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Advanced Web Search With Google Search Operators

With a market share of more than 90 percent. Google is by far the most widely used search engine in Germany. In fact, the industry leader with its simple user interface delivers answers to any query in an instant – clearly arranged and sorted by relevance. However, the desired information does not always appear on the first pages of the search results. This is mostly due to the accuracy of the search input. For how precise the search engine works. Determines the searcher first and foremost. What many users do not know: To refine the web search, Google offers special Google search operators. If you know these, you can specify your search query and get to your destination faster. We’ll tell you how it works.

Basic Google Search Operators

Google supports a repertoire of punctuation marks and symbols that can be used to refine search queries or exclude search terms. These base operators are entered into the Google search box along with the search terms and act as an instruction to the search engine on how to process a request. It should be noted, however, that Google considers search operators to be binding only if the search mode has been set to “literally”. Otherwise, Google sometimes ignores these instructions, assuming that it can deliver better results without Google search operators. All basic operators can be used in combination.

“Exact Search Phrase”

Users who put a search term or phrase in quotation marks (“”) use this operator to let Google understand that they only want to see search results that contain specific keywords in exactly the same spelling and order. This Google search operator is great for searching for quotes, songlines, or sections of text. The case of keywords is not considered by the search engine despite quotes.

– Search Term

Often it helps the search engine not only to specify what you are looking for but also what you are not looking for. Especially with ambiguous search terms, users often get irrelevant search results. To find the information you need faster, Google offers a search operator that can be used to exclude specific search terms. In addition, the hyphen (-) is used in combination with a search term. In this case, Google only displays pages that do not contain the unwanted hyphenated term.

Who z. For example, if you are looking for a new computer mouse, web pages related to the rodent or the child show can be hidden by negative search terms: Mouse Animal WDR

* Search Term

If you do not want to commit yourself to Google Search or if you do not know the exact wording of a search term, you can use Wildcard Search to automatically fill in Google search queries. An asterisk (*) is used as a wildcard.

For example, you can find phrases whose exact wording is unknown: who does not *, who does not *

# Search Term

The double-cross (#) can also be used in Google searches as an operator for trend topics. Similar to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, Google users can search for hashtags in such a targeted way. #ice bucket challenge.

@ Search Term

Similar to the hashtag, Google can be targeted to social tags with the @ sign.

The range of Google search operators has been adapted over and over again by Google over the years. For example, the synonym search with the tilde character (~) is no longer available today. The plus sign (+), on the other hand, has been assigned a new function. Previously, this Google operator was used to link search terms in the sense of “and”. As a result, only search results that contained all entered search terms were played. Today, however, this model is the standard Google search.

Extended Google Search Operators

In addition to the basic operators, Google Search offers more tricks to narrow search results. Here are special commands that used to be a keyword preceded separated by a colon. It should be noted that the search term without spaces follows the Google operator. The extended search commands can be combined with other operators.


The Google search command site: lets users view all indexed pages in a domain. In combination with a search term, all subpages containing the corresponding keyword are displayed:

Edward Snowden site:

The example request instructs Google to output all subpages of that contain the search phrase, Edward Snowden.

In addition, the search command in combination with the base operators is suitable for excluding specific domains from the web search. For example, the online encyclopedia Wikipedia can be banished from the search results list: Edward Snowden -site:

Relevant is the site query especially for website operators who want to optimize their project for the search engine. The search command can be used to check whether all relevant subpages of a website are listed on Google. In addition, the Google search operator provides suggestions for internal linking, since in combination with a keyword topic-relevant subpages can be filtered out.


The Google operator related: lends itself to finding alternative research platforms. Preceded by a domain, this search command tells Google to search for comparable websites.

If you are looking for IT-News, you can find alternative web-offers to Heise online like, related:

Website operators search with the operator related: also targeted by competitors.


Search queries with several alternative terms can be linked by the Google operator OR in the sense of a “or”. This command signals to the search engine that websites are also relevant, which contain only one of the mentioned search terms: Test “Nvidia GeForce gtx 950” OR “Nvidia GeForce gtx 960”


Who wants to display information about a domain map Google users, the search command is the info: available. It can display web pages that are similar to, refer to, or contain the domain name as a term. info:


If a search term is provided with the Google search operator intext:, the search engine will only provide links to web pages containing the corresponding search term in the text in the result list. intext: Edward Snowden

The example request displays only web pages that use the search phrase, Edward Snowden, in-text elements.

In a query, any number of search terms can be provided with the Google operator. Alternatively, the search command allintext: offers.


allintitle: is the Google search operator of choice if you want to match more than one search term in the title search. allintitle: WordPress tutorial beginner


If Google is looking for a keyword in the URL, the operator inurl: is used. In this case, the search engine only returns results whose Internet addresses contain the corresponding search term. For example, this Google search command can be used to narrow the search to specific web sites:

Audi A4 inurl: forum

A Google search restricted in this way primarily brings up forums in which Internet users exchange information about the Audi A4. Alternatively, the following search queries are available: [Search term] inurl: showthread, [Search term] inurl: topic


The URL search can be extended to the entire keyword set: allinurl: technology blog Linux


The search command filetype: is used whenever Google users want to limit the search to specific file types.

WordPress Tutorial filetype: pdf

Such a request signals to Google that only results in the file format PDF should be included in the web search. The search engine thus compiles a list of freely accessible PDF documents containing the corresponding search terms.

Other examples of file types that Google supports are doc or jpg.


The Google operator defines it: does not restrict the search results list to definitions only. But prefers to provide explanations for the respective search term.

With the Google search operator link: Google also offers website operators a way to get an overview of the incoming links of a domain. The result list shows in this case web pages, which link to the respective domain. However, the operator only works sporadically and does not provide a comprehensive backlink profile. For a complete overview, website operators should therefore resort to specialized providers such as Ahrefs.



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