Google Search is one of the most powerful tools we have today. And it is very important to know how to do a Google search because most of us are not searching the right way. This is precisely what I will share with you today – How to do a Advanced Google Search by using some cool google search operators. We will learn Advanced Search Techniques to get more control over your Google search query to search the information available on the internet.
Searching for anything on google is a 3-step process which most of us follow.
“Enter Search Text” -> Click on the Link -> Look out for information
Simple enough, right? Most of do a basic or advanced search on google this way. Well, this method is not as effective as it does not unveil the true potential of the worlds best search engine.
Why learn Advanced Google Search?
Traditional way to search
- Type search query
- Click on multiple links on Page 1
- Open each link to find out if it contains the information you are looking for
- Get lost in multiple tabs/windows you open for each search result
With the new approach, I want you to improve the 1st step here “Enter search text”. Instead of randomly typing (without logical order of words) in text into the search bar and waiting for google to suggest something, it is very important to think what exactly you want Google to return. Your search result can be anything – Image, video, time, story, formula, article, map, etc. Once you know exactly what you want Google to return, you can type in the search query. To do this effectively, it is important to know the language that Google search engine understands.
Let’s try to understand some super cool google search operators that can take your searching skills to the next level.
1. To search within a specific website using SITE keyword
Consider that, you want to search something on a particular website only. Say you are looking for a restaurant Mezza9 on a restaurant discovery site zomato.com. One way you can do this is by navigating the website and typing your search query inside the search bar (If search bar exists, sometimes there is no search bar). This may require 2-3 clicks, text typing & page loading time. But, There is a better way to do this.
In the Google search bar, type in “mezza9 site:zomato.com”. This would return results only from zomato.com with word ‘mezza9’ on those pages. Also notice that each search result that you get is from zomato.com only.
2. Find pages containing a specific word using INTEXT keyword
To find out all the web results containing the exact word you specify there is “intext” keyword. For example, to find out all p-ages containing the word/phrase “marketing trends in India”, type in as below.
intext:”marketing trends in India”
This will return pages containing the exact phrase you specified with the same order of words. If you are searching for phrases, make sure you put them in double quotes – “[your text or phrase]” For single word query, you can type in a single word without using the double quotes.
3. Search for files with specific extension using FILETYPE keyword
Sometimes we try to find out documents with a desired extension for a topic name, but struggle to do so. Searching randomly takes us nowhere. But, there is a way you can tell google to return documents with a specific extension. For example, to search for only powerpoint files with .ppt extension for subject marketing, type in
This query will return only files with a .ppt extension in the search results that all contain marketing content in them. Look below for the search results would look like.
4. Find pages with a certain words in the url using INURL keyword
You come across instances when you don’t remember the exact url of a particular website, but you remember a specific word or words in the url. If you want Google to help you find that web url, you can use “inurl” keyword. As the word says – inurl, which means, to find a particular word or phrase in url of the website.
Remember, you are not focusing on the content of the search results here. You just want google to return websites having a particular word or words in its url.
For instance, you don’t remember the complete url of the website but just a word “deal” in it. Now you want to search for all web addresses which contain deal in their urls. To do this, type
Observe the image below carefully to see how you Google precisely returns web results with websites having the word “deal” in their url.
5. Find pages that link to a certain page using LINK keyword
Suppose, you want to find out all those websites linking to a particular website. Say, you want to find out all those websites which have a link to amazon.in. It is very difficult to find this out searching randomly on Google.
This will return search results of all those websites that have a link to amazon.in. If you navigate to each search result, you will surely find a link pointing to amazon.in
6. Find sites related to a given domain using LINK keyword
If you are shopping for something at amazon and you want to check the same product on other e-commerce websites. But what if you don’t know websites that are similar to amazon. Well, you can do this with related keyword.
Type in “related:www.amazon.in” and you can see similar e-commerce websites like junglee, flipkart, ebay, snapdeal as shown in the image below.
7. Find pages using one of several words using OR keyword (Google Boolean Search)
Sometimes you want to look for results with words containing either A or B. For example, you want to look for all web pages with word marathon or race. These words might mean the same and thus used in combination. You can call method a part of google boolean search.
Boolean searches make life easier to search on google. Primarily because they follow natural human language methods. Google Boolean Search is a type of search that allows users to combine keywords with boolean operators such as AND, NOT and OR to produce more relevant results. Type in the below query for yourself to see this in action.
This query will return results containing these 2 words only. This means, your search output will only include those pages which either have a word marathon or race within them. This way, using the google boolean search method helps you narrow down your search smartly. Look through the image to verify how google returns precisely what you want.
8. Get information about a web address using INFO keyword
The Info keyword is used to find out all search related data of a particular website.
Type “info:flipkart.com” to extract cache version of website, similar sites, incoming link sources, etc. Look in to the image for details.
9. Exclude a term or phrase from your search: Minus Operator (Google Boolean search)
The minus operator gives you search results without the word placed after the minus operator. The ‘-‘ means, to remove all the search results containing the word mentioned. Consider the below example to understand this better. Search for “jaguar speed”. This will return you mixed search results – Those for the jaguar car & those for animal (big cat). But what if I want the search results only for the animal jaguar & exclude the results for the car jaguar.
In such case you must rely on google boolean search operators to refine your search query. The MINUS operator helps you exclude part of results you do not wish to see.
To do this, type “jaguar speed -car“. This would only return search results for the big cat jaguar and exclude results containing word “car” in the web pages. Awesome !!
10. Search for unknown terms in a sentence or a phrase using ASTERIK (*)
The asterisk operator allows you to search for unknown terms in a sentence or a phrase. This is useful in cases where you can remember bits and pieces of a phrase and you want to complete it. If you are searching for idiom “Don’t count your chickens before the eggs have hatched” but are unable to remember the words in it between the phrase. There is a smarter way to search for this, type in “don’t count * hatched“ and Google is smart enough to return results to complete it for you.
Now that we know the 10 google tricks which can change the way we search information on the internet, its time to practice them. These are very powerful techniques. To demonstrate the power of these tricks, I would like to show a real life problem which cannot be solved with the traditional Google search.
Search for Rajneesh on linkedin. There are lot of people with this name but I want to find this person’s LinkedIn profile – He works in Pune, India at Cybage. I want to land on his profile with maximum 1 click on the search results.
Before we jump to the solution, type in “Rajneesh linkedin” (Traditional Search) and look out for the person in the problem statement. You might need to open couple of links to land on the page you are looking for. Its not that easy. Right? Now it is
Using the tricks that we learnt in this article, I will refine my search query in steps.
Step 1: Search “Rajneesh site:linkedin.com“ – As I want to search in 1 specific site linkedin.com only
Step 2: Search “Rajneesh site:linkedin.com intext:Pune“ – Include all pages with word Pune.
Step 3: Search “Rajneesh site:linkedin.com intext:Pune, Cybage” – Include all pages that contain Cybage also.
Step 4: Hit Search
Step 5: Click on the very 1st link. You can be sure this link will take you to the Linkedin profile you are looking for.
You can already see the power of smart searching and its time you learn to use them. If you learn and apply these google tricks regularly, I am sure you will show significant improvement in areas where you need Google search. Search is sometimes very simple and fast, but at times it is a long piece of detective work. Effective and smart search can help you solve problems quickly and easily.
I hope you start search smart. Happy Searching !!