If you work in digital marketing, then you likely know just how large Google actually is. Google now has more than 100 trillion webpages stored in its index. It is an enormous resource, filled with product pages, instruction guides, news articles, white papers, and much more.

Considering Google’s size, being able to find specific webpages 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. Some popular uses include:

  • Finding link building opportunities.
  • Discovering content and guest post opportunities.
  • Identifying internal linking opportunities.
  • Locating duplicate content on a website.
  • Determining crawling and indexing errors.

Helpful Google Search Operators for SEO

There are very few things that you can’t find in Google using the correct search operators. Here are some of the more useful operators.

site: or -site:

The site: operator allows you to see all webpages or a set of webpages within a particular website.

The -site: operator instructs Google to show you webpages that mention a keyword, brand, etc. but does NOT show you webpages from the designated website.

intitle:

The intitle: operator allows you to find webpages which include a specific keyword in the Title Tag.

inurl:

The inurl: operator will show you a list of webpages that include the designated word, or set of words, in the URL.

“write for us” + keyword

If you conduct content or guest post outreach, then you likely spend time researching new writing opportunities. Use the “write for us” operator along with your target keyword to find publications to reach out to.

link:

The link: operator will show you webpages that link to the designated website.

NOTE: For this example, a -site: operator is also used. This removes webpages from Web Talent Marketing’s website that internally link to other Web Talent Marketing webpages.

It’s important to note that while these search operators are helpful, there are several more that can be used for research. Overall, there are more than a few dozen search operators that digital marketers can use.

Fortunately, the team at Web Talent Marketing has curated a list of Google Search Operators so that you don’t have to! This easy-to-follow guide breaks down the different search operators and what they help you find.

Tips for Using Search Operators

As you use search operators to efficiently search the web, here are a few extra tips that may help.

  • Don’t be afraid to use more than one operator at a time (similar to the examples shown above). This will help you discover more granular and relevant results while reducing the number of results that are unhelpful to you.
  • If you don’t see the results you expected, check your spelling. One small typo or misused character can drastically affect the results that Google presents to you.
  • Use search operators for competitive research. See where your competitors are earning links or the content that they are publishing. Use that knowledge to improve your own website’s SEO.

In summary, Google Search Operators are helpful in a variety of ways. They are useful tools for researching new SEO opportunities and making improvements to your website.

The next time you are searching for information on Google, try using a search operator or two. You may be amazed at what you are able to find.