Advanced search operators are the language of search, just like Java is the language of a budding developer and French the language of cities with overpriced pastries. They are Google's way of allowing us to specify or broaden our search, and an obligatory part of every link prospector's education. With this in mind, we have put together a brief reference guide listing some of the most useful operators, rules regarding their use and examples of things they can do.
Returns pages with URLs containing the term(s) you specified. The terms should be entered immediately after the colon, and you have to use quotation marks if you want to search for multiple words (you'll only get results where the terms are in the exact order you used). You can combine inurl: with other operators or keywords.
Example: inurl:"blog category SEO"
This operator can only be used on its own (can't be modified with other operators or keywords) and is generally used for broader searches than inurl: It helps you find pages with URLs mentioning all the terms you used in the query, in no particular order. You can add a space after the colon, but you don't have to.
Example: allinurl:blog category SEO
If you are looking for pages with specific terms in their title, whether in Google News, or regular search, this operator can be used just like inurl: (no space after the colon, obligatory quotations if you want multiple terms).
Example: home improvement intitle:"guest post submission guidelines"
Less flexible than intitle: this command can't be accompanied by other operators in a query, and will net pages the titles of which contain the words following the colon (with or without spaces., no quotations necessary). The terms don't have to be in the same exact order as you've provided them for a page to show up in your results.
Example: allintitle:guidelines submission post guest
If the terms you are looking for are likely to be found in the text of a page, entering them directly after the colon, delimited by quotation marks if there are more than one, should get you the results you need.
Example: intext:"guest post provided by"
Potentially very useful operator, especially if you're after formulaic articles. Simply enter all the terms expected to appear anywhere in the text of pages you're after, and sift through the results. It doesn't matter if you add a space after the operator.
Example: allintext:best tips DIY floors
Great for searching for competitors who focused on particular keywords in their link building efforts, this operator returns pages with a high number of links leading to them using the anchor you specified. You can combine it with other operators or keywords
Example: local optimization inanchor:"SEO blog"
Shows you pages that have often been linked to with anchors containing words you choose. Word order not important, but apart from adding more terms after the colon, you cannot further refine the search.
Example: allinanchor:blog SEO
A great way to limit your search only to particular sites or those with a particular Top Level Domain. Similar to inurl: but more specific, as it doesn't look at anything after the TLD. Often used with minus or dash to eliminate certain sites from search results.
Example: home improvement -site:facbook.com
Something of a lucky spin when it comes to search operators, entering a URL directly after the colon should present you with a list of sites similar to the one you've provided. Depending on your luck, it can help you find a ton of prospects or prove to be a complete waste of time.
This operator returns results with file extension you've specified. You can add keywords or other operators to refine the search.
Example: filetype:pdf dogs
Alternative to filetype: command, should return the same results.
Example: ext:pdf dogs
Google occasionally changes the number of available operators, or the way they work, however, those provided above have been in use for a while now. We hope they help you in your prospecting efforts.
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