Using Google’s Advanced Search Operators for SEO
Using Google’s Advanced search operators can deliver many powerful insights to companies, which can better inform their content strategies, SEO audits, and much more. Since one of the most important skills in SEO is knowing how to use Google – and that doesn’t just mean knowing the right search terms – the platform’s advanced search operators can be especially helpful for on-page optimization and finding backlinks. With the help of those search operators, companies can get better insights into their SEO capabilities, and find unused or underused opportunities for SEO. Search operators are words or symbols that are used in Google’s search bar, the use of which can help make results a lot more precise.
Intext is a global advanced operator that allows companies to find different terms that can show up across any area of a webpage – from the page itself to the URL and even the title. It’s quite helpful when businesses are trying to research how others’ on-page SEO footprints are categorized by the search engine.
With the “allintext” advanced operators, companies can find whether all of the terms that they’re looking for actually show up in the text of a page. However, it’s important to remember that this operator isn’t perfectly accurate all the time because it generally doesn’t look through text that shows up close together on a web page.
When a business is trying to research a blog, this advanced operator is helpful for finding blogs that have specific search terms in their titles. There’s also the “allintitle” operator, which can help find blogs that will match the content that the company is creating. They also research what other businesses are talking about in terms of a specific topic and the quality of their content.
With this advanced operator, companies can find the most recent cache of a specific website. Although this isn’t a commonly used operator, it’s very helpful for companies trying to identify when a certain page was last crawled by the search engine.
The “inurl” advanced operator is helpful for finding pages on a website with targeted search terms in the URL, and for finding the second term in the content on a single website. It’s helpful for finding websites that have strong on-page optimization for specific topics. There’s also the operator “allinurl” which allows businesses to find pages with specifically requested search terms inside the URL in internal search pages on websites.
One of the more powerful advanced operators is searching on Google according to file types. This is a very helpful tool for companies that are trying to find images, for example, that fall under a specific file type. It’s also useful when looking for other types of files, such as PDFs that have been shared by other industry members. The operator can narrow research results on specific memes or infographics.
While Google has a long list of advanced search operators, some of the most commonly used ones are those that help businesses find or omit certain words from search results. That includes the operator “OR”, which searches for pages with either one word or the other from the search bar input. By using quotes around a phrase, businesses can find exact match results to those keywords instead of broad results. Finally, when looking to exclude certain words from search results, businesses can use the minus sign, and when looking to add words, there’s the plus sign.