Know the Google Search Operators

search engine

Problem well defined is half solved.

Perhaps, this statement makes perfect sense while doing Google searches.

When you are trying to search for information on Google, more often than not, your search query also throws up some totally unrelated results to your query.

It takes a lot of time and effort to weed out the unwanted information and pick the right ones. In most of the cases, as a web user you may not even venture beyond third page!

Is it that difficult to find the related information on the internet? Or, is Google to be blamed for its search algorithms?

Aren’t there any easy ways to make your search activity well modified so that it yields you better search results?

The answer lies in Google search operators. In order to modify your search query and get precise search results you need to understand the search operators and use them wisely.

Google Search operators

If you go by the definition of Google search operators, they are search symbols or search words used in your search to get more accurate search results.

Search made easy

  1. Search operators help you in refining or modifying your search
  2. They could be used independently or/ and in combination to get the best results for your search query
  3. With their specific uses, each search operator could help you in unearthing information very specific to your query
  4. They are the best search tools to help you save on your time greatly

Let’s take a look at some of the important search operators that anyone could use for their day to day search activities on Google.

Search Operators used along with search terms

Phrases or statements

These are the most commonly used Google search operators. All you have to do is type in your statement or the phrase and search for the results. The search results would pull up every other website which has either the phrase or the statement mentioned. E.g. digital marketing

digital marketing

The results list every webpage where digital marketing is mentioned – from what is digital marketing, to benefits, strategies and courses too.

This is a very pretty easy method but it is not free from drawbacks. As said earlier, you may to skim through a whole lot of pages remotely related to your search query.

It means a lot of effort in vain!

Use “phrase/ statement”

In order to narrow down your search results you could use the same search query as “digital marketing course”. Now, Google would search for webpages with the exact words as digital marketing courses.

digital marketing course

OR

Another useful search operator is the OR. If you would like to search for a particular term or anything similar to it, then OR comes in handy. For example, if you want to search for digital marketing strategies or methods, then could use the OR operator as below.

E.g. “digital marketing methods” OR “digital marketing strategies”

digital marketing methods

[-] operator to exclude search term

This search operator helps you in excluding phrases that more often than not show up in the search results. For instance, if you would like to search for the meaning of digital marketing but want digital marketing strategies out of the results, you could use this Google search operator in the following way.

For example “digital marketing means”-“digital marketing strategy”

You could further refine your search by adding multiple exclusion phrases such as

E.g. “digital marketing means”-“digital marketing strategy”-“digital marketing strategies”

digital marketing strategy

[+] operator to include search term

When you are doing a Google search, the other way round is possible too. In the sense, you could add multiple words or phrases to your search term in order to pull out more resources.

For e.g. content marketing+blogs, in case you are looking for web pages with results both content marketing and blogs mentioned.

You could also use this operator to include multiple phrases. It could be used as below.

E.g. “Content marketing”+ “email marketing”+ “social media marketing”

content marketing

~

If you intend to get synonyms of a particular search term you could use the tilde (~). This is how you could use this search operator in your search query.

E.g. new year ~celebrations

The search results would list everything related to new year celebrations – parties, events ideas etc which are very synonymous with new year celebrations.

new year celebrations

#

Hashtags are best associated with social media platforms. If you intend to check on the hashtags related to a particular term, then this Google operator should come to your aid.

E.g. #digitalmarketing

digitalmarketing

Search operators specific to sites

site:

If your search entails you to look for information within a specific domain, then you could use site: operator to fetch to the best results. This operator limits it search to that particular site alone.

For e.g. If you want to check how many pages did Google bots have indexed a particular site, then you could type in as below.

E.g. site:www.thedigitalvibes.com

the digital vibes

movie:

If you are a movie buff and would like to get all kinds of information related to your favorite movie then, this Google search operator is best suited to address your needs. For instance,

E.g. movie:snow white and the seven dwarfs

snow white and the seven dwarfs

related:

Sometimes you may have to search for only websites related to a particular website. This search operator is just cut out to do that job.

E.g. related: facebook.com

social media

weather:

This Google search operator will give you results about the webpages talking about the weather of a particular place.

E.g. weather:Bengaluru

bengaluru weather

Conclusion

The search engine giant has compiled a large list of Google search operators to benefit both common users and digital marketing professionals. Hence, the kind of user you are, these search operators prove beneficial.

So, the next time you to try to search on Google, fret not. Be wise to use any of these Google search operators to pull out precise results meeting your search query.

3 thoughts on “Know the Google Search Operators

  1. Thanks for writing this awesome article. I’m a long
    time reader but I’ve never been compelled to leave
    a comment. I subscribed to your blog and shared this
    on my Twitter. Thanks again for a great article!

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