Using Google smarter – Search tips everyone should know

These days, everyone’s a pro at Google Search. I mean, even my mother-in-law uses Google on a daily basis!

And while many (most?) people know about basic Google operators like + and -, there’s a whole list of operators to refine your Google searches.

These are what I believe to be the most useful and relevant Google operators. While not all-inclusive, there’s virtually nothing in the Google machine that isn’t within your immediate reach with these operators.

Operator What it does Example
intitle: Only search through Titles of a document intitle:”Google Smarter”
inurl: Only search through URL’s inurl:purchase.html
.. Searches Google for numbers within the specified range 25..50
filetype: Returns results matching the specified filetype. filetype:pdf
site: Returns results only in the specified domain
inanchor: Returns only results with link text that contains your term inanchor:”Google Smarter”
link: Returns only results that link directly to the specified URL
define: Gives you a dictionary definition of the specified term define:cromulent
| OR operator – search for Term A OR Term B. Must return at least one Flash cookies|Photography
Find “Flash” AND (cookies OR photography)
~ Search for the specified term, and synonyms of the word reliable ~automobiles
+ Force a term to be in your search results flash +cookies
- Exclude a term from your search results flash -photography
” “ Search for an exact phrase “He who gives up freedom deserves”
* An actual Wildcard. Replaces words, not characters. Very useful in quote searches “my favorite * is”

Sure, many of these attributes are available under Googles “Advanced search” menu item… but who uses that thing? Keep in mind that many, if not most of these Google operators work in other Google searches, such as Google Image search. Also remember that most of these operators can be combined with each-other for some serious precision.

What’s your favorite Google trick?