Google Advanced Search Operators: 50+ Google Search Commands


Google search operators are like secret cheat codes that help you get more relevant search results. You still type your search into the Google search bar, but with search operators, you add a bit of text that turns into shorthand for special instructions about that search.

This article shares a full list of Google search operators to help you make your searches more productive and efficient.

For example: When gauging the amount of content dedicated to a specific topic, you can filter out 90% of less-focused content. Here’s an advanced search operator that tells Google that you are looking for content on SEO…AND that term should be in the title of anything they suggest to you.

With just one advanced operator you go from 730 million results:

search_operator1 Google Advanced Search Operators: 50+ Google Search Commands


To a much more specific 14.6 million results.

search_operator2 Google Advanced Search Operators: 50+ Google Search Commands

And this is just scratching the surface of the power of Google’s search operators.

You might also be interested in advanced keyword research. Get the same hyperfocus in a keyword search that you do with search operators.

How to Accomplish More with Search Operators

This full article will cover advanced tactics, why you’d use them, and examples of advanced search to improve your Google-fu. Look for some of those special angles listed just below the video.

You can also reference this video for more common practical uses of search operators and how you’d put them into action.

You can scroll through the article or use these links to jump ahead to specific things you can do with Google Search Operators:

Google Advanced Search Operators

In this industry, we can safely assume that you probably know your way around Google already. That’s why we’ll start with the advanced operators.

These operators help you navigate specific websites, or narrow your search in ways most laymen don’t need to do.

Remember this tip with each search command: Don’t put spaces between the symbol or word and your search term.


This operator limits your search to a single site. There are no spaces between the site: and the domain.


If you want to skim through a site’s content about a specific topic, follow the site command with a search term, like this:

Example: American express

This searches the website The Points Guy for its many pieces about using an American Express card.

Used alone, you can do a general search and quickly check if your indexed pages match up with your own database.


However, Google warns that this shouldn’t be used as an audit. It limits the results to a certain website, but it will not necessarily pull up all of the pages from that site that match the search. That means a little more to site owners who are looking for their own site’s indexed pages. John Mueller, Search Advocate at Google, HT to Nikki Halliwell for that reminder.

GoogleSiteOperator Google Advanced Search Operators: 50+ Google Search Commands
site_spyfu_com_-_Google_Search Google Advanced Search Operators: 50+ Google Search Commands

Use this search command to:

  • Find multiple related pages from one specific website.
  • Find internal duplicate content and other SEO errors.
  • Find link opportunities on a specific site. (Industry sites that have covered direct competitors, but not your product, in a comparison post)


The sister operator of the site. Allows you to choose a specific source in Google News. (Useful if you have to cite specific news sources when you write news pieces.)

Example: apple

apple_source_nytimes_-_Google_Search Google Advanced Search Operators: 50+ Google Search Commands

Use this search command to:

  • Source news pieces to reliable sites.
  • Find quotes and tidbits to spice up your content.


Intext tells Google that you want results where the text appears in the body of the page. (If the text appears in the title, but not the body text, it won’t be returned as a result. Since it virtually functions the same as a normal Google result, there aren’t many advanced uses. We kept it in the list to contrast it against this next operator “Allintext.”

Example: intext:airpods


Basically the same as intext, but every word in the query has to be in the body text of a page. Otherwise, Google does not include it in the results. Essentially functions as using “ ” quotes on individual words.

Use this search command to:

  • Find quotes.
  • Force accurate results for long-tail keywords.

Example: allintext:airpods 2


Intitle tells Google that you only want results where pages include the search term in their meta title tag. This operator helps you understand how many pages target a particular search phrase.

Use this search command to:

Example: intitle:samsung


This is nearly the same as intitle, but it specifies that every word in your long-tail search phrase is found in the title meta tag of all results. If you sold airpod pros on your ecommerce site you could use this operator to find other websites that have “airpod pro” in their titles.  This is a quick and easy way to spot your direct competition.

Google-airpods-pro Google Advanced Search Operators: 50+ Google Search Commands
(Image source)

Example: allintitle:iphone 15 expected features

Use this search command to:

  • Find direct competitors.
  • Gauge levels of content dedicated to a long-tail keyword.


Like with Intitle and Intext, Google will only return results where the search words are included in the URL. This will often drastically reduce search volume and can be handy for finding potential direct competitors.

inurl_airpods_-_Google_Search-1024x774 Google Advanced Search Operators: 50+ Google Search Commands

Example: inurl:airpods pro

Use this search operator to:

  • Find direct competitors.
  • Filter out bad results.
  • Find backlink opportunities.


This is a long tail version of “inurl” shown above. With the “allinurl” search operator, all words included in the search query must be in the URL.

For example, inurl:jomalone fragrance may pull up results with URLs like No direct mention of “fragrance.” Use allinurl:jomalone fragrance to get more curated results like

Keep in mind that for long search phrases, this often returns only a handful or no results at all.

Example: allinurl:jomalone fragrance

Use this search operator to:

  • Filter out bad results for popular topics.

Example: allinurl:apple airpods


Filetype: tells Google to return only results of, you guessed it, a specific type of file. It is useful when looking for research, which is often in PDF or other document file formats, rather than HTML.

seo_filetype_pdf_-_Google_Search Google Advanced Search Operators: 50+ Google Search Commands

Example: seo filetype:pdf

Use this search operator to:

  • Quickly find original research, statistics, and case studies on a certain topic.

Related: is an operator that helps you find sites related to a specified URL. Using it is an illuminating look into how Google categorizes your website and your competitors.

For example, if we take a look at the results for, it returns the usual SEO suspects, but also some peripheral competitors for attention.

related_airbnb_com_-_Google_Search Google Advanced Search Operators: 50+ Google Search Commands

Obviously, Airbnb’s two biggest competitors VRBO and Homeaway made the cut, but there’s something else. A more generalist booking website is listed as well. So from that, we learn that Google understands the categorical hierarchy of SEO inside of online travel.


Use this search operator to:

  • Find competitors.
  • Understand how Google is categorizing your site.


Limit results to pages that contain search words within X words of each other. Useful for finding quotes and song lyrics you don’t quite remember, but not much else. Google will bold the phrases it thinks you are looking for, not just the search words. (Note: It defines a range with a max of X, not just X.)

seo_AROUND_12__worst_-_Google_Search Google Advanced Search Operators: 50+ Google Search Commands

Use this search operator to:

  • Find quotes you only vaguely remember.
  • Find official statements/case studies/research that back up a point you want to make.

Basic Search Operators

Google’s basic search operators help filter the results you get from your search.

You should be familiar with every single one of these, so consider this a review, not a lesson. (As such the descriptions will be brief and there are no screenshots to explain.)

“” (Quotes)

Putting your search term in quotes initiates an exact match search for that phrase. The exact words in that exact order have to be on the page or. Using it on single words excludes synonyms and related words.

Example: “bissell crosswave 1785”

This is valuable for products that are being replaced. The example I used is for a wet vac floor cleaner that Bissell is starting to phase out. By using quotes, I avoid the more current pages from that newer model.

AND operator

Google will search for results related to both/all terms that you’ve typed in the search field. Typically Google’s algorithm will correctly estimate whether it’s a phrase search or multiple separate terms, making AND mostly redundant.

Example: seo AND content

–  operator

The hyphen (like a minus sign) helps you exclude words from your search queries. For example, you can search for “SEO California” but exclude “LA” if you don’t want results from that city.

Example: “SEO California -Los -Angeles -LA”

*  operator

The asterisk tells Google to “fill in the blank”. Similar to the more advanced AROUND(X) but you don’t specify the max length of a phrase. Like AROUND(X) it can be useful for finding quotes and phrases.

Example: Mackenzie Scott * Donation

() operator

Brackets group together terms or search operators to help structure an advanced search.

Example: allinurl: SEO (Los Angeles OR San Diego OR San Francisco).

OR / |  operators

The OR or | (pipe) operator actually combines searches. It tells Google that you are looking for either term, or that they can be interchanged. It helps to use brackets like in the example above, but it’s not necessary.

Example: workout yoga or pilates

Another use for this is to cover different phrasing from regional terms like the lifespan of a lightning bug OR firefly.

$ / €

This operator helps you search for products by price.

Example: cordless drill 200$


Putting two dots between two years creates a Google search command for results that fall within that year range.

Example:Stacey Abrams 2019..2021

Events peak over time. People see surges in popularity. If you want to pull from a span of time, this Year..Year advanced search command gets you there. It helps to pull in results from past years that have since been pushed down in rankings. (That could be relevance or freshness.)

The caveat here is inconsistency. I tried “best Twilight Zone episodes 2008..2012” knowing that there had been a surge of write-ups after Jordan Peele kicked off his modern adaptation. Here’s where it worked well: the top result came from 2012. The downside was that the remaining results came from 2019 or later.

Using memorable, compelling images alongside your content can set the tone for your articles. They are another layer of messaging and might even earn you more clicks in your social channels.

We’ve collected tips for finding specific images in Google’s image search.

Google Content / Card Operators

Google and SEO sites classify these as search operators. But, they interact with Google’s own content/function and don’t necessarily trigger an internet search.

  • Define:
  • Cache:
  • Weather:
  • Stocks:
  • Map:
  • Movie:
  • In / To

They might not be useful for research purposes, but understanding is a piece of the puzzle of having a holistic understanding of Google search.

More Actionable Things You Can Do with Search Operators

Quickly Gauge Competitiveness Of Long-Tail Keywords

For over 10 years we’ve known that the long tail is actually the bigger piece of the pie.

More than 50% of searches are 3 words or longer.

60% of Google searches are made for queries that are not even in the top 1 BILLION most popular ones.

Let that sink in.

That speaks to the importance of long-tail keywords. Finding and capitalizing on the long tail is key to your SEO success.

When you think of long-tail keywords, check the field for anyone who’s there already. Google makes it simple for you to gauge competitiveness for specific terms with the operator “allintitle”.

For example, let’s say you had a new content idea and you wanted to target the phrase “SEO small business San Diego”. You could quickly do an allintitle search.

allintile_seo_small_business_san_diego_-_Google_Search Google Advanced Search Operators: 50+ Google Search Commands

The results tell you that there are already 100 websites that have a dedicated page to this search term.

A Google search like this can be a useful indicator to quickly qualify keywords before you write them down into your content plan.

If you are looking for more complete insights into competitive metrics, though, try keyword tools like SpyFu where special commands are built in as features. For example, typing a domain into the Keyword Research search bar acts as a search operator to uncover the keywords that the domain ranks for and the keywords they buy. It’s a simple but effective step that helps you find results just like a special Google search command.

We recently covered competitive analysis on the blog, and how you can use the tools we provide to know everything about your competition. If you need help finding keyword ideas, we can also help with that.

SEOkeywords Google Advanced Search Operators: 50+ Google Search Commands

Long-tail keywords are an integral part of SEO strategy, and while doing an operator-qualified search is good for quick insights, it doesn’t go as in-depth as our tools.

Find Statistics & Research To Enhance Your Content

76.7 million pieces of content were published in February alone on blogs. That’s more than 2,7 million a day, and it’s not even the entire internet.

This simple statistic shows you the most important thing about content; there’s too much of it.

And it’s confusing the end-users. Trust in online reviews decreased significantly from 2015-2018. It declined from 31% who unequivocally believed in all reviews in 2015, down to 19% in 2018.

This decline was likely caused by the incredible increase in Amazon Associates and other affiliate websites.

These sites often have fake or dubious reviews, and this has impacted the reputation of the web as a whole. Bounce rates for many sites are increasing as it gets harder to gain user trust and attention.

But you need to get it if you want to conquer the top of Google SERPs. Results in the top 3 tend to have a lower than 45% bounce rate.

There’s too much content out there, and people are suffering from information overload. And people have less trust in internet content as there is more of it and they recognize less.

Why should they read yours?

How do you pique interest and gain trust in one move? How can you reduce bounce rates with the content itself?

Statistics from a reliable source. Borrowed trust.

When you read this section of the post, the first thing you saw was a statistic sourced to the blogging giant WordPress. If anyone has reliable data on the internet and content, it’s them.

So I borrowed their trustworthiness to level up my content.

Google makes it easy to do the same for any topic.

Specify the trustworthy site you want to source research to when you search for statistics.

people_trust_research_site_psychologytoday_com_-_Google_Search-1024x558 Google Advanced Search Operators: 50+ Google Search Commands

You can even search through multiple sources at once using brackets and |.

people_trust_research__site_psychologytoday_com_OR_site_apa_org___-_Google_Search-1024x774 Google Advanced Search Operators: 50+ Google Search Commands

Using this Google search command lets you find the combination of research and source that you want.

Statistics alone are no longer enough.

A reliable, interesting statistic, however, can help take your content to the next level.

Find Glaring Indexation Errors & Other SEO Issues

In a recent SEO study, 175 million websites were checked, and they found 300 million SEO errors. Almost 10% of the sites had issues with duplicated content or canonical tags.

Translation: Most websites have SEO errors, even with increased spending on SEO and content marketing.

At the time of this writing, even Apple had pages on HTTP despite HTTPS being an official ranking factor. (And indexed pages for discontinued services.) They have since removed that page.

iTunes_Movie_Trailers-1024x461 Google Advanced Search Operators: 50+ Google Search Commands

Sometimes the big dedicated budget can be a problem.

When larger companies have separate content teams in different departments, it can be hard to coordinate and make sure everything is up to snuff.

Even the most profitable company on the planet makes mistakes here.

One easy step you can take to find and fix insecure pages is to use the search command “ -inurl:https.”

That is exactly how I quickly found an HTTP page on

image14-1024x586 Google Advanced Search Operators: 50+ Google Search Commands

Another common issue is double indexing, but you can check for duplicate content with the Google site search command.

Again, the site: operator comes to the rescue.

Common offenders:

  • Product descriptions.
  • Case studies were used on multiple pages.
  • Long CTAs with short unique content on various pages.

A quick search for duplicate product entries for shows that they are in the clear.

image5-1024x553 Google Advanced Search Operators: 50+ Google Search Commands

If you work with clients that have big content budgets, or large eCommerce sites, it’s important to do these kinds of checks regularly.

You can even teach non-SEO members of the team to use Google Search operators to do these kinds of tests.

That way you can effectively share the responsibility and improve the organization’s SEO as a whole.

High-quality backlinks are still one of the most reliable ranking factors out there.

In a 2018 study, more Backlinks still had the strongest correlation with higher rankings compared to any other factor. On average, the 1st result had over 700% of the number of backlinks of result 10. And over 300% of the amount of referring domains.

Translation: a diverse backlink portfolio is still incredibly important in 2021.

But backlinks don’t just appear out of thin air.

Buying them isn’t an option (Google more than frowns upon this), and people don’t just hand them out for free either.

You have to do your research.

Maybe you even use some basic search operators to help you already.

But some advanced combinations can speed up your search dramatically.

If you combine intitle: with inurl: you can often eliminate 100% of the fluff from search results, and find resource/link pages that you need.

(Note: Allin operators tend not to play nicely together, so stick to in.)

image1-1024x301 Google Advanced Search Operators: 50+ Google Search Commands

Screenshot of example search on Google.

You can also quickly find authority sites that have done reviews or comparison posts that don’t include your service or product.

This can be done using a combination of OR and removing your own brand names with the hyphen -.

For example “laptop vs (macbook OR hp OR Huawei) -dell”.

Google OR search operator example

Example search on Google.

This phrase would help an SEO or content manager at dell quickly identify opportunities in the tech blogosphere.

Of course, site: also comes in handy here, as you can check whether or not industry websites have covered your products yet.

All in all, Google is an excellent tool for this, but it can be very time-consuming to do the checking and ideation manually.

The Officially Retired Search Operators

These inactive search operators no longer work. Some have officially been discontinued or deprecated, and others were attached to Google properties that have since been shut down.

Old school SEOs will fondly remember this one. In the past, you could use the “link:” operator to find pages linking to a specified URL. Google officially discontinued this operator back in 2017.

Other Deprecated Search Operators:

  • +
  • ~
  • inpostauthor:
  • allinpostauthor:
  • inposttitle:
  • info:
  • daterange:
  • phonebook:
  • #
  • blogurl:
  • inanchor:
  • allinanchor:
  • loc:placename
  • location:


Google is still the undisputed king of Search Engines. (91.94% worldwide market share as of December 2021.)

Knowing how Google works and how to get a better ranking in the Google SERPs is what puts food on the table of 99% of SEO professionals. Even then, Google holds a few mysteries with SEOs, especially when it comes to using Google’s advanced search operators.

Google is continually working on new things and discarding old projects. Don’t expect the list above to stay the same for very long. They typically retire their rarely-used search operators with little warning, so make be sure to check back on updated lists.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here