42 advanced Google search operators (full list)

Original author: Joshua Hardwick
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Those who have long been engaged in search engine optimization, are well aware of the operators of advanced search by Google. For example, almost everyone knows about the operator site:, which limits the search results to one site.

Most operators are easy to remember, these are short commands. But to be able to use them effectively is another story altogether. Many experts know the basics, but few truly master these teams.

In this article, I will share tips that will help search operators to master 15 specific tasks.

  1. Search for indexing errors
  2. Search for unprotected pages (not https)
  3. Duplicate content search
  4. Search for unwanted files and pages on your site
  5. Search for guest publishing opportunities
  6. Searching Resource Lists Pages
  7. Search sites with examples of infographics ... so you can offer your
  8. Search sites for posting your links ... and checking how they fit
  9. Search for profiles in social networks
  10. Search for opportunities for internal links
  11. Search for references to competitors for their PR
  12. Search for sponsorship opportunities
  13. Search for Q + A topics related to your content.
  14. Check how often competitors publish new content
  15. Search sites with links to competitors

First a complete list of all Google search operators and their functions.

Google search operators: complete list

Did you know that Google constantly deletes useful operators ? That is why most of the existing lists are outdated and inaccurate. For this article, I personally checked every operator that I could find.

Here is a complete list of all working, partially working and broken Google advanced search operators as of 2018.


"search query"

Forced search exact match. Use it to refine ambiguous search results or exclude synonyms when searching for individual words.

Example: “steve jobs”


Search by X or Y. Returns results related to X or Y, or both. Instead, you can use the operator (|).

Examples: jobs OR gates / jobs | gates


Search by X and Y. Returns only results related to both X and Y. Note: in reality, it does not matter for regular search, because Google inserts AND by default. But very useful in combination with other operators.

Example: jobs AND gates


The exclusion of a term or phrase. In our example, all pages will mention Jobs, but not with Apple (the company).

Example: jobs -apple


Acts as a wildcard for an arbitrary word or phrase.

Example: steve * apple


Grouping multiple terms or operators to control the issue.

Example: (ipad OR iphone) apple


Search for prices. Also works for Euros (€), but not for the British Pound (£).

Example: ipad $ 329


In fact, it is a dictionary built into Google. Shows the meaning of the word.

Example: define: entrepreneur


Returns the latest cached version of the web page (assuming the page is indexed, of course).

Example: cache: apple.com


Limits results to files of a specific format, for example, pdf, docx, txt, ppt, etc. Note: similar to the “ext:” operator.

Example: apple filetype: pdf / apple ext: pdf


Results for a specific domain.

Example: site: apple.com


Search for sites related to this domain.

Example: related: apple.com


Find pages with a specific word (or words) in the page header. In our example, all results will be returned with the word [apple] in the title tag.

Example: intitle: apple


Similar to “intitle", but will return results containing all the specified words in the title tag.

Example: allintitle: apple iphone


Find pages with a specific word (or words) in the URL. In this example, all results containing the word [apple] in the URL will be returned.

Example: inurl: apple


Similar to “inurl", but returns results with all the specified words in the URL.

Example: allinurl: apple iphone


Find pages containing a specific word (or words) somewhere in the content. In the example, all results containing the word [apple] on the page will be returned.

Example: intext: apple


Similar to “intext", but returns results with all specified words on the page.

Example: allintext: apple iphone


Search nearby. Pages containing two words or phrases at a distance of X words from each other. In this example, the words [apple] and [iphone] should be present in the text at a distance of no more than four words from each other.

Example: apple AROUND (4) iphone


Find the weather for a specific location. Displayed in a weather snippet, but also returns results from other meteorological sites.

Example: weather: san francisco


Exchange information (i.e., price, etc.) for any stock ticker.

Example: stocks: aapl


Map search results.

Example: map: silicon valley


Find information about a particular movie. Also finds a schedule of sessions, if the film is now shown close to you.

Example: movie: steve jobs


Converts one unit of measure to another. Works with currencies, weights, temperatures, distances, etc.

Example: $ 329 in GBP


Find news from a specific source in Google News.

Example: apple source: the_verge


Not really a search operator, but acts as a wildcard for autocompletion.

Example: apple CEO _ jobs

Partially working operators

Here are the operators that do not always give the desired result:

# .. #

Search for a range of numbers. In this example, the results are returned [WWDC video] for 2010-2014, but not for 2015 and subsequent years.

Example: wwdc video 2010..2014


Search for pages related to specific text in a link. In this example, all pages referenced with the words [apple] or [iphone] will be returned.

Example: inanchor: apple iphone


Similar to inanchor, but returns results containing all the specified words in the inbound links.

Example: allinanchor: apple iphone


Search a blog URL in a specific domain. Used in Google search blogs, but somehow works in the usual search.

Example: blogurl: microsoft.com

Note. Google Blog Search closed in 2011.

loc: placename

Find results from a given location.

Example: loc: "san francisco" apple

Note. Not officially closed, but the results are inconsistent.


Find results from a given place in Google News.

Example: location: ”san francisco” apple

Note. Not officially closed, but the results are inconsistent.

Broken operators

Google search operators that are deleted and no longer work.


Forced search in one word or phrase.

Example: jobs + apple

Note. The same is done with quotes.


Include synonyms. It does not work, because Google now includes synonyms by default. (Hint: to exclude synonyms, use double quotes).

Example: ~ apple


Find blog posts written by a specific author. Worked only in search on blogs.

Example: inpostauthor: “steve jobs”

Note. Google Blog Search closed in 2011.


Similar to the previous one, but eliminates the need for quotes (if you want to find a specific author, including the last name).

Example: allinpostauthor: steve jobs


Find blog posts with specific words in the title. It no longer works, as this operator was unique to search blogs.

Example: inposttitle: apple iphone


Search for pages that link to a specific domain or URL. Google killed this operator in 2017, but it still returns some results - probably not very accurate ( support discontinued in 2017 )

Example: link: apple.com


Find information about a specific page, including the last caching time, similar pages, etc. ( support completed in 2017 ). Note: identical to the operator id:.

Note. Although the original functionality of this operator is outdated, it is still useful for finding the canonical indexed version. Thanks @glenngabe for the info!

Example: info: apple.com / id: apple.com


Find results for a specific date range. For some reason uses the Julian date format .

Example: daterange: 11278–13278

Note. Not officially closed, but does not seem to work.


Find someone's phone number ( support discontinued in 2010 ).

Example: phonebook: tim cook


Search by hashtag. Appeared with Google+, now outdated.

Example: #apple

15 options for using Google search operators

Now consider several ways to effectively use these operators, including in combination with each other. Feel free to deviate from these examples, you can find something new.


1. Search for indexing errors

Most sites have pages that Google indexed incorrectly. Perhaps some page is not in the index, or vice versa, there is something extra there. We use the operator site:to find out the number of indexed pages on my site.

About 1040.

Note. Google here gives an approximate amount. For exact information, see the Google Search Console.

But how many of them are blog articles?

About a quarter: about 249.

I know my blog very well, so I am sure that I have fewer articles.

We investigate further.

It seems that several strange pages have been indexed.

(This is not even a real page - it gives 404)

Such pages should be removed from the index. Let's narrow down the search to subdomains and see what happens.

Note. Here we use the wildcard character (*) to find all subdomains belonging to a domain, in combination with the exception operator (-), to exclude the usual results of www.

Approximately 731 results.

Here is a page on a subdomain, which definitely should not be indexed. It immediately produces 404.

There are several other ways to detect indexing errors:

  • site:yourblog.com/category - find rubrics pages in a WordPress blog;
  • site:yourblog.com inurl:tag - find the tag page in a wordpress blog.

2. Search for insecure pages (not https)

HTTPS in our time has become a requirement, especially for e-commerce sites. But did you know that using the operator site:you can find unprotected pages? Let's check by example asos.com.

Oh god, about 2.47 million unprotected pages.

It seems that Asos doesn't use SSL at all - unbelievable for such a large site.

Note. Asos customers do not have to worry - checkout pages are safe.

But one more thing: Asos is available in https and http versions.

And we learned it with a simple operator site:!

Note. Sometimes pages are indexed without https, but after clicking on a link, it redirects to the https version.

3. Search for duplicate content

Duplicates are bad. Here is a pair of Abercrombie & Fitch jeans on the Asos site with a standard description:

Standard descriptions of third-party brands are often duplicated on other sites. But I wonder how many times the text is found on asos.com.

Approximately 4,200 times.

Now I wonder if the text is unique to Asos. Check it out.

No, it is not unique. There are 15 other sites with the exact same text, i.e. duplicate content. Sometimes duplicates are present on pages with similar products. For example, similar products or the same product in packages with different quantities. Here is an example on the Asos site:

As you can see, except for the number, the pages are the same. But duplicates are found not only on e-commerce sites. If you have a blog, people can steal and publish your content without a proper link. Let's see if someone can steal and publish our list of SEO tips.

About 17 results.

Note. As you see, I excluded ahrefs.comfrom the results with the exception operator (-), and also deleted the word [pinterest], because on request we get a lot of results from the Pinterest site that are not related to our task. It was possible to exclude only pinterest.com( -pinterest.com), but it has many domains, so this does not help much. Removing the word [pinterest] turned out to be the best way to clean up the results.

Most pages probablycreated as a result of syndication. Still, it is worth checking that they link to you.

4. Search for unwanted files and pages on your site (which you could forget)

It is difficult to keep track of everything on a large site, so it is easy to forget about some old downloaded files: PDF, Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, text files, etc. The operator filetype:will help you find them.

Note. Remember that the operator has similar functionality ext:.

Here is one find:

Never seen this article before, and you? By combining several operators, you can simultaneously display the results for different file types.

Note. This operator also supports .asp, .php, .html, etc.

It is important to remove or de-index them so that they do not come across to people.

5. Search for guest publishing opportunities.

The possibility of publishing on other sites ... there are many ways to find such resources:

But you already knew about this method, right !? ;)

Note. This method finds pages with the suggestion to write an article. These pages create many sites that are looking for authors.

So apply a more creative approach. First: do not limit yourself to one phrase. You can also use such search queries:

  • [become a contributor]
  • [contribute to]
  • [write for me] (yes, there are some bloggers who invite authors too!)
  • [guest post guidelines]
  • inurl:guest-post
  • inurl:guest-contributor-guidelines
  • and etc.

Many people forget one cool tip: you can search everything at once.

Note. This time I use the operator (“|”) instead of AND, it does the same.

You can even search for these phrases in view of the subject.

Need a specific country? Just add an operator site:.tld .

Here is another method: if you know a particular blogger in your niche, try this method:

So there are all the sites where this author was published.

Note. Do not forget to exclude his site from the issue to keep the results clean!

Finally, if you are wondering if a particular site accepts articles from third-party authors, try this:

Note. Many other phrases can be added to the list.

6. Search for pages with lists of resources.

Such pages collect lists of resources on a particular topic.

All this - links to third-party resources. Ironically, given the theme of this particular page - many links do not work there.

So if you have a cool resource, you can find the appropriate "resource" pages and submit an application to add your link there.

Here is one way to find them:

But it can get a lot of trash back. Narrowing the search: Narrowing

even more:

Note. It allintitle:guarantees that the title tag contains the words [fitness] and [resources], as well as a number from 5 to 15.

Operator note # .. #

I know what you're thinking: why not use the operator instead of this long sequence of numbers #..#. Good idea, let's try:

Strange, yes? The fact is that this operator does not fit well with most other operators. And in general it does not always work. Therefore, I recommend using a sequence of numbers with the OR operator or a vertical bar (“|”). This is a little time consuming procedure, but it works.

7. Search sites with examples of infographics ... so that you can offer your

Infographics have a bad reputation. Most likely, because many people create poor-quality, cheap infographics, which serve no real purpose ... except to “attract links”. But not all infographics are like that.

Who can you offer your infographics? Any famous sites in your niche?


We must refer to the sites that really want to publish it. The best way is to find sites where such materials have already been published:

Note. It makes sense to search within the range of recent dates, for example, over the past three months. If the site published infographics two years ago, this does not mean that they are still doing this. But if the site has published it in the last few months, then it is likely that it will accept yours too. Since the operatordaterange:It no longer works, you will have to specify a date range in the built-in Google search filter.

But then again, you have to filter the garbage.

Here is a quick trick:

  1. use the above query to search for high-quality infographics on a given topic;
  2. find where it was located.


Found two results in the last three months. And over 450 results for all time. Do this search for a few specific illustrations - and get a good list.

8. Search for sites to post your links ... and check how they fit.

Suppose you find a site where you want to place a link. Manually checked the relevance ... everything looks good. Here's how to find a list of similar sites or pages:

We get about 49 results, all similar.

Note. In the above example, we are looking for sites that are similar to the Ahrefs blog, and not the entire Ahrefs site.

That is one of the results: yoast.com/seo-blog.

I know Yoast well, so I am sure that this is the right site for our purposes. But suppose I do not know anything about this site. How to check that it fits? Here's how:

  1. run site:domain.comfind and record the number of results;
  2. run site:domain.com [niche], again write the number of results;
  3. we divide the second number by the first: if it is above 0.5, this is a suitable option; if above 0.75, then this is just super.

Let's try on an example yoast.com. Here are the number of results for a simple search:

And site: [niche]:

So, 3950/3330 = ~ 0.84 . Excellent result.

Now let's check on sites that are definitely not suitable for us.

Number of results for search site: greatist.com : ~ 18,000

Number of results for search site: greatist.com SEO : ~ 7

( 18000/7 = ~ 0.0004 = absolutely irrelevant site)

Important! This is a great way to quickly eliminate extremely irrelevant results, but it does not always work reliably. Of course, this is not a substitute for manual verification of a potential candidate: they should always be reviewed manually before contacting a proposal. Otherwise, you will start generating spam.

9. Search for profiles in social networks

Want to contact someone? Try to find contact information in this way:

Note. The name of a person is usually easy to find, but contact information is difficult.

Four best results:


You can then contact the person directly through social media. Or use tips 4 and 6 of this article to search for an email address.

10. Search for opportunities for internal links.

Internal links are very important. They help visitors navigate your site and are also useful for SEO (if used wisely ). But you need to make sure that you add internal links only where appropriate. Let's say you just published a large list of SEO tips. Isn't it great to add an internal link to this article from all the pages where SEO tips are mentioned?


But it’s not so easy to find appropriate places to add these links, especially on large sites. Here's a quick trick:

For those who have not yet mastered the search operators, here we do the following:

  1. We limit the search to a specific site.
  2. Exclude the page / publication to which you want to create internal links.
  3. We are looking for a specific word or phrase in the text.

Here is one of the relevant pages I found with such a query: The

search took three seconds.

11. Search for references to competitors for their PR

Here is the page on which our competitor is mentioned - Moz.

Found with this advanced search:

But why not mention Ahrefs blogs? :(

With the help site:and intext:I see that this site used to mention us a couple of times.

But they did not post any article with an overview of our tools, as is the case with Moz. This makes it possible. Contact them, chat. Maybe they will also write about Ahrefs.

Here's another cool query that you can use to find reviews about competitors:

.. Note: Because we are using [allintitle], rather than [intitle], we obtain the results with the word [review] and the name of one of the competitors in the tag header

can talk to these people so that they can review your product / y the servant.

Here's another tip. The operator is daterange:outdated, but on the search page, you can add a filter for dates to find the latest references to competitors. Just use this built-in filter.

It seems that over the past month published 34 reviews of our competitors.

12. Search for opportunities for sponsorships.

Sponsored posts are paid articles promoting your brand, product or service. This option is not intended for posting links.

The Google Guide clearly forbids:

Buying or selling links that convey PageRank. This includes the transfer of money to links or messages containing links; transfer of goods or services in exchange for links; sending someone a "free" product in exchange for what they write about it and put a link.

That is why you should always follow links in sponsored articles.

But the true value of these articles still does not boil down to links. This is PR, that is, a demonstration of your brand in front of the right people. Here is one way to find sponsored posting options with Google search operators:

Approximately 151 results. Not bad.

Several other combinations of operators:

  • [niche] intext:”this is a sponsored post by”
  • [niche] intext:”this post was sponsored by”
  • [niche] intitle:”sponsored post”
  • [niche] intitle:”sponsored post archives” inurl:”category/sponsored-post”
  • “sponsored” AROUND(3) “post”

Note. The examples given are examples. Almost certainly these messages can be found in other phrases. Do not be afraid to test different ideas.

13. Search for Q + A topics related to your content.

Forums, as well as sites with questions and answers are great for promoting content.

Note. Promotion! = Spam. Do not go to these sites just to add your links. Publish valuable information, and along the way, sometimes - relevant links.

Quora comes to mind, which allows you to publish relevant links in your responses.

The answer in Quora with a link to the SEO blog

True, these links are tagged nofollow. But we are not trying to build a link base here, this is PR! Here is one way to find suitable topics:

This can be done on any forum or site with questions and answers. The same search for the Warrior Forum:

I know that there is a section on search engine optimization. Each topic in this section in the URL indicated.com/search‐engine‐optimization/. So I can further refine the request with the operator inurl:.

Such operators even find topics on the forum better than the built-in search on the site.

14. Check how often competitors publish new content.

Most blogs are in a subfolder or subdomain, for example:

  • ahrefs.com/blog
  • blog.hubspot.com
  • blog.kissmetrics.com

This makes it easy to check how regularly competitors publish new content. Check on one of our competitors: SEMrush.

It looks like they already have about 4,500 articles. But it is not so. This includes blog versions in different languages ​​that are on subdomains.

Filter them.

This is more like the truth: about 2,200 posts. Let's see how much is published in the last month. Since the operator daterange:no longer works, we use the built-in Google filter.

Note. You can specify any date range. Just select “Custom”.

About 29 posts. Interesting. This is about four times more than ours. And they generally have about 15 times more posts than we do. But we still get more traffic ... with a twofold excellence in value.

Quality is more important than quantity , right !?

The operator site:in combination with the search query will show how many articles a competitor has published on a particular topic.

15. Search sites with links to competitors

On competitors put links? Maybe we can get them too? Google stopped operator support linkin 2017, but it still returns some results.

Note. Be sure to exclude a competitor site to filter internal links.

About 900 thousand links. Here, too, the filter by date is useful. For example, in the last month, 18 thousand new links were put on Moz.

Very useful information. But this data may also be inaccurate.


Google advanced search operators are insanely powerful. Just need to know how to use them. But I must admit that some are more useful than others, especially in search engine optimization. I almost daily use site:, intitle:, intext:and inurl:, but very rarely resorted to the help AROUND(X), allintitle:and many other more turbid operators.

I would also add that many operators are useless if they are not used in combination with another operator ... or two or three. So play with them and write how else to use them. I will gladly add to the article any useful combinations that you find.

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