Google used to take about a month to crawl and index around 50 million pages in 1999. In 2012, however, it started accomplishing the same task in a mere few minutes.
And as Google advanced, it attracted more and more searches, and currently dominates about 78% of the search industry.
While that does mean a lot of opportunities for online marketers, it also means that SEO has become more competitive.
But useful tools like search operators can help you more than you think, and come up with better SEO strategies too. So without further ado, let’s understand how you can use them to your advantage.
Basic Search Operators
Site: Using this search operator allows you to limit your search to a particular site only. So if you want to only search the site SEOOptimizers.com, then you would put “site:SEOOptimizers.com” into Google.
Link: This can help you find the sites that are linking to the site you’re searching for. So if you search for “link:YouTube.com,” you may be able to find the sites that are linking to it.
Related: This is useful when you’re searching for sites similar to a particular site. So again, using YouTube as an example, searching for “related:YouTube.com” will fetch all sites that are similar to YouTube.com.
OR: This search operator lets you find pages that talk about either of two things. In other words, searching for “OR: SEO OR PPC” will return results that either talk about SEO or PPC.
Info: This can help you get useful information about a particular website.
@: When you’re looking to search for the social profiles of a particular brand or business, you would want to use the “@” punctuation before the brand’s or business’ name.
$: An easy way to search for products in the price range you’re looking for. Example: “Nikon $400” will return results of sites that are selling a Nikon camera for $400 or lower.
#: Useful for discovering and learning trending topics on the internet.
Advanced Search Operators
Allinanchor: This is useful when you’re looking for sites that have linked out to other sites using a specific anchor text. So for instance, searching for “allinanchor:Best SEO Company” may help you find the sites that have linked to a particular site using “best SEO company” as the anchor or link text.
Allintext: This helps you find pages that mention the text you’re searching for.
Allintitle: This is the same as the above search operator, but in a very specific way as it allows you to limit your search to only the titles of the pages.
Allinurl: Again, it’s the same as the allintitle search operator, but it searches only for the URLs of the pages.
Author: This search operator helps you find newsgroup articles that are written by a particular author that you’re searching for. Example – author:”rand fishkin” or SEO author:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Define: Works in the same way as the above, but helps you find the definitions for different terms, such as a “blog.”