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Be a better searcher: Google Search Operators

matt-willson
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Most people just type their search into the box and off they go. But did you know you can include search rules – called “operators” – to make your search more specific?

Usually as simple as just adding the operator and a : you’ll soon find how useful they are, for example to find all the website pages on the Aubergine site, type the following into the Google search box:

site:aubergine262.com

There are more than 25 Google search operators – we’ve listed here the ones that will help you most when optimising your own website.

site:

What it does: returns all indexed URLs for a specified website

Useful for: finding all your website’s indexed URLs ahead of a site relaunch, so that you can redirect those whose URL changes
(You can also use our bespoke Google 301 .htaccess generator to prepare the .htaccess file your server needs to process the redirects)

For example site:aubergine262.com

filetype:

What it does: returns only the filetype specified, eg pdf

Useful for: finding out all a competitor’s PDFs they’ve uploaded

For example site:aubergine262.com filetype:pdf

Phrase Match:

What it does: returns only pages where the phrase of the search query is in the page text

Useful for: finding pages already targeting a search phrase you’re thinking of targeting with content

(see intitle: for an example)

intitle:

What it does: returns only pages where the search query is in the page <title>

Useful for: finding pages already targeting a search phrase you’re thinking of targeting with content

For example intitle:”search operators” (used here in conjunction with Phrase Match quotation marks in this example)

inurl:

What it does: returns only pages where the search query is in the page’s URL

Useful for: finding pages already targeting a search word you’re thinking of targeting with content

For example inurl:”search operators” (used here in conjunction with Phrase Match quotation marks in this example)

related:

What it does: returns pages closely related to the URL entered

Useful for: finding pages already targeting a search word you’re thinking of targeting with content

For example related:www.aubergine262.com

cache:

What it does: returns what Google has cached for the specified page

Useful for: finding pages already targeting a search word you’re thinking of targeting with content

For example cache:bbc.co.uk

You can find all Google’s search operators here