9 Clever use of Google search operators for accurate results

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Google is like an answering machine where we throw queries to get answers. It would’ve been nice if these queries can be made shorter and more effective.

There are search operators like AND and OR to do this, and I’m sure most of these are in your head. But there are few more you probably never heard of.

1. Use <keyword>:sitename to search within website

Sometimes you need to search data only from a particular website. In case the site search function is misleading or in worst case have no search function at all, you can use ‘:site name’ immediately after the keyword to search data only from that particular website.

search within a site using keyword

2. Using * for Truncation

If you are not sure of what exact keywords to use, you can always expand your search keywords by using a simple ‘*’ between two words. This way you will get results for all the word combination you have entered in with ‘*” as variant. For example, if you are looking for Microsoft * tutorials, you will get results for “Microsoft Office Tutorials”, “Microsoft Word Tutorials”, “Microsoft Access Tutorials” and much more.

truncation operator in google

3. Using .. range operator

If you’re looking for a laptop priced between Rs 5000 to 25000, you’ll probably search it by entering query ‘laptop between 5000 to 25000’ or anything similar.

shorten query using .. for range

You can always shorten these queries by using ‘..’ range operator.

Just type laptop 5000..25000 and get the same results. It’ll show up results for laptops falling in price range of 5000 to 25000.

4. Narrow search results using ‘at’ operator

To limit results from one particular website we generally use site: operator, like site: yourravi.com vlc media player to get results for ‘vlc media player’ from the website yourravi.com.

use 'at' search operator in place of site

Alternatively, we can do the same using ‘at’ operator. The same query can be searched as ‘vlc media player at yourravi.com’.

Unlike site operator, top level domain of websites like .com, .net etc can be omitted while using ‘at’.

5. Avoid define/definition keyword for meaning of a word

Most of us use ‘define’ or ‘definition’ keyword with the search term to get its meaning.

google shows up word meaning

The same thing can be done just by entering the word, without anything like ‘what is’ or ‘define’.

6. The ‘Around’ google search operator

While AND operator shows result containing all words joined by it, around provide results with exactly n words between the two words.

For a query, death around(1) hang, results with 1 word between death and hand would show up.

'around' search operator for proximity google search

This is of little use but still important to know.

7. Broaden search with ~ operator

By using ~ operator, we can in a way broaden the search query.

~ search operator for broad search

The query ~bad quotes would show up results for ‘ugly quotes’, ‘weird quotes’, ‘bad quotes’ etc as the ‘~’ operator before a word acts like synonym to it.

In this case, our query is actually [synonym of bad]+quotes not ‘bad quotes’.

8. Searching a specific filetype

If you are looking web only for a particular file type, you can restrict your result by using “filetype or ext” as suffix. For instance if you are looking for a project report on marketing with PFD file type, simply search for project report marketing.pdf. It will display all the webpages with PDF file on keyword project report. This suffix can also be used for using one or more file types at a time by using a simple “OR” operator. For example Project report filetype.pdf OR filetype.doc.

search file using filetype

9. Use info to know about a specific website

If you are seeking information about a particular website or URL, you can directly get that by using the search operator info: or id: . For example, if you are looking for information on yourravi.com, you can search for info:yourravi.com or id:yourravi.com and Google will display complete information about the website.

website information in google search result

Hope these Google search operators would help you in easy searching. If you know some good ones that we missed, don’t forget to share with us on our Facebook page or in comments section below.

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