Powerful Google Search Operators And Their Minute Workarounds

A person involved in SEO operations for long is surely well-aware of Google advanced search operators. The unique commands that turn the ol’ search way easier. They are pretty basic and essential for SEO. Take a look at this familiar Google search operator.

“the “site:” operator restricts results to only those from a specified site.”

These crisp, short search operators usually stick to our minds. However, when it comes to using those, it’s quite tricky. Most SEOs include the basics instead of mastering them.

Here, let’s talk about the popular Google search operators first. Don’t forget to check out their functionalities as well.

List Of Important Google Search Operators

Strangely, Google is hilariously shutting the phases of excellent operators. That’s the reason most Google operators are inaccurate and outdated. 

I’ve explored tons of search operators, even the outdated ones. Here is a list of some of the important ones. Go through minutely and explore their potentiality.

“search term”

Here comes the exact-match search. Mostly for ambiguous searches, the operator provides refined results. You can use it while searching for a single word. It basically cuts off the appearance of synonyms.

For example – “Harry Potter”

“AND”

Suppose, you search for A and B. This operator gives you results of both A and B. However, for general searches, it doesn’t make a difference. The reason is, Google automatically defaults to “AND”. Thanks to the other operators that make it more useful.

For example – “cats AND dogs”

“OR”

Here you have searched for A or B. And you get results of A or B; or both. In place of OR, the pipe (|) operator is also used. 

For example – “cats OR dogs”

“*”

This Google operator works as a wildcard. It clicks with any phase or word.

For example – “cats * fish”

“-”

Now comes the Google operator that swipes out the term. In the below example, the result will be of cats. And the result will definitely exclude dogs.

For example – “cats -dogs”

“( )”

Initiates multiple sets of search results. It basically handles how the search is executed.

For example – “(cats OR dogs) animals”

“$”

Provides all the search results of prices. Remember, it does work for (€) Euro. But doesn’t search for GBP (£).

For example – German Shepherd $20

“Define”

This operator is the in-built application of Google. Similar to SERP, it comes with the meaning of words.

For example – define.nursery 

“Cache:”

The exact recent cached webpage versions appear as search results. It also ensures to index the web pages.

For example – cache:google.com

“Phonebook:”

Helps find phone numbers deprecated in 2010. 

For example – phonebook:John D’costa

“info:”

This operator gives you the result of a specific page. It includes recent caches and other similar pages. The functionality of the operator was depreciated in 2017. However, it works on a URL’s index version or canonical. 

For example – info:google.com / id:google.com

“link:”

This results in pages linking to a specific domain/URL. Unfortunately, Google shut this operator in the year 2017. Remember, it still comes up with results. However, they aren’t apparently accurate all the time.

For example – link:google.com

Effective Ways Of Using Google Search Operators

Implementing these Google operators into actions can be quite tricky. The goal is to attain the maximum utility of these. Therefore, I’m here to show you how to combine and use them with skills.

So let’s play around and learn from the below examples. You may discover some new aspects of these operators’ workarounds.

Indexation Errors

In most web pages, Google indexation errors do exist. The reason could be the necessity of a non-indexed page to be indexed. Or maybe vice-versa.

You can discover the number of pages of a website google has indexed. Simply enter “site:apple.com” and you’ll immediately find the number. Similarly, you can also find out the indexed blog posts. Just type “site:apple.com/blog”.

Remember, Google often indexes some odd pages. You must remove those pages to attain more credibility. So non-index those pages to remove them from the SERP. 

Keep in mind: The result of this operator is a rough approximation. So check Google Search Console to review the full picture. 
There are several more paths to uncover these indexation errors. Let’s find out…

site:myblog.com/category – To discover the category pages of WordPress.

Site:myblog.com intel:tag – To uncover the “tag” pages of WordPress.

Non-Secure or Non-https Pages

If you’re handling an ecommerce website, https is a must. Surprisingly, you can also use the site: operator to find out the unsecured pages.

For example – you can simply type site:apple.com -inurl:https. And you get the number of unsecured pages of Apple.com. For websites with more unsecured pages, SSL is a must. 

However, some sites are available with both http and https. You get to know that easily from the site: operator.

Duplicate Content Issues

Duplicate content refers to fraud. Every brand provides its own description with a unique structure. The other brands aren’t supposed to copy those contents. 

In order to find out duplicacy of content, type –site:apple.com”The……end”. So you’ll find out the uniqueness of your copy. Similar content issues usually appear from the same product descriptions. Especially, identical or similar product-line with different quantity counts. 

Apart from the e-commerce sites, it’s problematic for blogs also. Your content was maybe stolen and republished without attribution. These are mainly syndicated content. However, you must ensure to get a backlink from them.

Ending Thoughts

Google search operators are extremely essential for so many reasons. All you need is to understand their usage. 

Undoubtedly, some of them are totally unavoidable for SEO. For example – “site:”, “intext:”, “intitle:” and “inurl:”. These operators are more essential for SEO on an everyday basis. 

I’d also mention that some operators are also useless. They mostly pair with one, two, or maybe more operators. But their usefulness absolutely depends on your necessities. So you must find out the useful ones on your own and combine them for the best results.