In this post, I will show you 10 different ways to use Google to narrow your searches and find the content you need more easily. These techniques are very useful when you are searching for very specific information about people, companies or research topics.
Let’s start by firing up our web browser and visiting Google’s website in your own locale. I’m located in Singapore. So I will be using https://www.google.com.sg. You can use any locale. It works the same. Ready? Here we go.
1. Find all links of a domain that have been indexed by Google.
This is one of the simplest and most useful ways of discovering how many pages Google has picked up from a site. To do this search, you type
site: followed by the domain name of the website you want to check on (with no spaces in between).
You may also use a page URL in place of your domain name to check if that page is in Google’s index.
2. Find related sites of a domain.
You can discover related, or in some cases competitor sites from yours using this query. Simply type
related: and add your domain name to it such that the query looks like this:
3. Find pages with titles exactly matching your search term.
As content producers especially, sometimes you need to do a quick research and make references to pages that have matching titles to the content you will be writing about. To have Google find and show those pages to you, you use an
intitle: prefix and add your search terms right after it, like this:
intitle:"How to get traffic on your blog"
Note the use of the quote marks
"" here to tell Google that we’re interested in only titles that contain this exact phrase.
4. Find pages with URLs containing a particular string.
With Google, you can also single out pages using their URLs in the
inurl: query prefix. For instance, if you want to find all pages from yourdomain.com that have their URLs containing “yourdomain.com/faq/”, you will type your Google query like this:
5. Find song, book or publication titles you cannot remember exactly.
Can’t remember a song name/lyrics or book title exactly? Google can help! Just put together what you know and tell Google roughly how many more words go in between using the AROUND() operator. Try this example search for a song title:
don't AROUND(3) argentina
6. Find e-books or PDF resources with a specific title.
Google can retrieve documents that are in specific formats too. Say you’re looking for e-books about interesting places to travel to, you can simply specify the PDF file extension in your query using the
ext: or the
filetype: operator, along with keywords like “travel destinations”. Note that you can do that for a variety of different extensions, like .csv, .doc, .ppt and more.
ext:pdf "travel destinations"
filetype:pdf "travel destinations"
7. Find pages matching either one of two search phrases (or more).
Suppose you are looking for pages that contain either the word “brinjal” or the word “eggplant”, you can use the
OR operator in between these two keywords in your query.
"brinjal" OR "eggplant"
8. Find pages that match one or more negation/exclusion criterias.
This is a particularly useful way of excluding pages with the
- search operator. Here’s an example that will list pages containing the keyword “cucumber” that are not in yourdomain.com.
And here’s one that gets pages with the keyword “brinjal” but not “cucumber”.
"brinjal" AND -"eggplant"
9. Find pages from other websites that may be linking to your website.
From example 8 above, we see that search operators can be combined with keywords to effectively zoom in to more relevant search results.
We can use a similar approach to find other websites that are linking to a specific page of your website. In this case, we can find pages that have text in their document bodies matching your page URL.
To try that out, use the
intext: operator and add your page URL (dropping the “http://”) right after it. Also use the
-site: operator to exclude results from your own website.
10. Find pages from other websites that are using your images (possibly without permission).
This is a good way to list out the possible websites that are “hotlinking” to your images. To “hotlink” to an image is to display that image on one’s website while having it actually hosted and served from another website. This is considered bandwidth stealing, if done without proper permissions. To run that query, visit Google Image Search and use the
-site: operator along with the name/title of your image.
eggplant infographic -site:yourdomain.com
That’s it. Have fun searching!
Posted in: Digital, Productivity