Refine web searches

You can use symbols or words in your search to make your search results more precise.

  • Google Search usually ignores punctuation that isn’t part of a search operator.
  • Don’t put spaces between the symbol or word and your search term. A search for site:nytimes.com will work, but site: nytimes.com won’t.

Refine image searches

  1. Go to Advanced Image Search.
  2. Use filters like region or file type to narrow your results.
  3. At the bottom, click Advanced Search.

Search for an exact image size

Right after the word you’re looking for, add the text imagesize:widthxheight. Make sure to add the dimensions in pixels.

Example: imagesize:500x400

Common search techniques

Search social media

Put @ in front of a word to search social media. For example: @twitter.

Search for a price

Put $ in front of a number. For example: camera $400.

Search hashtags

Put # in front of a word. For example: #throwbackthursday

Put - in front of a word you want to leave out. For example, jaguar speed -car

Search for an exact match

Put a word or phrase inside quotes. For example, "tallest building".

Search within a range of numbers

Put .. between two numbers. For example, camera $50..$100.

Combine searches

Put “OR” between each search query. For example, marathon OR race.

Search for a specific site

Put “site:” in front of a site or domain. For example, site:youtube.com or site:.gov.

Put “related:” in front of a web address you already know. For example, related:time.com.

See Google’s cached version of a site

Put “cache:” in front of the site address.

Important: Not all search operators return exhaustive results. 

Filetype

site:domainname.com filetype:txt – inurl:robots.txt

Allintext

This operator will help you find whether all the terms that you are looking for shows up in the text of that page. This operator, however, isn’t pin-accurate because it won’t look for text that appears close together on the page.

Example:

allintext:content social links

Intext

This operator is more global in that it allows you to find terms showing up in any area of the webpage, such as the title, the page itself, the URL, and elsewhere.

This is useful if you want to perform research into how others’ on-page SEO footprints are being categorized by Google.

Example:

word one intext: other term

Inposttitle

If you are performing blog research, this operator is useful for finding blogs with certain search terms in the blog title.

Example:

inposttitle:weight loss goals

Allintitle

This search operator is a great way to find blogs that match the content you are writing about.

For example, you could use allintitle to research what others are doing for that particular topic.

Then, you could compare to ensure yours is higher quality.

Example:

allintitle:how to write content for seo

Intitle

This is a narrower operator that will help you find more targeted results for specific search phrases.

If you wanted to find pages that are all about “drawing with micron pens,” for example, you would use this example:

intitle:drawing with micron pens

Allinurl

This one allows you to find pages with your requested search terms within the URL in internal search pages.

For example, say you wanted to perform research on pages on a site that had the terms “drawing tablet.”

You would use the following example:

allinurl:amazon drawing tablet

This will bring up all internal URLs on Amazon.com that have the terms “drawing tablet.”

Inurl

To find pages on a site that has your targeted search term in the URL and a second term in content on a website, you could use this operator. This is useful for finding sites with strong on-page optimization for the topics you are researching.

Example use:

inurl:drawing portraits

Allinanchor

This operator is useful for performing research on pages that have all terms after “inanchor:” in anchor text linking back to the page. Example:

allinanchor:"how to draw anime"

Inanchor

This is used to identify pages with inbound links that contain the anchor text specified.

However, data is only sampled and doesn’t provide accurate global results.

Example:

inanchor:"digital painting"

Around()

Do you want the focus of your results to be super narrow?

This is a great way to identify search results where two or more terms appear on the page, and also appear very close to each other (denoted by the number in the parentheses).

Example use:

digital drawing AROUND(2) tools

@

Do you want to restrict your search to social media? You can easily do this using the @ symbol.

You can also use the # symbol to search within hashtags on Google.

Example:

mangoes @facebook

References