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SEARCH OPERATORS

INTRODUCTION:

SEARCH OPERATORS
Planning the search (search strategy)…

Only by developing a search strategy will you be able to search efficiently and effectively. The
broad steps of a search strategy are:

• Define the topic and the sort of information you require. Clarify any concepts or definitions in the topic as
necessary. Decide whether the sort of information you require is likely to be found on the Internet, or elsewhere.

• Identify the key concepts, which will be used as search terms.

• For each of the key concepts, list any synonyms or alternative expressions. These can be used to widen the
search. For this topic, internet sites that refer to "global warming" or the "greenhouse effect", rather than "climate
change" might also be relevant, but would be overlooked by just searching on "climate change". Enter these terms
in Google Advanced Search.

• After conducting an initial search evaluate the results for relevance and quality. If necessary, modify the original
search and evaluate the new results. You may need to repeat this last step a number of times until you are satisfied
with the results obtained.

So Comes The Need & Use Of Search Operators…
Quotes, AND, OR,
NOT, Synonyms,
Basic Operators Separated words,
Definitions, +

allintitle/intitle,
allinurl/inurl,
Operato allintext/intext,
Advanced Operators
rs allinanchor/inanchor,
site, link, info,
related, date,
safesearch, cache,
stocks, filetype

Addition, Subtraction,
Multiplication,
Calculator Operators Division, Percentage,
Raise to the power,
sqrt(), Conversion
BASIC OPERATORS
i. BASIC OPERATORS

Quotes : Wrapping a search term in quotation marks, for example “search engine optimization”
will return pages containing that exact phrase.
i. BASIC OPERATORS

AND :This is the default method of searching, if you put in two words it will search for the first
word AND the second word within a page.
i. BASIC OPERATORS

OR : Putting OR between words will bring back pages holding any of the words

If you write the OR
operator as or,
Google will treat it
like any other
search term
i. BASIC OPERATORS

NOT : The not operator is written like this: honda –price

In the example above the results will return any page that holds the word honda without
the word
price in them (so this page will not appead in SERPs).

Using a “-” in front of a keyword you can remove all results with that search term.

Using the “-” (minus
sign) can reduce a lot
of irrelevant pages
from your search
results, but it can also
eliminate relevant
results
i. BASIC OPERATORS

SYNONYMS : If we search for ~car then it will return pages that contain the word quiz or its
synonyms eg.
games and tests
i. BASIC OPERATORS

SEPARATED WORDS : Ex: honda*price

This will bring back pages that hold the words honda and Price seperated by one or more words.
CALCULATOR OPERATORS
ii. CALCULATOR OPERATORS:

Its also possible to use Google as a calculator.

CALCULATOR OPERATORS
Operators Meaning Type Into Search Box (& Results)

+–*/ basic arithmetic 12 + 34 - 56 * 7 / 8

% of percentage of 45% of 39

^ or ** raise to a power 2^5 or 2**5

old units in new units convert units 300 Euros in USD, 130 lbs in kg, or 31 in hex
ADVANCED OPERATORS
iii. ADVANCED OPERATORS

Using these advanced search operators modify the search results in
some way,
or even tell Google to do a totally different type of search on your Web
site.
Keep in mind too that some of these operators can be used in other
search
engines as well, like MSN and Yahoo!

Note : There are no spaces between the search operator and the Web page URL.

1.Site 6.Allinurl or Inurl

2.Cache 7.Allintext

3.Info 8.Allinanchor: or Inanchor:

4.Link 9.Allintitle: or Intitle

5.Related 10.Define
iii. ADVANCED OPERATORS

1. site:

Using the site: in the search box followed by www.yourwebsiteaddress.com determines how many
Web pages within the entire Web site are currently being recognized by Google. This function also
limits results to one particular domain. This helps SEO experts know which Web pages are already
being seen (and which ones aren’t yet), so we can optimize those first.
iii. ADVANCED OPERATORS

2. cache:

Using the cache: in the search box followed by www.yourwebsiteaddress.com shows the last
time the search engine crawled a particular Web page. You may enter your homepage address or
an inside Web page to find out the most recently spidered version of a Web page stored in a
search engine’s cache.
iii. ADVANCED OPERATORS

3. info:

The search query info: presents a collection of data that a search engine has about that Web
page, like its latest cache date, Web pages similar to your site, Web pages that link to your site,
Web pages within your site and Web pages containing the your domain name.
iii. ADVANCED OPERATORS

4: link:

This search query results in finding all Web sites that are currently linking to your site. This
helps determine how much link building services are needed in an SEO program for a client. Link
popularity is still considered a major factor to achieving high keyword rankings in search
engines. It also helps knowing what sites are linking to yours, so you can then determine
whether or not you want them linking to your site.
iii. ADVANCED OPERATORS

5. related:

This search shows Web pages that are similar to a specific URL. For example,
related:www.santaclaus.com will list all web pages that are similar to the Santa Claus homepage.
iii. ADVANCED OPERATORS

6. allinurl: or inurl:

These searches display all Web pages where the search terms queried appear in the URL. For
example, allinurl: circus world will return only Web sites that have the words circus and world
somewhere in the URL. The advanced search operator inurl: is used only when a single search
term queried is necessary
ii. ADVANCED OPERATORS

7. allintext:

This search results in showing Web pages where all search terms listed appear in the body
content (visible text) portion of a Web page. In SEO campaigns, using this advanced search
operator helps in discovering other related sites for possible link exchanges or link submissions.
iii. ADVANCED OPERATORS

8. allinanchor: or inanchor:

These queries display all Web pages where the search terms listed appear in the URL. For
example, allinanchor: circus world will return only Web sites that have the search terms circus
and world appear in the text of links pointing to a Web page. The advanced search operator
inanchor: is used only when a single search term listed is necessary
iii. ADVANCED OPERATORS

9. allintitle: or intitle:

These advanced search operators display all search terms listed appear in the title of Web
pages. For example, allintitle: circus world will return only Web sites that have the keywords
circus and world in the titles of Web pages. The search operator intitle: only shows Web pages
where a single word appears in the title of Web pages.
iii. ADVANCED OPERATORS

10. define:

Although SEO experts may not use this advanced search operator often, sometimes it comes in
handy just to quickly learn what a particular word or phrase means, instead of going to other
online dictionary Web sites.
Search Operators in Google, Yahoo and MSN

SL.NO Google Yahoo! MSN Result
         

1 cache:     Show version of the web page in its cache
         
Pages that link to a particular URL
linkdomain: linkdomain:
    (Note: In Yahoo! You must type in http://)
         
2 related:     Pages that are "similar" to a specified URL
         

3 info:     Present some information that Google has about a web page

         
4 define: define:   Provide a definition of a keyword
         
5 stocks:     Show stock information for ticker symbols
         
site: or domain: or
site: All pages within a particular domain and all its subdomains
6 site: hostname:
         

7 allintitle:     Pages with all query words as part of the indexed titles

         

8 intitle: intitle: or title: intitle: Pages with a specific keyword as part of the indexed titles
Search Operators in Google, Yahoo and MSN

SL.NO Google Yahoo! MSN Result
         

    Pages with all of the query words as part of the indexed URLs
9 allinurl:

         

Find a specific URL in the index
url: url:
10   (Note: You must type in http://)

         

inurl: inurl: Pages with specific keyword as part of the indexed URLs
11 inurl:

         

    Pages with all of the query words as link text in the page
12 allinanchor:

         

  inanchor: Pages with a specific keyword as link text in the page
13 inanchor:

         

14     inbody: Pages with a specific keyword in the body

         

Finds sites that are hosted by a specific IP
  ip:
address The IP address must be a dotted quad address
15  
MISCELLANEOUS
SOME MORE OPERATORS:

1. date: you can search for pages that have been created within the last 3, 6, or 12 months

e.g. apple date:3

Will return pages created within the last 3 months for the term apple.

2. safesearch: typing safesearch: before a search will return filtered results removing adult content

This is only required if you already have safesearch switched off in your profile.

3. stocks: The stocks operator treats your search term as a stock ticker symbol and returns financial information

stocks:GOOG

4. filetype: The filetype operator brings back documents of certain filetypes only

e.g. stats filetype:pdf

5. Truncation Wildcards (* ?): The multi-character (*) and single character (?) truncation symbols can be
used within and at the ends of words to search for word variants thereby broadening your search. It is usually a
good idea to truncate words to no less than four or five characters.

Sample Search Results (records must contain)
employ* employ, employee, employer, employed, employable, employment

wind? wind, winds, windy
POINTS TO REMMEMBER:

• Implicit AND - Google returns only pages that match all your search terms.
• Exact Matching - Google returns pages that match your search terms exactly.
• Automatic Stemming - Google returns pages that match variants of your search terms.
• Common Word Exclusion - Google ignores some common words called “stop words,” e.g., the, on, where,
how, de, la, as well as certain single digits and single letters.
• 32- Word limit - Google limits queries to 32 words.
• Term Proximity - Google favors results that have your search terms near each other.
• Term Order - Google gives higher priority to pages that have the terms in the same order as in your query.
• Case Insensitivity - Google is NOT case sensitive; it shows both upper- and lowercase results.
• Ignoring Punctuation - Google ignores some punctuation and special characters, including ! ? , . ; [ ] @ / # < > .
• Apostrophes - A term with an apostrophe (single quote, ') doesn't match the term without an apostrophe.
• Hyphenated Terms - Because some people spell hyphenated words with a hyphen and others with a space,
Google searches for variations on any hyphenated terms.