Search Operator Cheat Sheet: A Complete List of Google Search Operators

Google Search Operators are a potent tool for SEO and keyword research. They can be used to determine how many people are searching for a specific term, what the top-ranking pages are on Google, or even how competitive a particular search term is. This article will provide you with a complete list of all search operators that Google offers in their advanced search section so that you can use them more effectively!

Google search operators

Google search operators are a set of commands you can use to customize the Google search results. These commands help refine your searches and make it possible to find more accurate information on specific topics. Here’s a complete list of all Google search operators and their functionality!

Google Search Operator Cheat Sheet

Search TermNotesExamples
“search term”Wrapping words within quotation marks helps narrow your search to a specific fraise.“SEO”
ORUsing OR in the search bar will return results related to one OR the other, OR both.SEO OR SEM SEO | SEM
ANDAND will return results related to both search terms. This is really only used with other search operators since Google uses this by default.SEO AND SEM
A hyphen will exclude a term or phrase. In this example, search results will show SEO, but NOT SEM in the results.SEO ‑SEM
*An asterisk is a wildcard search and will match any word or phrase.SEO * SEM
( )Round brackets are used to group multiple terms or search operators to control how the search is executed.(SEO OR SEM) digital
$A dollar sign can be used to search for prices. It also works for Euro (€), but not GBP (£).SEO Audit $150
define:Define will display the meaning of a word, similar to a dictionary result.define:startup
cache:Cache search returns the most recent cached version of a web page (providing the page is indexed).cache:seonorth.ca
filetype:Filetype restricts results to a specific filetype. E.g., PDF, DOCX, TXT, PPT, etc.SEO filetype:pdf
site:Site search limits search results to a specific website.site:seonorth.ca
related:Related finds sites related to a given domain.related:seonorth.ca
intitle:Intitle finds pages with a specific word (or words) in the title.seonorth.ca intitle:SEO
allintitle:Similar to “intitle,” only results containing all of the specified words in the title tag will be shown.seonorth.ca allintitle:SEO north
inurl:Find pages with a specific word (or words) in the URL. For this example, any results containing the word “SEO” in the URL will be shown.seonorth.ca inurl:SEO
allinurl:Similar to “inurl,” only results containing all of the specified words in the URL will be returned.seonorth.ca allinurl:SEO north
intext:Find pages containing a certain word (or words) somewhere in the content. Any results containing the word “SEO” in the page content will be returned.seonorth.ca intext:SEO
allintext:Similar to “intext,” only results containing all of the specified words somewhere on the page will be returned.seonorth.ca allintext:SEO north
AROUND(X)This is a proximity search to find pages containing two words or phrases within X words of each other. E.g., the words “SEO” and “north” must be present in the content and no further than four words apart.SEO AROUND(4) north
weather:Use the operator “weather” to search for specific geographic locations.weather:Ottawa Ontario
stocks:Stock information, such as price and info, for a specific company.stocks:semr
map:Force Google to show map results for a locational search.map:Ottawa
movie:Find information about a specific movie. This also finds movie showtimes if the movie is currently showing near you.movie:hackers
source:Find news results from a certain source in Google News.SEO source:CNN
inanchor:Find pages that are being linked to with specific words.inanchor:SEO marketing
allinanchor:Similar to “inanchor,” but only results containing all of the specified words in the inbound anchor text.allinanchor:SEO marketing

Actionable Ways to Use Google Search Operators

Google search operators are often overlooked tool that can make a dramatic difference in finding the right information. They’re also one of Google’s best-kept secrets, so you’ll want to use them as much as possible. In this post, we’ll cover some of the most popular Google search operators and how to use them.

Finding internal linking opportunities.

To increase PageRank, it helps to add internal links to cornerstone content. To find the best pages to add links to, you can perform a site: search + keyword.

The search results show what Google believes is the closest match.

All you need to do is open the best search result listings in a new tab and exclude the targeted backlink page.

e.g., I want to add internal links to my SEO Services page. So I searched:

site:seonorth.ca SEO services

and excluded the targeted services page and added links to the other pages.

How to backlink to target page
Adding internal backlinks from the top search results

Finding SERP errors

The first Google search operator you can use is the site: command. This will only display results from a particular site and not the entire internet.

Google displays SERPs in the order of importance. Is there anything missing from the first page? Do you have articles that shouldn’t be showing up? This also gives you a chance to view how your results look on Google. Would you click on your own listing if it wasn’t yours, to begin with? Having an outside perspective helps you optimize your SEO.

e.g., 

site:seonorth.ca

The analytics title seems very short and unengaging.

Looking for lackluster search results
Looking for lackluster search results

Finding unwanted pages and files.

In this step, you can locate non-SSL pages, old PDFs or DOCX files, staging servers, even placeholder text, all things you might not want in your SERPs.

e.g.,

site:seonorth.ca -inurl:https site:seonorth.ca inurl:staging site:seonorth.ca filetype:pdf site:seonorth.ca "lorem ipsum"
Looking for non-HTTPS pages
Looking for non-SSL pages

Finding guest post opportunities.

Guest post opportunities are great for anyone looking to gain exposure.

This advance search allows you to find opportunities without paying someone to find them for you.

Even if your site isn’t specifically in a niche market, there’s always someone that might be interested in publishing an article on behalf of your company. Just make sure to read their guidelines before submitting anything!

e.g.,

"write for us" "become a contributor" "contribute to" "write for me" "guest post guidelines" inurl:guest-post inurl:guest-contributor-guidelines

Or add a pipe to search for multiple things at once: 

SEO ( “write for us” | inurl:guest-post | “become a contributor" )

Finding resource page opportunities.

Webmasters will sometimes add backlinks to your resources page, which can be great for SEO.

Look for opportunities to contribute a resource page on your website; this is one of the best ways you could potentially rank higher in Google search results!

e.g.,

SEO (intitle:"resources" | inurl:resources)

Have we missed anything? If so, please tweet @ us to have it added to the list!


Published on: 2021-05-18
Updated on: 2021-09-03

Avatar for Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands is SEO Director with SEO North, where he helps the team plan marketing goals that are keyword-optimized and measurable for over 30 clients simultaneously. He has worked at Microsoft, The institute of chartered accountants in Australia, Auto Trader, Le Cordon Bleu, and Algonquin College in various Digital Marketing Roles. Isaac is qualified as a Full-stack developer, Server Administrator, and Cyber Security expert, adding additional experience to his Search Engine Optimization knowledge. His Inuit heritage brought him to the Arctic to hunt and fish for most summers, which grew his passion for 4-wheelers and dirtbikes.