Google advanced search operators are powerful tools that every SEO company or specialist should use. They’re the easiest way to ensure that you get precise and highly-relevant results from your queries. GSO helps narrow down the Google search results, block unnecessary content, and prevent distractions from what you’re researching.
Knowing how to use SEO Google Search Operators can give you an edge over your competitors. Plus, it lets you see how your content is doing. Is another website duplicating your content on theirs? Are your competitors’ websites being linked, and yours isn’t? GSO provides valuable information about your site’s performance and tells you what you should be doing next.
The best part? You can combine GSOs to fine-tune your target results even further. Here are some tips on using Combined Google Advanced Search Operators.
1. Aim for specific results
The primary purpose of GSO is to get accurate results. By using a combination of multiple search operators, you can command Google to show exactly what you want to see.
Before figuring out how to use the different search operators and punctuations, you must first know precisely what you’re looking for. You can do this by identifying what you don’t want to see.
The exclusion symbol (-) is used to exclude terms that you don’t want to see on the Google search results page. For instance, if you want to search for news on the coronavirus, but you don’t want to see news from a particular country, what you might search for is:
coronavirus -“[name of country]”
2. Maximize Google indexing
Google sees your site differently. To find out how Google indexes your website, use the operator site: by typing, for instance, site:yourwebsite.com.
If you want to exclude specific webpages from the site, you can get rid of subdomains by adding -inurl: to the search query. For example, to check Google indexing on your website except for the contact page, you might type: site:yourwebsite.com -inurl:contact. That eliminates all the URLs on your website that have the word ‘contact’ in them.
Google dislikes duplicate content. To find duplicate content on your website, all you have to do is use the operator’s site: and (“”). For example, site:yourwebsite.com “how-to” to find repetitive content on your website about how-tos.
3. Understand default operators
There are basic search operators that have been set as default on Google now, specifically (AND), (OR), and (~).
Google ignores the operators (AND) and (OR) when they’re used between your search terms. That is because someone might be searching for terms that do include the words’ and’ and ‘or’ such as ‘Ben and Jerrys.’
The operator (~) was used to look up synonyms of a term, but today, Google displays synonyms by default. If you searched for ‘eccentric,’ Google will automatically show the word’s definition and synonyms.
4. Exclude particular searches
Google is smart, but it isn’t smart enough to tell what you’re looking for exactly. A lot of search queries can mean different things. Take, for example, the word ‘divergent’ — if you Google this word alone, the search results will show everything related to divergent, whether it’s the definition of the word, the movie, or the book by Veronica Roth.
To let Google know what to search for, use the operator (-). It can be used to exclude certain themes related to the search query. If you want to search for the definition of divergent, you might want to type:
divergent -movie – book
Typing this onto the search bar will get rid of results relating to the Divergent book series and the Divergent movies.
Dive deeper into the topic with the huge infographic below.
About the Author: Brandon Leibowitz is the founder of SEO Optimizers, a Digital Marketing Agency in Los Angeles, California, and the founder of Bosmol.com, a social media news log. He has been involved with search engine optimization and internet marketing since 2007.
Title image from Mirage pack on Ouch illustrations
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