Advanced Search Operators for Bing and Google (Guide and Cheat Sheet)

User typing a site search operator on laptop.
When you search on Google or Bing, do you find exactly what you’re looking for the first time? Probably not.

Enter advanced search operators. These commands help you extract everything the search engine knows about a specific subject – and efficiently.

These tricks of the trade can definitely save you time, especially if you’re doing any kind of competitor analysis or SEO research.

Soon you’ll be searching like a pro as you learn:

What Are Search Engine Operators?

Search operators are commands that use special characters along with a query to make the search engine results more specific. Essentially, they work like filters that you can customize as needed.

To use a search operator, add the command into the search box and search as you normally would. The results are entirely different from the average search.

Why Should I Use a Search Operator?

SEOs routinely use search operators to filter results from a search engine. These advanced search skills let you easily:

  • Locate something specific online
  • Research a site you’re optimizing
  • Investigate the competitive field

When you get comfortable with a few of these commands, you can find what you’re looking for much faster.

How Do I Use Advanced Search Operators?

Enter search operators in the search bar along with your regular query, but with some modifications.

A search operator typically has:

  • A prefix: Something that comes before the search query
  • An addition: Something that is appended to the search query and contains special characters

For example, you can use the cache: prefix in front of the query, or you can use the OR command in between two words in a query.

In many instances – but not all – you want to ensure you do not put a space between the search operator character and the query.

So if you were using the site: command you would want it to look like this:

site:bruceclay.com page experience update

And not like this:

site: bruceclay.com page experience update

OK, all this information is helpful … but how about some examples?

Example 1: Quotation Marks

Quotation marks (“) help you to match an exact phrase. So searching for “advanced search tips” as an example (with the quotes) finds only pages that contain those words used as a phrase.

Example 2: Site Search

The site: command filters your search results to just one website. In other words: You are searching only one domain for the information you need.

Start with the command, which is site: then add the domain name you want to search and finally the topic you want to search the domain for.

In the example below, site: tells the search engine you want to browse a particular domain–bruceclay.com–and siloing is the topic you are interested in finding.

Your results would look something like the screenshot below. Google found 362 pages about siloing on BruceClay.com:

Google search results of bruceclay.com site search for siloing.

Example 3: Combining Search Operators

You can combine search operators to refine results even further. For example, you can combine site search with quotation marks to search for a longer phrase within a particular website.

Google site search animation.

This search found 157 pages. Without the quotation marks, the query would return way too many results. For instance, the search engine would find pages about “voice” or “search” — so nearly all the pages on our site.

Bing and Google Search Operator Documentation

Each search engine has its own set of advanced search operators. Here’s the official documentation from the two major search engines for your reference:

Search Operators Used in SEO Research

Here are seven ways to use the search commands for SEO research:

  1. Analyze the competition
  2. Find information about a specific page or site
  3. Discover indexing problems
  4. Help with site maintenance
  5. Further refine results
  6. Find social profiles
  7. Find potential internal links

In the examples below, the search query is in bold.

1. Analyze the Competition

related:bruceclay.com
The related: operator gives you a glimpse of competitor content. You’ll see a small selection of what Google considers to be similar. Then you can analyze their SEO metrics — including word count, keyword use, meta data and inbound links — so that you can make your page equal to and then better than the competition.

allintitle:seo blog
This query brings up webpages that have both “SEO” and “blog” in their metadata title. We could use this to find competing blogs to our own. The search operators allintitle: and intitle: let you find pages using your keywords in title tags.

Similarly, the commands allinurl: and inurl: let you identify competitors that use keywords in URLs. (Note that as of this writing, the intitle: command works in both Google and Bing searches, but allintitle:, allinurl: and inurl: work only in Google.)

cache:https://www.bruceclay.com/seo/
The cache: command shows you a search engine’s cached version of a page. It’s a way to check how the search engine actually sees your page. Cache shows what page content the search engine considers relevant to retrieve, making this Google search operator a valuable SEO diagnostic tool.

2. Find Information About a Specific Page or Site

info:competitorsite.com
Using the info: command in Bing gives you results that seem like a collection of these advanced search operators. It’s a one-stop shop to access a variety of onsite and offsite results about a website. Note: Google deprecated the info: operator in 2017.

3. Discover Indexing Problems

site:yourdomain.com
A site: command shows how many pages the search engine has indexed. Though the total number of results is only an approximation, it is a quick way to find out if you have an indexing problem — either too few or too many pages in the index.

site:yourdomain.com/blog/*
Specify a particular subfolder of your site to see how many pages it contains. For instance, adding the wildcard * finds all pages under the /blog/.

4. Help with Site Maintenance

site:yourdomain.com contains:pdf
The contains: Bing search operator gives you a powerful tool to find links within a site that point to a particular type of file. For example, the query above lets you locate every page on your site that has a link to a PDF file.

5. Further Refine Results

cats -musical
A minus sign (-) before a keyword removes any results with that word. Again, it’s a way to help filter results when a query might be ambiguous. If you’re looking for info about cats the animal, but there’s a showing of Cats the musical in your town, you can search cats -musical to remove results about the theater production.

intitle:keyword -site:yourdomain.com
You can use the minus sign (-) before a search command, too. The above example finds webpages that have your keyword in the title tag, excluding those on your own site. This reduces the clutter when doing competitor research.

6. Find Social Profiles

john doe (site:linkedin | site:twitter)
If you want to get in touch with someone via their social profiles, you can use the site: for social media profiles along with the person’s name (and company name if you have it). This will search any of the social media channels you want to look up for that person. The example above would show LinkedIn and Twitter.

7. Find Potential Internal Links

site:bruceclay.com/blog -site:bruceclay.com/seo/siloing/ intext: “siloing”
If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you know that I recommend siloing as an SEO strategy. A key part of siloing is internal linking.

This advanced search is useful to find potential linking opportunities within a website. The example above combines the site: command with intext:, the minus sign (-) and exact match quotations (“).

What this particular search would do is find any webpages on the blog that mention siloing so that we could link to the main siloing page on the site. It uses the minus sign to exclude the page we want to link to from other pages.

List of Advanced Search Operators for SEO (Cheat Sheet)

In the table below, you’ll find the search engine operators that we routinely use in SEO research. (This is not an all-inclusive list.)
<!—
Open this operators cheat sheet as a PDF and save or print it for your reference!—>

Google Bing Result
allinanchor:
allintext: Returns webpages with all the words somewhere on the webpage.
allintitle: Finds pages that include all query words as part of the indexed title tag.
allinurl: Finds a specific URL in the search engine’s index. Also can be used to find pages whose URLs contain all the specified words.
AROUND() Finds webpages with words that are in a certain proximity to one another.
cache: Shows the version of the webpage from Google’s cache.
contains: Finds webpages that contain links to a particular type of file (such as pdf, mp3). This function is unique to Bing.
define: Presents a dictionary definition.
ext: ext: Returns only webpages with the file extension you specify (such as htm). Note: Bing includes this operator in its current list, but our tests could not produce reliable results.
filetype: filetype: Finds results of a single type only (such as pdf).
filetype: filetype: Finds results of a single type only (such as pdf).
feed: Finds RSS / Atom feeds on a site for the search term.
hasfeed: Finds webpages with RSS / Atom feed on the search term.
in This converts units of measure like temperature, currency, etc.
info: Presents some information that Bing has about a webpage such as related pages from the site, external pages talking about the page, and related results. This operator is not listed on the current Bing documentation, but our tests show that it continues to work.
intext: Shows pages that contain a specific word in their body text.
intitle: intitle: Finds pages that include a specific word as part of the indexed title tag.
inurl: Finds pages that include a specific keyword in their indexed URLs.
allinurl: Finds a specific URL in the search engine’s index. Also can be used to find pages whose URLs contain all the specified words.
inanchor: Finds webpages that use a specified keyword as anchor text in a link from the page.
inbody: Finds webpages that use a specified keyword in the body section of the page.
ip: Finds sites hosted by a certain IP address.
language: Find webpages in a specified language.
location: Finds webpages from a certain country / region.
map: Finds a map result for the query.
movie: Finds information about movies.
OR OR Finds webpages that have either query when used in between two queries. Must be capitalized to work correctly.
prefer: Adds emphasis to a search term to refine the results further.
related: Finds related sites to the domain you input.
site: site: Restricts the search to pages within a particular domain and all its subdomains.
source: Finds news results from a specific news source in Google News.
stocks: Displays stock information for a specific ticker symbol.
url: Checks if a domain is in the Bing index.
weather: Shows weather for a specific location.
* * Acts like a wildcard that can take the place of any word or phrase. Example: tallest * in the world
Excludes results that contain the word following the minus sign. Place this operation at the end of your search query.
” “ ” “ Finds instances of the exact text within the quotation marks everywhere it appears in the search engine’s index.
@ Searches social media for a certain query when put in front of the word(s).
$ Searches for a price when put in front of the query.
# Searches for hashtags.
Searches a range of numbers when put in between two numbers.
() Finds or excludes webpages with a group of words contained within the parentheses.

Doing research takes time. Especially when there are so many search engine results. These advanced search operators will get you searching like a pro – more efficiently with better results.


If you liked this advanced search operators guide, please share it!
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FAQ: How can I use Advanced Search Operators to extract precise information from search engines?

Becoming proficient with Advanced Search Operators will enable you to extract accurate and pertinent data from search engines. These commands act like filters allowing for tailored queries with more precise results.

To begin, consider using quotation marks around your search query to find an exact phrase match. This can be especially helpful when researching specific topics or phrases. For example, searching for “advanced search tips” (with the quotes) will retrieve pages containing that exact phrase.

Another powerful operator is the “site:” command, which allows you to search within a specific website. This is particularly useful when conducting competitor analysis or investigating a particular site. For instance, by using “site:example.com SEO tips,” you can narrow down your search to SEO-related content within the specified domain.

Combining multiple search operators can further refine your results. For instance, combining the site search with quotation marks can help you find longer phrases within a particular website. This is invaluable for in-depth research.

Other search engines, like Bing, offer their own suite of Advanced Search Operators that you can utilize. You can learn more by consulting the documentation provided by these search engines. It’s important to note that while these operators enhance your search experience, precision and relevance may vary. Therefore, it’s essential to become familiar with the various operators and practice using them to refine your results effectively.

Mastering advanced search operators allows you to extract precise information from search engine results quickly and accurately, saving time while meeting research and analytical requirements more effectively. By mastering them, you can unlock hidden knowledge found online with just the right combination and practice. 

Step-by-Step Procedure: How to Use Advanced Search Operators to Extract Precise Information from Search Engines:

  1. Understanding the Basics: Familiarize yourself with the concept and functionality of Advanced Search Operators found within search engines.
  2. Identify Key Operators: Explore the most commonly used Advanced Search Operators, such as quotation marks and site search.
  3. Use Quotation Marks: Practice using quotation marks to search for exact phrase matches, which are particularly useful for specific research topics.
  4. Master the Site Search: Learn how to use the “site:” command to filter your search results within a specific website or domain.
  5. Combine Operators: Experiment with combining multiple operators to refine your search results further.
  6. Utilize Other Operators: Explore additional operators, such as “inurl,” “intitle,” and “cache,” to enhance your search capabilities.
  7. Study Documentation: Refer to the official documentation provided by search engines like Google and Bing to understand the full range of available operators.
  8. Analyze Competitors: Use Advanced Search Operators to conduct competitor analysis, gaining insights into their SEO strategies and content.
  9. Discover Indexing Problems: Use the “site:” command to identify potential indexing issues with your website or specific subfolders.
  10. Find Internal Links: Use operators like “intext” and “inurl” to locate potential internal linking opportunities within your website.
  11. Analyze Social Profiles: Utilize the “site:” operator with social media platforms to find and connect with individuals through their profiles.
  12. Refine Search Results: Practice using the minus sign (-) to exclude specific keywords from your search queries, improving result relevance.
  13. Test Different Queries: Experiment with various combinations of Advanced Search Operators to find the most effective search results for your needs.
  14. Verify Information: Double-check the accuracy and relevance of the information obtained through Advanced Search Operators.
  15. Enhance Research Efficiency: Incorporate Advanced Search Operators into your regular research workflow to save time and improve data accuracy.
  16. Stay Updated: Stay informed about changes or updates to search engine operators to adapt and improve your search techniques.
  17. Share Knowledge: Educate your team or colleagues about Advanced Search Operators to enhance overall research productivity.
  18. Practice and Patience: Become proficient in using Advanced Search Operators through consistent practice and patience.
  19. Continuous Learning: Stay curious and keep exploring new ways to leverage Advanced Search Operators for research and analysis.
  20. Mastering Advanced Search Operators: Achieve expertise and efficiency by mastering Advanced Search Operators and becoming a proficient researcher in your field.

Bruce Clay is founder and president of Bruce Clay Inc., a global digital marketing firm providing search engine optimization, pay-per-click, social media marketing, SEO-friendly web architecture, and SEO tools and education. Connect with him on LinkedIn or through the BruceClay.com website.

See Bruce's author page for links to connect on social media.

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82 Replies to “Advanced Search Operators for Bing and Google (Guide and Cheat Sheet)”

Very helpful blog post if you are new to google advanced search operators. Here you can learn about the power of Google and Bing search for finding what you are looking for more effectively. Great read.

Keep up the fantastic work and continue to inspire us all!

This is one of the most comprehensive list of search operators I have found. Thank you.

Thanks for sharing vital information with us.

Very helpful blog post if you are new to google advanced search operators. Here you can learn about the power of Google and Bing search for finding what you are looking for more effectively. Great read.

I highly appreciate your content

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Interesting blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
A theme like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog shine.
Please let me know where you got your theme. With thanks

Robert Stefanski

Hi Agen, thank you for your feedback!

Our WP theme is custom-built inhouse.

Using advanced operators can help you a lot. I’ve already learned some of these when I was helping developing igaming experiences. But a cheat sheet like this is awesome.

Hey there
I really enjoyed reading your blog post, Thanks for sharing this tips this would help me to optimize the on-page on my website more better

It was quite beneficial. I’ve got a beautiful test plan up and working on. Thank you very much!

If I want to know the total indexed links of a website on search engines, how can I do that.

Robert Stefanski

Hi Hameed,

Search engines won’t give you this type of information. Google Search Console will give you some of this info in its “Links” report. Otherwise, you’ll need to use a link specific tool such as Majestic or Ahrefs. Hope this helps!

It helps us raise a lot of money and find exactly what you’re looking for the first time. I do not know about many of the queries, but I will study them following this article. Thank you for sharing.

Example 8: site:yourdomain.com This really helped me to get much clarity about my website. Thanks, team Bruce Clay for such a nice article. You saved my lot of efforts.

This tag is very important to understand whether your post is index or not. Thanks For Shearing It

A list of Advanced Search Operators for SEO is really very helpful for me. These shortcuts help us to search in detail and in an easy way. I really like your blogs.

Astrick (*) is new for me, Thanks for that.

Hi There,

I might be late but the the fact is many of users do not know about the search operators that is really helpful to search most effective terms and get the expected results hopefully.

For the seasoned search professional, Google’s search operators and search commands are old hat. For the uninitiated, though, they can seem daunting or complex. You have neatly laid out everything in this post of your.

I want to download this cheat sheet. How can I do that.

Thank you so much! I recently bought your book SEO for dummies 3rd edition. It has really helped a lot to understand SEO and content creation. Thank you

Paula Allen

Dalia, that’s great to hear. I hope you’re also subscribed to our blog so you can continue to receive updates, since SEO is a constantly evolving field. Best to you!

Hello,
This is viable article , I see .

A considerable lot of clients don’t think about the inquiry administrators that is truly useful to look through best terms and get the normal outcomes ideally .

Some pretty useful operators, thanks for sharing

According to Google, search operators are “symbols or words in your search to make your search results more precise.”

Search operators play a vital role in coding. They are easy routes to getting better results. Search operators command Google to filter your result in a specific way.

Thanks for sharing. In the artitle many of the queries i have never to know about them, but i will study it following this article.

great content about advanced search operators. I already knew about some of them like intitle, inurl, filetype, and others. But you have given more useful info about many types of operators. I think you can add one more important operator “mail” “@gmail.com” to find out email ids from public platforms.

Hi,
Thank you for sharing. It is very nice to see all of them at one place! I was looking for it. Stay safe. Thanks again.

Fantastic Article. First I came searching internet for Silo Structure and found an intensive discussion on the subject. Helped me understanding the SILO structure. Will be coming back for more such interesting information. Thanks for sharing! Stay safe.

This is interesting. The power of Google Advanced Search operator is limitless. I have explored allintitle and allinurl before. And I must say, this has helped me find what I wanted. I would love to read some more articles like this. Anyone who really wants to use these advanced search operators, your post will help you as a guide.

Congratulations and thanks Bruce.

Fantastic Article. First I came searching internet for Silo Structure and found an intensive discussion on the subject. Helped me understanding the SILO structure. Will be coming back for more such interesting information. Thanks for sharing! Stay safe.

Nice Post.
I really enjoyed to read this advanced search options article and also recommend people to follow this techniques or better optimization.

Informative and Valuable content
allinurl is an amazing tool to avoid other search operators to form your query

Thanks for sharing

such a great information for blogger i am a professional blogger thanks

Thanks for sharing and even i have bookmarked it. some queries we don’t know how to use very informative article

By far one the best guide on using search operator that’ll save us a few hours of researching. Building links can be challenging but these ideas have kicked life back into me to get off my backside and starting reinvigorating my website with some new links.

Paula Allen

Joquim: So glad you found the guide useful. With a little practice, you’ll have these shortcuts memorized!

Great List, I have used most of them. One can also combine multiple operators to get more backlink opportunities.

This is very effective article , i see .
Many of users do not know about the search operators that is really helpful to search most effective terms and get the expected results hopefully .

In the artitle many of the queries i have never to know about them,but i will study it following this article. Thanks for your sharing.

All the major search engines have advanced search options. For google you can go here: Google Advanced Search and from there you can select a file type for the answers you seek.

Paula Allen

Manish, you can use the operator filetype: to get results by file type. For example, to find all PDF files on our website, I could search for site:bruceclay.com filetype:pdf

Yes, these blogs are really helpful to keep updated with the recent trends. It also helps us to cope up with the Google’s latest algorithms. Thanks for keeping us updated with this.

Looks like to me that bing.com needs a lot longer to index the sites like google or any other search engine, which becomes really annoying. Nevertherelss bing ist very important espeicially for elderly ppl as those are not installing any additional search engines and browsers and just use the standard ones like IE etc which has bing as default search engine

This blog has inspired me to start my own blog, many thanks! And please do not stop

I really appreciate this post. I am seeking how to find do-follow links with the search operator. If anybody has some solution then let me know.

Paula Allen

Niharika: Years ago, Google had a link: search operator that did something similar, but it no longer works. To find link information, the best thing to do is pay for a software tool such as Majestic or Ahrefs.

Hello)
Thank you! Nice list! We translated your post for russian and added information about yandex ;)

Paula Allen

Andrey: Did you really? Thanks for widening the audience!

Hi, Post shared here is very useful post and still day I have not done an advance search after reading the post, going to use advanced search options. Thank U

How about using video marketing approach?

Superb post and interesting too!!!
Thanks for such a useful resource sharing with us !!!!

Hi Virginia Nussey,

I really enjoyed reading this article and after reading your article, I found out that there are other ways better to do a search on search engines google, yahoo and bing. I’ll come back to this website.

Virginia Nussey

So stoked to hear you learned something, Sharing! ;)

Great List, I have used most of them. One can also combine multiple operators to get more backlink opportunities. For example

Site:www.abc.com inurl:/seo/

It will display all posts that contain seo as a category in url.

Also you can use url modifiers to get results as you want.

&tbs=qdr:s – Results from past sec

&tbs=qdr:n – Results from past minute

&tbs=qdr:h – Results from past hour

&tbs=qdr:d – Results from past day

&tbs=qdr:w – Results from past week

&tbs=qdr:m – Results from past month

&tbs=qdr:y – Results from past year

Thanks for sharing, my favorite search operator when doing outreach to find relevant links is keyword intext:guest post and keyword intext:guest post

Hey,Virginia!
Impressive contents related to the operator guidance. I really like the way you express the contents In & OUT. Keep it up :)

Hi Virginia Nussey ,
This is very effective article , i see .
Many of users do not know about the search operators that is really helpful to search most effective terms and get the expected results hopefully .

Virginia Nussey

Yes Samdani! Thank you! Hope your searching life got an upgrade!

Useful information. I loved the way you described. Thanks.

Nice article – a lot more useful than a plain list and cuts out all the rubbish :)

Virginia Nussey

Thanks, David! Glad you like!

Thanks for sharing vital information with us.

Virginia Nussey

I try, Sumi!

Hi,
Post shared here is very useful post and still day i have not did advance search after reading the post, going to use advance search options

interesting recommendation will follow you from now on

This blog has inspired me to start my own blog. I loved the way you described your experiences throughout.

Nice list, one search operator I find useful when trying to access SEO competition is allintitle:”insert keyword inside quotes” and it will bring up the number of results that have used the exact keyword inside their page title meta tag, if you don’t see any big authority sites on page 1 of those results and there’s less than 100 results you can easily rank for it with a well optimized article and 1 or 2 links.

Very Informative!
All at one place, i got. I have been searching for all these operators to help my client in SEO for his blog.

Hey would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you suggest a good internet hosting provider at a honest price? Thank you,I appreciate it! SEO Company

Paula Allen

Ziw: PixelSilk is the host. We have tried to optimize our blog for page load speed across browsers, so your comment made our IT manager’s day! :)

It is really great to use the query in the article. It helps us raise a lot of money and find exactly what you’re looking for the first time. In the artitle many of the queries i have never to know about them,but i will study it following this article. Thanks for your sharing.

I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

Hi Virginia Nussey,
Great tips to spy the existing webpages and to better On-page optimization.
I really enjoyed to read this advanced search options article and also recommend people to follow this techniques or better optimization.

allintitle: and allinurl: are really good options. But we can also use AND operators to do the same. Example; intitle:seo AND intitle:Keyword AND intitle:research should give the same results. AND & OR operators are really useful in this regard.
This is a really good post and anyone wants to learn Google operator search will be benefited from this post.

Regards
Soumya Roy
Digital Marketing & SEO Coach
PromozSEO.com

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