If you are a digital marketer, you may know just how large Google actually is. Google now has more than 100 trillion web pages stored in its index. It is an enormous resource filled with products and services, instruction guides, news articles, and much more.
Considering Google’s size, being able to find specific web pages and resources within its index is a valuable skill. This is where Google Search Operators come in.
What is a Google Search Operator?
Google defines search operators as “symbols or words in your search to make your search results more precise.”
In simple terms, search operators instruct Google to show only a select list of results. They allow you to find exactly what you are looking for within Google’s index and find it fast.
What are Search Operators Used For?
Digital marketers use Google Search Operators in a variety of ways to achieve their goals. Popular uses include:
- Finding link building opportunities.
- Discovering PR and guest post opportunities.
- Identifying internal link opportunities.
- Locating duplicate content on a website.
- Identifying crawling and indexing issues.
Helpful Google Search Operators for SEO
There are very few things that you can’t find using the right search operators. Here are some useful operators for SEO:
The site: operator shows you web pages or a set of web pages within a particular website. This information can help you identify crawling and indexing issues. If a site: command does not show you a particular web page, then it is not included in Google’s index.
The -site: operator instructs Google to show you web pages that mention a keyword, brand, etc. but does NOT show you web pages from the designated website. This command can help you find reviews about your business, unlinked brand mentions, etc.
site: “page copy”
Duplicate content can limit the organic visibility of your web pages. You can identify duplicate content on your website by using the site: command along with copy from one of your web pages in quotation marks.
The intitle: operator shows you web pages that include a specific keyword or phrase in the title tag. This information can help you identify relevant resources and link building opportunities.
The inurl: operator shows web pages that include a specific keyword in the URL. Similar to the intitle: command, the inurl: command helps you find specific resources, guides, etc.
“write for us” + keyword
If you do PR or guest post outreach, you likely spend a portion of your time researching new opportunities. Use the “write for us” operator along with your target keyword to find relevant publications to reach out to.
It’s important to note that while these search operators are helpful, there are several others that can be used to achieve your digital marketing goals. Fortunately, the team at WTM Digital has curated a list of Google Search Operators so that you don’t have to! This easy-to-follow guide breaks down the various search operators and what they help you find.
Tips for Using Search Operators
As you start using search operators for yourself, here are a few extra tips that may help:
- Don’t be afraid to use more than one operator at a time. This will help you discover more granular and relevant results while reducing the number of unhelpful results.
- If you don’t see the results you expected, check your spelling . One small typo or misused character can greatly affect the results that Google shows you.
- Use search operators for competitive research . See where your competitors are earning links or publishing content. Use that knowledge to improve your own website’s SEO.
Google Search Operators are helpful in a variety of ways. They help you research new SEO opportunities and make improvements to your website.
The next time you search for information on Google, try using a search operator or two. You may be amazed at what you are able to find.