Its not always easy to find what your looking for on Google, whether the results are skewed or your just looking for something that isn’t there, it can be frustrating especially if you don’t know which keywords to search for. Well today you are in luck, for I have comprised a list of search techniques that shall take you above and beyond search splendor.
Some of these I use daily, while others I don’t think I’ve ever used, but I hope that they still serve some purpose and are of use to you. If you are a savvy web user these may already be in your arsenal of tools, but for most people these with definitely improve upon your productivity, and if I can make that small difference in the online world my life is complete.
While Google makes it easy for you to search things like images, maps, news, photos and groups…they don’t really help you find specific’s unless you know how to do so correctly.
Search modifiers help you narrow down your search from the bazillion websites that come up for your search query. Here’s some of the modifiers I use the most, and how they can help you refine your searches.
- inanchor: <keyword> — Returns pages where your keyword was used in the anchor text of other sites linking to that page.
- allinanchor: <keyword> — Returns exact results for your search query if it was used in the anchor text of other sites linking in.
- intitle: <keyword> — Returns pages where your keyword was used in the title.
- allintitle: <keyword> — Returns pages where your exact keyword(s) were used in the title.
- inurl: <keyword> — Shows pages where your <keyword> is contained within the url itself.
- allinurl: <keyword> — Shows pages where all your <keyword(s)> are used within the url itself.
- site: <website> — Returns pages from a specific website. Conversely -site will remove pages from a certain site.
- link: <website> — Shows sites linking to your search query.
- cache: <website> — Will give you the web cache of your search query.
- movie: <movie name> — Will give you information/movie times.
- stocks: <stock symbol> — On the fly stock market information. ex. stocks:GOOG
- related: <keyword>– Will return related queries for your keyword.
- time <place> — Similar to a world clock at your fingertips, just enter the place and you will be given their time of day.
- weather <place> — Same as time only for weather.
- define: <word> — Works like a dictionary to give you the definition of your search term.
- filetype: <file extension> — Will return files of a certain extension.
There are plenty more that I may have missed but these are the most used queries that I feel serve the most purpose. For an extremely comprehensive listing check out Michael Gray‘s list.
This is probably the most underused, but most useful searches you can do on Google. Just doing a quick search for pdf documents brings me up a massive selection of books whether relevant or not. If I were to type in “ebook filetype:pdf” for example, I would get a comprehensive listing of ebooks in .pdf format, ready to download and read on a whim. Obviously you may not find what your looking for by using the term “ebook” so you can type niching it down to actual titles of books.
The great thing about the “filetype:” search modifier is that you can search for practically ANY filetype you are looking for. Whether its a pdf, mp3, avi, ppt, doc, 3gp, and the list goes on and on. This is a very powerful tool at your disposal and most people dont even know about it.
Search Tricks for SEO
While all those are fine and dandy, what if you are looking for a certain website for SEO purposes or to do some background checks on your competition, you will find that most of those search tricks don’t really help at all. What you need is a little ingenuity.
If you are for example looking for wordpress blogs you may search:
<niche> blog “Powered by wordpress”
<niche> “Remember my personal information” “Notify me of follow-up comments”
With a little thinking outside the box it is possible to find pretty much anything you want. Combine this with inline search results using something like SEO for firefox and you will be blowing away your competition in no time.
If you wanted to find educational sites and didnt feel like using the scholarly search you could always use this search query in Google: site:.edu blog or take it a step further and add site:.edu <niche> + blog to find a specific genre. Obviously these are all fully customizable and will deliver different results for everyone but the method is still the same. If you have any other search queries I missed or just want to add your own feel free to leave a comment below.