most popularly used search engine, it will be the focus of this guide. All the information shared in the guide will be most or exclusively relevant when using the Google search engine.

What Are Google Search Operators?

As mentioned above, Google Search Operators or Advanced Search Operators are commands that can be entered into the Google search bar to obtain specific results. These can be used to obtain results from a specific website, or results that contain specific terms in the URL, or even filter out results that contain specific terms.

This kind of specificity can be used for a variety of purposes, both personal and professional. For instance, professional content writers can use ASOs to find specific information quickly to help with their research.

ASOs are also considered a powerful tool for SEO professionals and website owners taking care of their own website’s SEO.

From locating indexation errors to finding internal linking opportunities, ASOs can be employed to serve a variety of purposes. These will be discussed in more detail in the upcoming sections of this article.

For now, let us look at the complete list of ASOs that can be used on Google.

Google Search Operators: The Complete And Most Updated List

Historically, the number of Google Search Operator commands has only shrinked in number. The worst part is, in most cases, the Google team does not even bother to officially announce the fact that they are removing the support for certain Google Search Operators.

This is perhaps why most of the articles about Google Search Operators become obsolete after a while.

To save you (our readers) from redundant information, I have personally tested all the ASOs mentioned in the following list:

“Search Term” (Putting Quotation Mark Around The Search Term)

Putting your search term between quotation marks will tell Google to conduct an exact match search. This will filter out all results containing synonyms (if the search term is a single word), and refine the results for more relevance. Here’s an example:

AND (Add AND Between Two Search Terms)

By adding the term “AND” (without quotation marks) between two search terms, you can instruct Google to search for results that contain both terms. Individually, AND is not really special, as Google’s default setting is to search two terms assuming there’s an “AND” between them. However, the “AND” operator can be very handy when used in conjunction with other ASOs.

OR (Add OR Between Two Search Terms)

As the command’s name suggests, it will instruct Google to show results that contain either of the terms (or both) before and after “OR”.

The symbol “|” can be a substitute for using “OR”. Here’s an example:

OR:

$/€ (Dollar Or Euro Currency Symbols)

Adding the Dollar ($) or Euro (€) currency symbol will enforce a price list search. The results are often surprisingly specific. Here’s an example:

Note: Google Search currently only supports the above-mentioned currency symbols.

– (Hyphen)

By adding the hyphen symbol (-) between two terms, the term placed after the hyphen can be excluded from the search. For instance, by searching for “Tesla Motors California -Los -Angeles -LA”, you’ll get the following result:

* (Adding The Star/Multiplication Symbol Between Two Search Terms)

The multiplication symbol will match any two terms surrounding it. For instance, “insurance*Montana”, will yield the following results:

[] (Using the Bracket Symbol Around A Set Of Search Term)

By grouping together multiple terms in your search using “[]” you will be able to tell google to consider them as groups. If there are other ASOs present within the “[]”, Google will also execute their commands, as groups, when showing the results.

Site:Sitename (Using Site:Sitename Before A Search Term)

By using the Site: command, you can instruct Google to limit results to pages of a specific website. Here’s an example:

Intitle: (Using Intitle: Command Before The Search Term)

By using the Intitle: command, you can instruct the search engine to exclusively show results that have the specified search terms in the title. Here’s an example:

Note: This command only works as intended when used with a single-word search term.

Allintitle: (Using Allintitle: Command Before The Search Term)

This command is similar to the previous one. The only difference is, when this one is enforced, Google shows results where the title has all of the terms included in the search.

Inurl: (Using Inurl: Command Before The Search Term)

Another command that is similar to the previous ones. With the Inurl command, you can search for pages where the URL contains the search term that you specify.

Allinurl: (Using Allinurl: Command Before The Search Term)

Allinurl: enforces a search for pages where all the specified search terms are present in the URL.

AROUND [Number] (Placing the Around Command, Along With A Number In-Between Two Search Terms)

The AROUND [Number] command can be executed by putting the term “AROUND” and replacing the number with a desired number. If, for instance, you place the number ‘3’, Google will show results where the two search terms have appeared separated by 3 words.

Related: (Placing Related: Before A Search Term)

With the Related: command, you are instruct Google to search for pages related to a term or URL. Here’s an example:

Catche: (Placing Catche: Before A Search Term)

This ASO command only works with website URLs. When used, it instructs Google to open the last Cached copy of the specified website.

Filetype: (Placing Filetype: After A Search Term And Specifying The File Type)

This command allows you to access specific file types that contain your specified search term. It can be used to find PDF files, TXT files, PPT files, and many other formats of documents.

Weather: (Placing Weather: Before A Search Term)

The Weather: command can be used to find out the weather information for specific geographical locations.

Stocks: (Placing Stocks: Before A Search Term)

The Stocks: command can be used in conjunction with a stock’s name to obtain information about that stock.

Map: (Placing Map: Before A Search Term)

The Map: command will instruct Google to show the map information of a geographical location.

Movie: (Placing Movie: Before A Search Term)

This command allows the user to find information about a specific film. If the film you search for is currently playing in theaters, Google will also display the show timings from your local multiplexes and movie theaters.

Source: (Placing Source: Before A Search Term)

This ASO command prompts Google to search for news from a specific news source listed in Google News.

In

‘In’ can be placed in between two terms for conversion purposes. The two terms can take the form of currencies or measurement units.

There you have it, a complete list of all the search operators that currently work on the Google search engine.

With that said, it is one thing to know about the Advanced Search Operators and it’s an entirely different thing to be able to use them to your advantage. Sure, any layman can use commands like Map: or Weather: but not all of the ASOs discussed above have a single purpose.

In other words, ASOs can be used in a variety of creative ways to improve the efficiency and relevance of the results you get from your Google searches. Moreover, many of these commands can come in handy for SEO-related tasks.

Let’s look at a few examples of the same.

How To Use ASOs To Secure An SEO Advantage

Find Non-HTTPS Pages In Your Website

Having a SSL secured website is not optional anymore, especially if you have a website that processes online payments. Yet, many websites, including prominent eCommerce stores, are still lacking SSL certificates on many of their pages.

The ability to find unsecured (non-HTTPS) pages in any website is not just relevant to SEO professionals, but even to consumers that are worried about their online privacy and security.

SEO professionals can use this ability to find unsecured pages in their own or their clients’ websites.

To find non-HTTPS pages, you need to use the Site: command along with the (-) command and the inurl: command. Something like this:

Site:targetwebsite.com -inurl:https

The result should be a list of all the website pages that don’t have a https enabled URL.

Find Guest Posting Opportunities

Let’s face it, there is no dearth of ways of finding guest posting opportunities. Yet, discovering a new tactic is always beneficial. This is especially true if you find a way to use search engine results to find guest posting opportunities. To do the same, simply type the following combination of commands into the Google search bar:

<industry> intitle:”write for us” inurl:”write-for-us”

Just replace <industry> with your desired industry or niche. Using these commands, you will be able to find websites that have a so-called “write for us” page where they are actively seeking contributions from guest bloggers.

To make your search more thorough, you can experiment with the different ways people like to label their guest post contribution pages. Here are a few alternatives to “write for us”:

  • – “Write for me”
  • – “Become a contributor”
  • – “Guest post guidelines”
  • – “Guest contributor guidelines”

That’s not all. You can make your searches even more informative and efficient by searching for opportunities in multiple relevant industries. For instance, if an eLearning software provider is looking for guest posting opportunities, they can collaborate with websites and blogs working in the eLearning niche, the HR niche, and the technology niche. In this case, they can use all three industries in their search. Something like this:

[HR|Technology|eLearning] intitle:”write for us” inurl:”write-for-us”

Find Social Profiles Of Specific Prospects

While there is no denying that email is still an incredibly impactful outreach channel, it is also true that the email channel has been used quite extensively. If you have a small list of prospects or potential customers, then depending solely on email outreach is often not enough.

Reaching out to prospects across multiple touchpoints often becomes a necessity and doing so on social media platforms is the next best bet after email. To find a prospects social media profiles using the Google Search engine, you can execute the following command:

<name> <company name> [Site:twitter.com | Site:LinkedIn.com | Site:Facebook.com]

Find Indexation Errors

If you have a big website, keeping track of all the pages and their performance can be a challenge. Many times, you may overlook certain pages. So much so, that some of them may not even be indexed by Google.

Using the Site: ASO can help you find out about such pages and then you can take the necessary steps to get those pages indexed.

All you need to do is enter the following command into the Google Search bar:

Site:Yourwebsite.com

In the above command, replace “yourwebsite.com” with your own website’s URL. As a result, you will be presented with all of the pages of your website that you have indexed. Then, you can simply compare the number of results with your own website database and find the discrepancies.

This strategy can also be implemented to check indexation errors in specific sections of your website. Below is an example of how we checked our own blog section for indexation errors:

We have well over 8 pages dedicated to our blog. Meaning, there are a few that are not being indexed. All we need to do now is check our own database and compare it with the results shown by Google. Then, we can find the non-indexed pages and take steps to get them indexed.

Having said that, indexation errors can also be found and rectified using the Google Search Console. This is just an alternative way to double-check for indexation errors.

Find Backlink Opportunities In Resource Pages

Pages that list the best resources around a topic are known as resource pages. Since most resource pages point to content on other websites, they are great from a backlink building point of view.

One of the biggest challenges with securing backlinks on resource pages is finding the right resource pages. It is possible to overcome this challenge by using Google Search Operators in conjunction with a little bit of creativity.

The simplest solution is the following command:

<industry> [intitle:Resource | inurl:resource]

While this may return some useful results, it will also return a lot of useless, irrelevant results.

You can narrow down the results further with a command like this:

<industry> [intitle:resource AND inurl:resource]

If you create infographics as content or marketing assets, and want to look for backlink opportunities using those, you can use a similar command:

<industry> [intitle:infographic AND inurl:infographic]

Similarly, you can also look for specific infographics by replacing in the above command, with specific text. Something like this:

“How to do a deadlift” [intitle:infographic AND inurl:infographic]

Find And Delete Obsolete Files

As you may already know, the Google search engine doesn’t just return website pages as results, it also shows users relevant files uploaded on websites.

As a website owner, you may even have uploaded a file in the form of a report or a guide. However, if such a file becomes obsolete because of the discovery of new information, or simply because of the passing of time, directing users to the file may not be in your best interest.

That’s why, most website owners routinely make sure to no-index or delete such files. However, if you have a large website, keeping track of all the files you upload through your website can be a pain. In other words, there is a lot of scope for human error and a good chance that some obsolete files may be overlooked.

Google Search Operators can turn out to be handy tools in finding such files. All you need to do is enter the following command into the search bar:

Site:yourwebsite.com filetype:pdf

Just replace ‘yourwebsite.com’ with your website’s actual domain name and Google will display all the files of your website that are indexed with the search engine.

You can then compare the results with your own database of files that you want to be indexed. If you find a file that you don’t recognize or one that is not updated, get rid of it.

Find Duplicate Content Issues In Your Website

Before we start talking about how Google Search Operators can be utilized to uncover duplicate content issues, please note that this strategy may not work for eCommerce stores. This is because most eCommerce stores have repeating content on multiple product pages, with only slight variations.

If you have an eCommerce website and are looking for a solution for content duplicacy issues, check out our advanced guide on eCommerce SEO.

If you have a regular commercial or business website, then it is possible to use Google Search Operators to look for instances of duplicate content. To do this, you will have to use to following command:

Site:yourwebsite.com “suspected duplicate content”

Here, replace “yourwebsite.com” with your domain name and add the content you think may have been duplicated in between the quotation marks.

You can eliminate the Site: command from the above set of commands to check if any other websites have copied your content without your permission or without providing the required credits.

Find Relevant Websites For Unlimited Backlinking Opportunities

Let’s say you have found an excellent website where you can build a backlink. Surely, it isn’t the only website of its kind on the web. There can be multiple similar opportunities on similar websites.

You can use the Related: search operator to find such opportunities. For instance, for our website, Rankwatch.com is a good place to find a backlink. To find websites similar to Rankwatch, all we need to do is give Google the following command:

Related:rankwatch.com

Now, we know that Rankwatch is a relevant tool and their website is relevant to our niche. However, what happens when you come across a website where you aren’t sure of the relevance?

To determine relevance, simply add your industry name or a relevant keyword along with the above mentioned command, and you can verify the relevance. If Google only shows a handful of results, then the website may not be a relevant place to find a backlink.

Find Promotion Opportunities In Forum Websites

Forum and Q&A websites are a great place to promote your business. However, before going forward with this tactic, I would like to reinforce the fact that it isn’t a good idea to join such websites with the sole purpose of promoting your business. Instead, think about adding real value to the users of these websites, while promoting your business.

Having said that, you can use Google Search Operators to find forums or questions that are relevant to your business. Use the following command:

Site:Quora.com intitle:[relevant topic 1 | relevant topic 2 | relevant topic]

Here, Quora.com has been used as an example. You can replace it with the domain name of any forum where your audience is active.

Conclusion

Once you get the hang of using these commands, using regular Google Search may seem redundant. As you can see, using Google Search Operators can open a lot of doors, especially for SEO professionals. These can be used to reveal a variety of SEO opportunities in almost any niche. I hope that these will help you be more efficient with your SEO efforts.

Having said that, the list of things you can do with the help of Google Search Operators shared in this article is by no means complete. If there is a command or set of commands that you use regularly, or you find useful, don’t forget to share it with us and everyone else in the comment section below.