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Five Advanced Google Search Operators

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet
 
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Like many others, I use Google for searches, but it’s often difficult to find a result among the thousands of returns. Are there any ways to add more focus to a Google search?

Five Advanced Google Operators

We all use Google (well the majority of us do) more or less every time we sit down at our computer or browse the net on our phones. For many it’s an involuntary action, using Google as a step to finding sites they visit every day, after all, it’s much easier and quicker to type ‘Facebook’ into Google and click the top result than to manually type the full www address into the address bar.

But what about those times when you want to use Google to actually find something new? Sure, typing keywords into the search box is the obvious place to start, but if you want to be more specific and drill down into the results, there is also the option to append your search queries and keywords with operators that will filter the results more to what you want to see.

Here are 5 operators you may find useful when researching information on Google and don’t worry they’re not as technical or complicated as they sound!

1 The site: command

This command allows you to specify one particular site that you would like to search. So for the query above, we have specified the www.worldstart.com site and by appending the search string with ‘tips’ we will get results that are just from this site and only mention tips.

2 The inurl:command

This is a great command if you want to search a particular type of site, for example if you wanted to search for computing resources on educational domains you could use a query such as:

3 The define:command

This operator does exactly what it says, which is to define a term. If there is a word or service you’re not sure about, let Google offer you some suggested definitions from the web pages in its index.

4 The intext: command

The intext: operator is for those times when you want to find a specific phrase in the text of a website. Useful for searching for author’s names, or for very specific information about a particular subject. With this operator, Google will only return pages that have that exact phrase in the text of the site.

The above query returns results soup recipes, but only those that have the word ‘chicken’ in them.

5 The Convert operator (Not strictly an operator, but pretty cool all the same!)

Finally, this last one is more of a useful tool you may not know about than a useful operator for information retrieval. The ‘convert’ function will convert currency and give a result at the top of the search results. For example:

Hopefully these tips have opened up an area of search you never knew existed and possibly stoked the fires of curiosity with regards to what else can be achieved. Have fun combining operators and one final tip, if there is a query you find useful, make sure you save it as chances are you will be able to make use of it again.

~Phil Morgan

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4 Responses to “Five Advanced Google Search Operators”

  1. barbara pickett says:

    Always grateful for more info that makes life easier…thanks.

  2. Ruben Areyzaga says:

    This really came in handy for searches I’ve been doing. Thanks!

  3. Exceptionally helpful. but I would love a card with the information to keep in my files as printing it up on paper is not as convenient. Still I will be using some of the tips. Thanks.

  4. Sister Joseph Marie says:

    I haven’t used it, but it looks good so I will try. Have a good day!

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