The 7 best Google Search Operators for SEO.

Published: May 9, 2020

Google offers specific commands for its search engine to refine results.

Thorough SEO research can take a considerable amount of work. Google has built in search operators you can use to hasten the process.

Keywords, titles, meta descriptions, search intent, and trends all need to be looked into – this means lots of sifting through specific search results. Currently there are 40+ Google Search Operators that can be used in the search bar to filter all these results. We’ve detailed 7 of the important operators you’ll need to know to streamline your SEO research process.

Please note some of these search operators will not work if you put a space between the the colon ( : ) and your text here. The syntax is to just put the word you are searchin immediately after the colon.

allintitle/intitle

This search modifier tells Google to return pages that contain the search phrase in their title. See example below:

Procedure

Google search operator example of allintitle: being used to filter results for the terms "local SEO".
allintitle:your text here OR intitle:your text here

allintitle: is used for multiple terms and determining if all these terms are in the title. intitle: is used for determining the mention of a word anywhere in the title.

Use Case

You can use these search operators to determine the feasibility of a title for a blog post, article, page etc. Match search intent with the frequency at which the searched title(s) show up in the results. This tool can help you to optimize your title verbiage to reduce search competition, avoid misguided search intent(by ensuring you are getting relevant results), and strategically craft to stand out from the other sites.

inURL/allinURL

This search modifier tells Google to reutrn pages that contain the search phrase in their URL. See example below:

Procedure

Google search operator being used in the google search bar to filter for the results "morepull" in the URL of websites.
inurl:your text here OR allinURL:your text here

Inurl: will single out results with your typed text. allinURL: will single out results that have all the terms you’ve written.

Use Case

Unique URLs with shorter names, less syllables and catchy phrases are easier to remember. This gives you a quick competitive advantage i your field. Use this tool to determine other websites which are using the phrase and terms you are using in their URL. It may be a best SEO practice to change your name to be singled out of competing results. Or, in some cases you may want to compete directly.

inanchor/allinanchor

This search modifier tells Google to return pages that contain the search phrase in their anchor text. Anchor text is any verbiage on a web page that links to another website or other place on the website. See example below:

Procedure

Google search results for using the operator allinanchor: to filter results.
inanchor:your text here OR allinanchor:your text here

Inanchor: single out results with the one word in anchor text. Allinanchor: filter out resuts with several words that may be contained in the anchor text of a website.

Use Case

You can use this tool uncover back links and linking strategies that other websites are getting and/or using. You can use the results to target your anchor text to better show up in use search results. Also the modifier could be used to analyze which types of sites or content are getting back links and which sites are not.

Need more details on anchor text? Click here.

intext/allintext

Restricts the Google results to documents and sites that contain your term in the text.

Procedure

intext:your text here OR allintext:your text here

Intext: single out results that contain only your term in the text of the website. Allintext: filter out results that contain all terms you’ve written in the search bar in the text of documents and websites/

Use Case

This is a core tool for uncovering content and conducting research. For SEO purposes you can find related topics, articles, and pages. The results you are given will help you understand a baseline level of quality an content that yous should aim for your website or article development to rank better on Google. If you are not giving search users content which is equally in depth or fulfilling as similar subject matter then you will probably not be ranking optimally in Google’s algorithms.

Find out more about the importance of unique content for improving your site’s SEO and overall web traffic.

location

Restricts the Google results to web pages and sites based on a specific location.

Procedure

Google search operator showing how to look for location specific results using the loc: operator.
loc:your location here

loc: filter your results in combination with a variety of other function to only to show up for a specific location that you’ve input.

Use Case

Target a specific audience that is basically in the same geographical location. This is a very important tool for local SEO. Seek out competitors and other local business. Determine what they are using for keywords, titles, descriptions, and overall appeal to search users in the relevant industry. Take this information and comparatively craft your SEO strategy to place your site a step above the competition.

cache

Provide the results of a Google cache search for your information purposes on a specific domain.

Procedure

Using cache: search operator in the google search bar.
cache:yourdomain.com
Results of a typical domain cache search.
Here are the results of cache:morepull.com

You will put the cache: followed by the domain. You can do specific domains and sub domains as well.

Use Case

A website cache tool such as this search operator can basically determine the last time Google has crawled your page. When Google cache’s your page, your load times will be reduced and user requested information can be generated quicker for relevant searches. These are both good things. If your site has not been cached recently it may be good time to request a recrawl by Google and update your web archive and site index in Google’s records.

links (used with) -site

Provide a glance at how many external links are pointing to a certain domain.

Procedure

links:yourdomain-site:yourdomain

Used in this way will show external links pointing to your site.

Use Case

Determining how many links are pointing to a domain gives you an understanding of the authority of that content. Domains with many back links such as this will be ranked higher by Google. Use this information to understand what sort of quality of content receives back links for the topic on which you are writing or creating a web page for. In addition, you can use these linkages to build a network of relatable website(author contacts) to which you can tailor your content in attempts to gain links to your site by reaching out to these authors and creators. Back links are a key SEO component and this Google search operator makes it easier to attract them for your content and site.

Conclusion

Google Search Operators is of probably the best basic SEO tool you can use today. There are many SEO web applications and APIs available for your usage. But using Google search will give you the experience of the typical search user looking for your website.

Want to know more? See here a list of many Google Search Operators.

If you are doing SEO, it’s a good idea know these basic operators. They allow you to quickly check and improve SEO from the familiarity of your search engine.

With all the SEO tools and API’s available for usage today do you still find Google Search Operators a part of your daily work flows?

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