Google is celebrating its 25th birthday today! To mark this occasion, I have brought you a little life hack today that will make it easier for you to find things faster and better via Google. We’re talking about useful search operators.
Search Operators: What is it?
With Search Operators you can refine your text searches in Google and tell the search engine exactly what you are looking for. This is how you optimize your searches and get better results.
1. Find the exact wording: quotation marks
Many people know this search operator – that makes sense because in my opinion it is one of the most useful.
If you enter several words or even entire questions into Google, the search engine will look for articles and websites that contain keywords related to your search query. If you want to search for a specific phrase instead, simply enclose the entire search query in quotation marks.
Then Google starts a search for content that contains exactly the wording in quotation marks.
Example: “Gamestar PC”
2. Exclude words from the search: minus sign
If you’re looking for a specific topic, especially ones that are fairly broad, it may make sense to exclude certain topics from the search results. You can use the minus sign for this.
Simply add it after your search query and then the word you want to exclude from the search queries.
Example: Gamestar PC
3. Two search queries at once: “OR”
With this operator you can save a lot of time. If you want to start two search queries at once, you can simply separate the two with the word “OR”.
Example: Gamestar OR PC
4. Search only on a specific page: “Site:”
I personally use this search operator very often. This allows you to search a specific website for content. For example, I can quickly search for articles on GameStar that my colleagues have written.
Example: site:gamestar.de PC
5. Search for specific file types: “filetype:”
Did you know that you can even search for specific file types in Google? No? Now you know. Simply enter your search query and then add the operator and the desired file format.
Example: gamestar filetype:pdf
6. Search for words or phrases in titles: “intitle:” and “allintitle:”
With these two operators you can search for specific pages and URLs that contain specific words or phrases. Use “intitle:” if you want it to be just one word and “allintitle:” if there are several.
Example: gamestar pc intitle:cheap
7. Filter your search results by publication year: “before:” and “after:”
With “before:” and “after:” you can search for content that appeared before or after a certain year.
Example: Gamestar before:2010 or Gamestar after:2020
If you want to search for specific content on social networks, you can simply use the @ symbol in connection with the platform in the search query. This way you can quickly find posts that are relevant to your search.
Example: @instagram gamestar
9. Quickly look up words: “define”
If you want to quickly look up the definition and spelling of a particular word, you can do so quickly and easily with “define”
Example: define computer
Before we get to the tenth and final Search Operator – a quick note: There are also search operators for YouTube. Please take a look at my article below.
10. Uses multiple search operators at once
You can use multiple search operators at once with parentheses. This means you can search very precisely for exactly the content that interests you. The example below allows you to search for all articles on GameStar that have the term “iPhone” in the title, as well as pages on Apple.com that contain information about the iPhone.
Beispiel: (gamestar intitle:iphone) OR (site:apple.com iphone)
I hope these search operators are helpful for you! Do you already know them or have you learned something new from the article? Are there any other search operators that you think are particularly useful that I haven’t mentioned in this article and that you would like to share with us? As always, let us know in the comments below!