When you want to gain more control over the results of a Google search query, you can use what is called a “Google Operator or Command.” Usually Google does an excellent job at returning the most relevant results, and that is usually fine for your average searcher, but what about those who want to narrow the list of results even further? There are many different commands and ways to add or even subtract certain results from being shown, and a few them are as follows:
- Quotes (ie: “What is a Pear”): Quotes will show only exact matches for this string of text or a single word.
- Minus (ie: what is seo -site:wikipedia.org): The minus sign will not show a word you list or even an entire domain.
- Inurl (ie: inurl:blog): This operator will include results that have the word blog in the URL.
- Intitle (ie: intitle:”apple pie recipe”): This operator that includes quotes will show only results with the exact words apple pie recipe in their titles.
- Site (ie: site:.com or “New York” site:weather.com): The first part will show only .com results, while the second example will show results only within weather.com.
For more operators you can visit the official Google Page. However, now I want to talk about why this often unknown feature is so important for those who are immersed into internet marketing and how you can use it for your benefit. Below I am going to provide some really useful applications for these commands and how you can string them together to really narrow your search results. Today, relevance is more important than ever with SEO, which means that you will need to acquire backlinks and network with blogs and businesses in your industry in a variety of unique ways. Sure you could set out and start searching Google with a simple string of text, but you would have to sort through a lot of unwanted results too. You can narrow your results much deeper with an operator versus say; the advanced search feature.
The first application that using a Google command will play into is for the searching of blogs and other websites to provide guest posts on. This can be extremely tedious and tiring, especially if you are not an organized person. In order to increase your success rate and thus backlink count, you can use an operator to make sure you are using your time in the best way you can. Try out the following operator in your browser now:
- KEYWORD + intitle:“write for us”
Now if you don’t understand what you are looking at let’s break it down real quick. The first part labeled keyword should be any keywords that are related to your industry and that you may or may not be trying to rank for. You have to play this part carefully because if they are a competitor of yours they are not going to allow you to place a guest article on their website. Now we have the (+) sign which means including. Finally, the last part is intitle: with the quoted words “write for us.” Reading from start to finish, this Google command would be understood as; this keyword including results that have the words “write for us” in the title.
This is gold for bloggers, internet marketers and other SEO personnel because you can quickly find blogs and websites that are looking for people to write for them, and usually they are okay with the fact that you will be including a few contextual links within your work. The rest is up to you. Once you begin to contact different website your must provide high quality and unique content for them, in exchange for some high quality backlinks (depending on their site authority). It is important that you remember that this must be a mutually beneficial relationship, and you should approach it that way.
The second example is going to be using a Google Operator Command to narrow down results for blog commenting purposes. Blog comments can be an easy way to get involved into the community of your industry, and these types of backlinks are usually easier to acquire; provided that you are offering useful discussion and interaction. Please, if you do blog comment, make sure you read the authors article and provide a well thought and thorough comment that provides value to the web and the community and not just spam. Also, you may need to develop a reputation for yourself by providing a series of comments over time before deciding to include a URL or you may also seem like a spammer and your comment may never be published. Try out this operator in Google:
- site:.com inurl:blog “post a comment” -”comments closed” -”you must be logged in” “KEYWORD”
Okay, now let’s break this string down too. The first portion site:.com will only include websites that are of the .com TLD. The second part inurl:blog will continue to narrow the results with only results that have the word blog in the url, and then “post a comment” will make sure these exact words are included on the page. The next portion –“comments closed” will eliminate all results that have comments closed and the –“you must be logged in” will do the same. The last portion is the keyword in quotes that you are looking for as part of relevancy. Starting from the beginning, let’s review what we have. This operator will give you only sites that are .com with blog in the URL and the exact words of post a comment; it will remove all results that have comments closed and all results that require you to be logged in from websites that have a certain keyword exactly listed.
You should be able to see the versatility that these Google commands provide and how you can adapt and tweak them to get exactly what you are looking for. The more parameters or operators that you add, the more narrowed your results will be. Think of using the operators as if you were checking or unchecking boxes on an eCommerce or other website that allowed you to narrow your results, or increase your results. Google Operators and Commands save time and allow for increased productivity for those who are looking to develop connections and backlinks on other websites and blogs; as well as for other various purposes including looking at the entirety of indexed pages of a website in Google.