What to Know
- Enter define:term for a definition; use OR between terms to find either; use quotes (") to find an exact match.
- Don't use a space after the colon, and feel free to join multiple commands in a single search.
- Remember that multiple commands mean fewer results, which can sometimes be good and can sometimes be bad.
There are several other ways to use Google. Many advanced search techniques are helpful and easy to use. Use search commands to get the results you expect and avoid showing unnecessary items. We've compiled a list of all these little-known Google search operators below.
Advanced Commands for Google Search
It's easy to use these secret Google search operators with your regular search terms. You'll see in the examples below that there are really just minor adjustments you need to make to dig deeper and find the stuff you're really after.
|Google Search Operators Cheat Sheet|
|This and That||new iPhone deals||Search all words: new, iPhone, and deals; similar to using AND between the terms|
|This or That||sailing OR boating||Search sailing or boating|
|Exact Match||"love me tender"||Search this phrase as a whole|
|Exclude Words||printer -cartridge||Search printer but hide any results that include cartridge|
|Definitions||define:serendipity||Definitions for serendipity|
|Partial Search||san * california||Search all words but allow for another word between them|
|Percentage||50% of 100||50|
|Power/Exponent||4^18||Calculates 4 to the power of 18, returns 68719476736|
|Unit Conversion||45 celsius in fahrenheit||Shows how 45 Celsius is expressed in Fahrenheit, returns 113; also works with currencies, weight, distance, and more|
|Domain Search||site:lifewire.com "best phone"||Search lifewire.com for "best phone"|
|News Source||tesla source:lifewire||Search Google News for Tesla, but prioritize results from Lifewire|
|Search a Range||"Android phone" $300..$500||Search "Android phone" but only show results where the price ranges from $300-$500; also works for dates and other numbers|
|Cache Search||cache:lifewire.com||The latest cached version of lifewire.com|
|Filetype Search||filetype:pptx zoology||Search all PPTX files that include the word zoology (not all file extensions are supported)|
|Title Search||title:running||Search for pages with running in the title; use allintitle to search multiple words|
|URL Search||inurl:chewbacca||Search for pages that include chewbacca in the URL; use allinurl to search multiple words|
|Body Text Search||intext:parlor||Search for pages that include parlor in the body of the page (won't return pages that include the search in the title or URL but not the body); use allintext to search multiple words|
|Words by Proximity||tech AROUND(3) android||Search tech and android, but only show results where the terms are within three words of each other|
|Related Sites||related:engadget.com||Find websites that have similar content as another one|
There are other search techniques that you might find on other websites that no longer work. Some examples include phonebook, info, blogurl, location, and link.
Tips for Using Advanced Google Search Commands
Avoid putting spaces between the symbols and words in your search term. For example, site:lifewire.com will yield different results than site: lifewire.com.
You can combine multiple Google Search operators to make use of more than one at once. Here’s an example where we’re requesting a definition, but we want the results to not only be restricted to just websites with the ORG top-level domain, but also to explicitly exclude any results from these two domains and URLs with a certain word:
define:hypothesis site:org -site:dictionary.com -site:yourdictionary.com -inurl:wiki
Below is another, where we're looking for a PDF manual for a specific kind of router on Linksys' website. Just the domain search provides several tens of thousands of results, but it eventually dropped to fewer than 50 with the other commands added,
filetype:pdf "user guide" wrt54gl site:linksys.com
Be careful how many of these commands you use in one query. If you stuff the search box full of several, you're bound to end up with fewer results. This can be good to a certain point (that's the idea behind them, after all), but eventually, you'll run out of results and have to step a few of them back.
Instead, it's better to start with fewer, and slowly build up more as you realize which kind of results you're not interested in seeing.
Google Advanced Search is a visual way to run some of these search commands, and others. Just enter what you’re after in the appropriate boxes, and pick things like the language, file type, or last update date from the menus provided on that page.