Cheat Sheet: Search Engine Operators You Need to Know

With the continuing advancement of modern technology, people become more dependent on the internet with how they function in their daily lives. 

People search for answers on the web using the different search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. With just one click away, the internet offers all the possible answers to the user’s different kinds of questions under the sun.

Some people may wonder how one uses search engines to locate specific things they are looking for online?  How should one construct his queries so that he will get the search result that he wants? What are the ways that search professionals use to filter search engine results?

Here is the most comprehensive guide on how to use search engines operators that will help you to search like a pro and find what you are looking for faster.

What is a Search Engine Operator?

A search engine operator is a prefix that you use when submitting a question to search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

There are a different set of search engine operators for every search engine. However, some operators in one search engine can be the same to the other search engines and also with the same use or function.

Professionals in the area of digital and search marketing usually use search engine operators for SEO research, to investigate their competitions in the field, and research a site that they optimize. 

Search operators can help in keyword research and provide link opportunities for clients if the user knows how to create a combination of operators.

Here is a list of search engine operators and their explanations on how each helps in getting the desired search result with efficiency. 

Search Engine Operators For Google Search Engine

  • cache: – this shows the web page’s version from the search engine’s cache.
  • related: -with a particular web page, this finds the web pages similar to it
  • info: -this shows the information about a particular web page that Google has which includes the page’s cached version, sites that link to the page, and its similar pages.
  • define: -This gives the keyword’s definition.  
  • site: -this finds for pages which are in a particular domain including its subdomains.
  • allintitle: -this searches for pages that have the words of the query as a portion of the indexed title tag.
  • intitle: -this searches web pages that contain a particular keyword as the indexed title tag’s part. 
  • allinurl: -this finds a particular URL in the index of the search engine. As you enter, there must be http:// in the URL.
  • inurl: -this finds pages that have a particular keyword in their indexed URLs. 
  • link: -this shows a set of pages that link to the page specified.
  • meta: -the pages that this finds contains the specified keywords meta tags.
  • “insert the word” -it finds occurrences of the exact words that are inside the quotation marks where it appears in the index of the search engine. Replace with the exact word phrase that you want in the search operator.

Search Engine Operators for Marketing Research

More than just searching for the results that are the exact answers for your query, search engine operators are useful in the field of marketing research and professionals also use these search commands for SEO research. 

The following are the explanations for the search engine operators mentioned above used in marketing research. For every search operator, the example query for is inside the square brackets.

  • cache: -the search engine sees your page by showing you a cached version of a page of the search engine. This SEO diagnostic tool is valuable as a Google search operator because it presents the content of a page that the search engine considers relevant for retrieval. 

Sample: [cache:https://www.mywebsite.com]

  • related: -this operator helps you take a look at the content of a competitor. Using SEO metrics, you can analyze similar content after you can see a small range of considered related content by Google. 

It includes the keywords used in the content, its word count, inbound links, and metadata to let you know how to make your page equal to its competition or better than it.

Sample: [related:https://www.hellowebsite.com]

  • info: -gives links to a collection of other search engine operators and has the power to access the site:, cache:, link:, related:. and the quotation marks exact match results.

Sample: [info:https://www.mywebsite.com]

  • site: -use this operator to take a look at how many pages have its domains and subheads indexed by the search engine. You can add a keyword to the operator after the domain to see the sites that have relevance with your query words.

Sample: [site:mywebsite.com 432 redirect] finds all of the site’s pages with about 301 redirects of the indexed content.

  • allintitle: you can use the keywords found in title tags to find your competitions. Additionally, allinurl: and inurl: operators make use of the keywords in URLs to identify who are your competitions.

Sample: [allintitle: SEO keyword research]

  • link: lets you see how many pages link to a URL either it is your client’s site or your competitor’s. 

Sample: [link:https://www.mywebsite.com]

Takeaway

The online world is vast and every corner of it contains a lot of tips and tricks that every netizen can not just explore instantly. 

Most of the people who specialize in online marketing advancements make use of search engine operators, and it is undeniable that not every ordinary internet user knows these things. However, it is important to understand the different search engine operators and its uses to be able to have a smoother and easier way of searching for exact results online.

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