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Search like a pro: Google search operators

Comprehensive list of advanced search operators

Apr. 25, 2019 -

You probably use the world's most famous search engine to find things everyday, but you might not know about some of its advanced search operators. You can use these special search phrases to find things that are otherwise burried in the search results. Read along for a comprehensive list of advanced Google search operators.

Why use advanced search operators?

You may wonder why you might need the advanced search operators? Well, you can use them to narrow your search to very specific pages. This can be useful for things like:

"search phrase"

Perform an exact-match search by encapsulating the search phrase in quotes. You can use this to refine search results, or to exclude partial matches.

example: "Willem Laurentz Middelkoop"

AND

Search for both X and Y, the results will include pages that match both keywords.

example: Ronaldo AND Juventus

OR

Search for X or Y, the results will include pages matching either or both keywords. You can use the pipe (|) operator instead of "OR".

example: Apple | Samsung

Excluding/Minus: -

Exclude search results that match a given term or phrase preceded by the minus. This is useful when you are specifically looking for something that is not X or Y.

example: Jackson -Michael

define:

Use Google's built-in dictionary to display the meaning of a word.

example: define:hacker

cache:

Display the most recently crawled version of a given website. This can be useful when the actual website is offline or recently changed. This only works if the page is indexed by Google (most pages are).

example: cache:formula1.com

site:

Search within a given website (or partial website address).

example: watch band site:http://www.apple.com

related:

Find website that are somehow related to a given website.

example: related:ajax.nl

filetype:

Only show results that are a given file type, like PDF, XLSX, TXT or DOCX.

example: ascii art filetype:txt

intitle:

Only show pages with a certain search phrase in the title.

example: intitle:privacy

allintitle:

Like 'intitle', but only shows pages with all of the specified words in the title tag.

example: allintitle:privacy statement

intext:

Shows pages containing a certain word somewhere in the content.

example: intext:abacadabra

allintext

Like the intext filter, this filter only shows pages that contain all words on the page.

example: allintext:open sesame

inurl:

Find pages that contain a given word in their URL. This is handy when you're looking for a specific kind of page on a website (like an upload or login page).

example: inurl:upload

allinurl:

Similar to 'inurl' the 'allinurl' filter only shows pages that contain all given words in their URL.

example: allinurl:running shoes overview

Conclusion

With these advanced search filters you can tune your search queries to deliver you more targeted results. This allows you to find things quicker, or find things that otherwise would remain burried in the numerous results.

When you combine these advanced search filters you can become a true 'search ninja'. Try these queries for good fun:

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