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Search Operators Help You Find What You’re Looking For

Joe Rega November 27, 2013 Category Digital Marketing

Search engines use what are called search operators which allow you to refine the results displayed in the SERPs (search engine results pages). This will help you to more accurately find what it is you’re looking for by narrowing down the amount of results. Google & Bing have their own set of operators but they are relatively the same.

Search Engine

These search refinements are incredibly useful when researching competitors or looking deeper into your own brand. The reduction in search results allows you to find specific information that may not have been easy to find in a standard query by eliminating closely related results. You can even set up Google Alerts using some these operators listed below.

Here are some basic-advanced search operators for Google you can use when you’re looking for something more specific:

My personal favorite is the site search operator. This allows you to see how many pages are listed in Google’s index.


Be careful not to use a space after the colon as this will not return accurate results. In addition, don’t include “www” before the TLD  as this will omit any sub-domains that the site may contain.

Another favorite of mine is the asterisks symbol. This is viewed as a wildcard and will fill in the blank of your query.

World * location

This will return results for World Series location and World Cup location.

If you’re undecided as to what exactly you’re looking for, the pipe symbol may be for you.

This | That

It is an alternative to the OR search operator and means just that. If there is something you’re looking for but are not quite sure as to which version or tense you need, this would be a great time to use this. This is also useful when searching for alternative spellings of things.

Quotation marks are a way of asking search engines to return an EXACT result. This is extremely useful when checking to see if a particular URL is indexed or if someone is scraping your content .

“This exact phrase”

The above examples will return websites that ONLY have that exact phrase within their site.

Here are links to more examples of search operations for both Google & Bing

The Search Engine Optimization process can seem overwhelming. Path Interactive, a NY SEO firm, can provide the direction you need to make the SEO process simple and results obtainable. We have custom-tailored packages for clients at every stage in their business.

For a free marketing consultation, fill out our express form or call 800-680-4304 today.










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