Google is the most famous of all the major search engines and has several advanced search commands that are useful tools for the search engine optimization (SEO) specialist. Google has been in the search engine business for a number of years so it is no surprise that it also has a robust set of these commands. Here is a quick reference and example guide for the most-used features.

Note: keywords can also be key phrases. In order to recognize a key phrase exact pattern, surround it in quotes. For example, to search for Spanish lessons in the page body text, use intext:”Spanish lessons”.  Also note that all commands are single line comannds.

Command Example Explanation
~<keyword> ~content Displays pages with keywords related to <keyword>. This helps a webmaster determine what other keywords to use on a given page and avoid overuse of the primary keyword in their content.
cache:<site URL> cache:www.somesite.com Displays how the page at <site URL> appears in Google’s local cache.
ext:<file extension>

filetype:<file extension>

Spanish lessons ext:ppt

Learning Spanish filetype:ppt

Only find documents that are of the file type indicated by <file extension>. The examples show entering a standard search followed by the file extension search command. Examples of filetypes are:

doc – MS Word document

htm – HTML document

xls – MS Excel document

ppt – MS Powerpoint document

Other extensions, for instance mp3, can be entered as well.

inanchor:<keyword>

allinanchor:<keyword(s)>

inanchor:Spanish inanchor:videos

allanchor: Spanish videos

Find pages with anchor text (link text) containing the keyword(s). The command inanchor only accepts one word per command while the allinanchor command accepts all keywords following it.
info:<site URL> info:www.somesite.com This command will tell you if the website at <site URL> has been indexed by Google. If it has, it will also display a set of links that access tools to further analyze the site. These tools include: showing the Google cache for the site, finding similar web pages, showing other pages that link to it, displaying other web pages on <site URL>, and finding web pages that list the URL in their text.
intext:<keyword>

allintext:<keyword(s)>

intext:Spanish intext:games

intext:Spanish

allintext:Spanish games

Find keywords in the text of the page content. The intext command only accepts one keyword and the allintext accepts multiple keywords following it. The first example searches for all documents with both keywords following each intext command. The second example searches for documents with only the keyword following the intext command. The last example (allintext) searches for documents containing all keywords following the command.
intitle:<keyword>

allintitle:<keyword(s)>

intitle:spanish intitle:conversation

intitle:spanish conversation

allintitle:spanish conversation

Search for keywords within the title of documents. The examples work the same as the intext command but for the document title only.
inurl:<keyword>

allinurl:<keyword(s)>

inurl:spanish inurl:conversation

allinurl: spanish conversation

inurl:spanish conversation

This command isolates the keyword search to the url. The examples work the same as the intext command but for the URL only.
<keyword> * <keyword> allintext:Spanish * lessons The * is a wildcard search specifier. In the example, any word can appear between the keywords Spanish and lessons.
related:<site URL> related:<somesite>.com Finds other websites related to the site given by <site URL>. It does this by looking at <site URL> and evaluating the links that populate its pages. Then it lists the sites commonly linked to by <site URL>
site:<site URL> Spanish conversation practice site:<somesite>.com
Spanish conversation practice 
-site:<somesite>.com
The first example finds sites located at the specified URL and containing the search keywords. The second example is an important one to remember. It provides results that are not found on a particular site.

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One Response to “Google Search Commands Quick Reference”

  1. Kurt says:

    Thanks for your articles on Baidu.

    What saves me a tremendous amount of time is the use of the Google Chrome browser with the Google Translate Extension (plug-in). By clicking on the translate icon, or right clicking on the page, you can gain a pretty good idea what the Chinese page is communicating. It’s easy.

    Kurt
    Eugene, Oregon USA