Search Operators In A Nutshell

Search Operators

Search Operators help refine searches. They are included as part of a standard search query. For SEO consultants in their profession or else for search engine users in their  daily searchs it is always handy to know how to do advanced searches on search engines.

Search Operators Syntax

Usually the syntax of search operators is as below.

  • search_operator:search_term
  • There’s no space between the search operator, the colon and the search term.

Google Search Operators

Although some search operators of Google are widely known and used, since the search engine continously improves as an answering machine, new search operators or specific query types which it responds show up progressively. On the other hand, sometimes the results quality of which some operators produce drop, sometimes they almost disappear e.g.  inanchor, link. Google does this willingly  in order to avoid them being used against modifying its algorithm.

Please find below a list of official and unofficial Google Search Operators that can be used to query the engine.

Operator Purpose Can be used with other operators? Can be used alone?
site: Search specific site Yes Yes
related: Search sites similar to a web address No Yes
info: Get information about a web address No Yes
cache: See what a page looks like the last time Google visited the site      No Yes
intitle: Search page title Yes Yes
allintitle: Search page title No Yes
inurl: Search URL Yes Yes
allinurl:  Search URL No Yes
intext:  Search text of page only Yes Yes
allintext: Search text of page only Not Really Yes
inanchor: Results containing the query terms specified in the anchor text or links to the page Yes Yes
filetype: Search specific files Yes No
ext: Search specific files Yes No
define:  Definition of words No Yes
movie: Movie related information No Yes
location: Search for articles by location Yes Yes
source: Search for articles by source Yes Yes
stocks: Displays the current stock quote                                                 No Yes
map: Produces map based results Not Really Yes

Bing Search Operators

Operator Purpose Can be used with other operators? Can be used alone?
site: Search specific site Yes Yes
intitle: Search page title Yes Yes
url: Search URL Yes Yes
inbody:  Search text in metadata or html body  Yes Yes
filetype: Search specific files Yes No
ext: Search specific files Yes No
define:  Definition of words No Yes
loc: Results from a specific country or region Yes Yes
altloc: Local search that is outside major markets Yes Yes
location: Results from a specific country or region Yes Yes
contains:  Results focused on sites that have links to the file types that you specify Yes No
domain: Limits results to the specified domain Yes Yes
feed: Finds RSS or Atom feeds pertaining to the term you specify Yes Yes
hasfeed:

Results containing both the term or terms for the query and one or more RSS or Atom feeds

Yes Yes
imagesize: Constrains the size of returned images. Yes No
inanchor: Results containing the specified term in the anchor text. Not really Yes
instreamset: Metaoperator; that is, an operator that is used with other operators. Yes Yes

ip:

Finds sites that are hosted by a specific IP address. No Yes

keyword:

Metaoperator; that is, an operator that is used with other operators. Yes Yes

language:

Results written in a specific language. Yes Not really

near:

Constrains the distance between terms so that documents that contain instances of the specified terms within ten words of each other are returned before those that don’t. Yes Yes

Yandex Search Operators

Operator Purpose Can be used with other operators? Can be used alone?
site: Search specific site Yes Yes
url: Search URL No Yes
host:  Search host Yes Yes
rhost: Search reverse host Yes Yes
mime: Search specific files Yes Not really
lang: Search specific language Yes Not really
domain: Limits results to the specified domain Yes Yes
date: Search by date Yes Not really

Sources:

https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/2466433?hl=en

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff795620.aspx

https://yandex.com/support/search/how-to-search/search-operators.xml

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