Posted by Dr-Pete
Any SEO worth their sustainably harvested pink Himalayan salt knows that Google offers a variety of advanced search operators – special commands that take you above and beyond regular text searches. Learning search operators is a bit like learning chess, though. It’s easy to memorize how each piece moves, but that’s about 1% of your path toward mastery. I know that the pointy-hat guy in chess moves diagonally, but that doesn’t mean I’m about to take on Kasparov or Deep Blue.
Instead of just listing all of the operators and telling you what they do, I’d like to try something different. This post is a journey in 67 parts, split into five functional stories:
- Content Research
- Title Research
- Plagiarism Check
- Competitive Research
- Technical SEO/Audits
You can skip around, but I’d suggest following the story from the beginning. When you’re done, you’ll understand not only what each operator does, but how to use it in real-world situations and mix-and-match it with other useful operators.
I. Content Research
Crafting original content in 2017 requires wading into the sea of content that’s already been created, and Google remains the most complete map of that sea. Advanced search operators are invaluable research tools for content marketers. Let’s walk through a sample content journey…
1. Find all the content
Let’s say you’ve got a blog post to write about the inventor Nikola Tesla. You hop over to Google and search “tesla,” only to find a lot of results like this:
Google has decided that Tesla Motors is the dominant intent for this phrase, which doesn’t help you very much for your current project.
2. Narrow your search
So, of course you add more keywords and narrow your search. Now you’re on the right track:
Anyone who’s ever run a Google search understands this, but there’s an important point here that we often overlook. Whenever you string together more than one word in a Google search, Google connects them with a logical AND. This is true of both keywords and operators. If you combine operators, Google will assume that you meant AND and will try to meet all conditions.
3. Mind special characters
Let’s say you want to specifically find pages with the phrase “ac/dc”, so you try the search above:
Notice the highlighted words – Google has returned anything matching “AC” and “DC” separately. In this case, they’ve treated the forward slash as the same as a space, which probably isn’t what you intended.
4. Force exact match with quotes
By putting quotation marks around a phrase, you can force an exact-match search. This requires Google to match the specific, full phrase – with all terms and in the order specified:
This is a lot closer to what you probably expected. Notice the highlighting in the second result, where Google seems to have matched “AC-DC”. This is a lot closer than the previous attempt, but Google is still taking some liberties with the forward slash. Be sure to do a sanity check of results any time you use non-alphanumeric characters in a search.
5. Force a logical OR
tesla OR edison
If you specifically want a logical OR between keywords or operators, use the “OR” operator. OR must be in all-caps, or, alternatively you can use the pipe symbol (|):
Note that, in most cases, Google is still going to give priority to results that contain both terms. Specifying logical OR is most useful when two terms only co-occur rarely.
6. Group terms with parentheses
(tesla OR edison) alternating current
Some operators, including OR, are more useful in complex searches. Here, we’re using parentheses to group “tesla OR edison” and then are adding “alternating current” as an AND condition:
Requiring all three terms might be unnecessarily restrictive. By using both ANDs and ORs in the same search, we’re giving Google a bit more flexibility. Since you probably don’t want to memorize the precedence of all Google search operators, I highly recommend using parentheses whenever you’re in doubt.
7. Exclude specific terms
Maybe you want to know what other uses of “tesla” are out there, beyond Tesla Motors. You could use the (-) operator to tell Google to exclude any result with “motors” in it:
Browsing these results, you can see quickly that Tesla is also a band and a unit of measurement. In addition, Tesla the company makes products other than cars. Keyword exclusions are also called “negative keywords” (thus the minus sign).
8. Exclude multiple terms
tesla -motors -car -battery
Just like positive keywords, you can chain together negative keywords:
Keep in mind that each minus sign should only be paired with a single keyword or operator.
9. Exclude exact-match phrases
tesla -motors -“rock n roll”
You can exclude full phrases by using the (-) sign followed by the phrase in quotes:
You can combine individual negative keywords with negative exact-match phrases as needed.
10. Match broadly with wildcards
tesla -motors “rock * roll”
What if you specifically wanted to include more about the rock-n-roll band, but you didn’t care whether it was spelled “rock-n-roll,” “rock and roll,” or “rock & roll,” etc.? You can use the asterisk (*) operator as a wildcard to replace any single word:
Wildcards behave most predictably within an exact-match phrase, allowing you to find near-matches when you can’t pin down your search to a single phrase. The (*) operator only operates on the word level. There is no single-character wildcard operator.
11. Find terms near each other
tesla AROUND(3) edison
Here’s a nifty one. Maybe you want to find results where “Tesla” and “Edison” not only appear in the document but are fairly close to each other. The AROUND(X) operator tells Google to only return results where the two words are within X words of each other:
Phrases like “Tesla vs. Thomas Edison” show up as matches, but an article where the two men were mentioned in separate paragraphs wouldn’t.
12. Find near exact-match phrases
“nikola tesla” AROUND(2) “thomas alva edison”
What if, for some reason, you really needed references to include full names? You can combine AROUND(X) with exact-match phrases (in quotes):
AROUND(X) only works on the entities immediately preceding and following it, so be careful when combining it with other operators or phrases that aren’t exact-match. Note that AROUND(0) returns strange results – if you want to return two words only if they appear together, use an exact-match phrase instead.
13. Find content on specific sites
nikola tesla site:pbs.org
The “site:” operator is an advanced command that lets you specify a specific domain you want to search on. We usually think of it as a technical SEO and audit tool, but it can also help you refine content searches. Let’s say you remembered reading an article on PBS about Tesla, but lost the URL:
Typically, you’ll use “site:” with a root domain (i.e. leave subdomains, like “www”, off) to match as broadly as possible. Advanced operators like “site:” can be combined with each other and with keywords.
14. Find content on specific TLDs
nikola tesla site:edu
You don’t have to include a full domain with “site:”. For example, let’s say you wanted to find any content about Nikola Tesla on a university website. You could search on all “.edu” domains (also known as a Top-Level Domain, or TLD):
The “site:” operator will not work on a partial domain name. It only accepts full domains, root domains, or TLDs. You can use it on country-specific TLDs (ccTLDs), such as “co.uk” or “com.sg”.
15. Find content on multiple TLDs
nikola tesla (site:gov OR site:edu)
Just as with keywords, you can combine “site:” operators with logical OR to search multiple domains:
Often, it’s easier and a bit less confusing to run individual searches, but this example is just to illustrate that you can combine advanced operators in complex ways.
16. Dealing with broad matches
Google is getting better at matching synonyms, which is usually good thing, but it sometimes means that results are a lot broader than you might have expected:
Here, a search for “discount airfare” is returning keywords like “cheapest flights,” “cheap flights,” “airfare deals,” and a variety of other combinations.
17. Use exact-match to block synonyms
This is another situation where exact-match can help. It doesn’t just tell Google to use the full phrase, but it blocks Google from returning any kind of broad match, including synonyms:
Obviously, the results may still contain synonyms (naturally written content often does), but using exact-match ensures that there will be at least one instance of “discount airfare” in each of the results you get back.
18. Exact-match on a single word
This may seem counter-intuitive, but you can apply exact match to just one word. In this case, putting an exact match on “airfare” blocks Google from using synonyms just for that word:
Here, Google is free to match on synonyms for “discount” (such as “cheapest”), but every result is forced to include “airfare.” Exact-match single words when you want to exclude variations of that word.
19. What to do when exact-match fails
“orbi vs eero vs google wifi”
The other day, I was searching for articles that specifically compared Orbi, Eero, and Google Wifi networking hardware. Something odd happened when I searched on the exact-match phrase:
It’s not obvious from the search results themselves, but the first result doesn’t contain the phrase anywhere in the body of the text. On rare occasion, Google may match a phrase on secondary relevance factors, such as inbound link anchor text.
20. Search only in the body text
intext:“orbi vs eero vs google wifi”
In these rare cases, you can use the “intext:” operator. This forces Google to find the text in the body of the document. Now, all of the top results clearly have an exact match in the content itself:
Interestingly, the second result reveals what happened with our last search. A Reddit post featured an article from The Verge with an alternate title and used that title as the anchor text. Reddit apparently had enough authority to generate a match via the anchor text alone.
21. Find a set of keywords in the text
allintext: orbi eero google wifi
What if you want to find a set of words, but they don’t need to be in an exact-match phrase? You could use a separate “intext:” operator for each word, or you could use “allintext:” which tells Google to apply “intext:” to all of the words following the operator:
All of the results have the target keywords in the body text, in some combination or order. Be very careful about mixing “allintext:” (or any “allin…:” operator) with other commands, or you could end up with unexpected results. The “allintext:” operator will automatically try to process anything that follows it.
(Special thanks to Michael Martinez for working through some “intext:” examples with me on Twitter, and to Google’s Gary Illyes for clarifying some of the details about how exactly “intext:” works)
II. Title Research
You’ve done your content research, and now it’s time to pin down a title. You want to capture those clicks, but, of course, you don’t want to be unoriginal. Here are some search operator combos for title research.
22. Check for a specific phrase
“tesla vs edison”
You’ve settled on using “Tesla vs. Edison” in your title, so let’s do a quick check on content with that exact-match phrase:
You’ve pinned down Google to an exact-match phrase, but that phrase can occur anywhere in the text. How do we look for it in just the document title?
23. Check for a phrase in the title
intitle:“tesla vs edison”
Use the “intitle:” operator to specify that a keyword or phrase (in quotes) has to occur in the document title:
Be aware that sometimes Google may rewrite a display title in search results, so it’s possible to get a result back where the phrase doesn’t seem to match the title because Google has rewritten it.
24. Check multiple keywords in title
intitle:tesla intitle:vs intitle:edison
If you want to check for multiple keywords in a title, but don’t want to restrict yourself to exact-match, you can string together multiple “intitle:” operators with single keywords:
Of course, this can be a bit clunky. Luckily, there’s an easier way…
25. Check multiple keywords easily
allintitle: tesla vs edison
Like “allintext:”, there’s an “allintitle:” operator. It will match any of the keywords following it:
This returns roughly the same results as #24, which doesn’t make for a very interesting screenshot, but is exactly what we want it to do. Again, be careful combining “allintitle:” with other operators, as it will try to consume everything following it.
26. Check for titles with lists
intitle:“top 10 facts” tesla
Maybe you’ve got your heart set on a listicle, but you want to make sure it hasn’t been done to death. You can combine an “intitle:” operator with a general keyword search on a topic:
These results are all pages that talk about Tesla but have “Top 10 Facts” in the title.
27. Find lists and exact-match phrases
intitle:“top 10 facts” “nikola tesla”
Oops, we ’re pulling in results about Tesla Motors again. Luckily, you can combine “intitle:” with exact-match phrases and other, more complex operator combos:
This is much closer to what you probably had in mind, but the bad news is that the “Top 10” things does seem like it’s been overdone, even in the realm of Nikola Tesla.
28. Check for Top X lists
intitle:“top 7..9 facts” “nikola tesla”
The range (..) operator lets you search for a specific range of numbers. Maybe you’re tired of Top 10, but don’t want too short of a list. Let’s check out what Top 7, 8, and 9 lists are out there:
This returned only four results, and they were all videos. So, at least you’re on the right track, originality-wise. Once you master search operators, you’ll eventually reach the mythical end of the Internet.
29. Check the title for this post
intitle:“search operators” “in * easy steps”
Let’s put all of this to the test – how original is my title for this post? I’m not expecting an exact match to a post with 67 steps, but what about any post mentioning “Search Operators” in the title that also uses some variation of “in * easy steps” anywhere in the result?
It looks like I did alright, from an originality standpoint. Of course, there are many ways to mix-and-match operators to find similar titles. Ultimately, you have to decide how you define “unique.”
III. Plagiarism Check
You’ve finally published that article, but you suspect someone else may have copied it and is taking your traffic. Advanced search operators can be great for hunting down plagiarism.
30. Find articles with your exact title
intitle:“duplicate content in a post-panda world”
Use the “intitle:” operator with your exact-match title to easily spot whether someone has copied your entire article with no modifications. Here’s a search based on a post I wrote a couple of years back:
Ok, you probably didn’t need to know about the original article, so let’s try again…
31. Find title matches, excluding sites
intitle:“duplicate content in a post-panda world” -site:moz.com
Use (-) with the “site:” operator to exclude specific sites. In this case, we already know that the original title was posted on Moz.com:
It turns out that two of these sites are just linking to the post in kind of a low-quality but not outright malicious way. What you really want to know if someone is copying the text wholesale…
32. Find unique, exact-match text
“they were frolicking in our entrails” -site:moz.com
Another alternative is to run exact-match on a long, unique phrase. Luckily, this particular blog post has some pretty unique phrases. I’m going to keep the Moz.com exclusion:
The first result is a harmless (if slightly odd) Facebook post, but the other two are full, copied-and-pasted duplicates of the original post.
33. Find unique text only in the body
intext:“they were frolicking in our entrails” -site:moz.com -site:facebook.com
If you want to be completely sure that the unique text is in the body of the document, you can use the “intext:” operator. Here, I’ve added both “intext:” and a Facebook exclusion. Within reason, it’s ok to mix-and-match a variety of operators:
Practically speaking, “intext:” often returns similar results to the exact-match phrase by itself. I typically use “intext:” only when I’m seeing strange results or want to make absolutely sure that I’m only looking at document body text.
34. Find a quote you’re not sure about
i would rather kiss a wookiee
What if you’re looking for a long quote, but you can’t remember if you’re getting that quote quite right? We often equate exact-match with long searches, but sometimes it’s better to let Google go broad:
Here, Google is helpfully reminding me that I’m a lousy Star Wars fan. I’ve even got an article about all the other people who are wrong about this, too.
IV. Competitive Research
In some cases, your research may be very focused on what kind of content the competition is creating. Google search operators can help you easily narrow down what your competitors are up to…
35. Start with a basic search
Let’s say you want to find out who’s publishing Tesla Motors announcements, so you start with the simplest query you can think of:
You’re probably not looking for Tesla’s own announcements, so you do an exclusion…
36. Exclude obvious sites
tesla announcements -site:tesla.com
You grab the handy “site:” operator and run a negative (-) on Tesla’s own site, resulting in:
That’s a little better. These are all pretty familiar competitors if you’re in the news game.
37. Target specific competitors
tesla announcements site:nytimes.com
Maybe you want to focus on just one competitor. You can use the “site:” operator for that, too:
Obviously, this approach is going to work best for large competitors with a high volume of content.
38. Target a specific subdomain
tesla announcements site:wheels.blogs.nytimes.com
Remember that you can use “site:” with a full subdomain. Maybe you just want to find out what CNN’s “Wheels” auto industry blog is posting about.
You can, of course, exclude specific subdomains with “-site:” as well.
39. Target a specific author on a site
tesla announcements site:nytimes.com “neal e boudette”
Maybe you’re interested in just a single author. There’s no reliable author search operator for organic results, but in most cases, just including the author’s name as exact-match text will do the trick:
Make sure to pull up an article first to see how the author’s name is presented (middle initial, etc.).
40. Target by keywords, site, and title
tesla announcements site:nytimes.com intitle:earnings
If you wanted Tesla announcements in the New York Times that only mention “Earnings” in the title, then you can mix-and-match operators as needed:
Don’t be afraid to get creative. The Google index is a big, big place and there’s always more to be found, especially on very large sites.
41. Find related competitors
What if you wanted to branch out to other publications? By using the “related:” operator with a root domain, Google will show you other sites/domains like the one you specify:
The “related:” operator is great when it works, but be warned that it only works for certain niches and typically for larger sites. It’s also one of the rare Google search operators that can’t be combined with other operators.
42. Find content in a specific path
tesla announcements site:fortune.com/2016
If you want to drill down into a site, you can specify URL folders with the “site:” operator. Forbes, for example, is conveniently organized with year-based folders, so you can easily see just articles from 2016:
Keep in mind that this only works for parts of the URL directly following the domain name. So, how do you search on text in other parts of the URL?
43. Search broadly for a “folder”
tesla announcements inurl:2016
Luckily, Google also has an “inurl:” operator. By searching on a year, for example, you can find that year anywhere it happens to appear in the result URL:
Keep in mind that the text you specify “inurl:” can appear anywhere in the URL, not just at the folder level.
44. Search by a specific date range
tesla announcements daterange:2457663-2457754
What if you really want to narrow down your date range? Google also has a “daterange:” operator which lets you pinpoint publication dates to the day, in theory. For example, here’s a search for Q4 of 2016:
Unfortunately, in regular organic results, publication dates aren’t always accurate, and “daterange:” can, in practice, return some pretty strange results. You may have noticed, too, that that’s not your typical date format. The “daterange:” operator uses the Julian date format.
45. Search by broad date range
tesla announcement 2015..2017
If you don’t need your date range to be particularly precise, consider using the range (..) operator with a year on either side of it. As numbers go, years are generally unique enough to return reasonable results:
Please note that this is not specifically a date search, but as cheats go, it’s not a bad one. Unfortunately, the range operator doesn’t always work properly paired with “inurl:” and other advanced operators.
46. Target just one type of file
tesla announcements filetype:pdf
The “filetype:” operator lets you specify an extension, such as PDF files. Let’s say you only want Tesla announcements that have been published as PDFs:
Other file extensions to try are “doc” (Word), “xls” (Excel), “ppt” (PowerPoint), and “txt” (text files). You can also use “filetype:” to specify certain varieties of web pages, including “html”, “php”, “asp”, etc. Keep in mind that the file extension typically has to be listed in the URL, so these searches are not exhaustive.
47. Find sites linking to competitors
The “link:” operator lets you do competitive link research. For example, the search above looks for all documents relevant to Tesla that have links from The New York Times:
Ok, so mostly this tells you that The New York Times links a lot to The New York Times. That’s probably not quite what you were looking for…
48. Find links excluding the source
link:nytimes.com -site:nytimes.com tesla
Let’s combine “link:” with a negative (-) “site:” operator to remove links from The New York Times:
Please note that Google has deprecated a lot of the functionality of the “link:” operator and the results it returns are just a sample (and, potentially, an unreliable sample). For in-depth competitive link research, we strongly recommend third-party tools, including our own Open Site Explorer.
49. Search inside link anchor text
You can use the “inanchor:” operator to search inside linked text. So, for example, the search above looks for sites being linked to from sites using “tesla announcements” in the linked text. In other words, the results represent the targets of those links (not the sources):
Please note that, like the “link:” operator, the “inanchor:” operator represents only a small sample of the index and is no longer actively supported by Google. Use it with a grain of salt.
50. Search multiple words in anchor text
allinanchor: tesla announcements “model x”
Like the other “allin…” varieties, “allinanchor:” applies to every word after it, looking for all of those words in the anchor text, but not as an exact-match:
The three link-based operators (“link:”, “inanchor:”, “allinanchor:”) can be useful for your initial research, but do not expect them to return a full, accurate representation of all links to your site or your competitors.
V. Technical SEO/Audits
Advanced Google search operators can also be powerful tools for understanding how sites are indexed and for performing technical audits. Technical SEO is a complex subject, of course, but here are a few examples to get you started:
51. Glimpse into a site’s index
It all starts with the “site:” operator, which, at its most basic level, can help you get a glimpse of how Google indexes a site. Here are a few results from Google’s index of Amazon.com:
Please note that the result count here (and for any large-volume search) is at best an estimate. Given an estimate of 119,000,000 pages, though, we can be assured that the real number is massive. On the scale of any decent-sized site, you’re going to want to drill down…
52. Filter out the “www” subdomain
To drill deep into a site’s index, the combination of “site:” with “inurl:” will quickly become your best friend. For example, maybe you want to see only pages on Amazon that aren’t under the “www” subdomain. You could use “site:” along with a negative match (-) on the “inurl:” operator:
Even in the first few results, you can see a sampling of the other subdomains that Google is indexing. This can give you a good starting point for where to drill down next.
53. Filter out multiple subdomains
site:amazon.com -inurl:www -inurl:logistics -inurl:developer -inurl:kdp
You can extend this concept pretty far, building successively on earlier searches to return narrower and narrower lists of pages. Here’s an example with four “-inurl:” operators:
I’ve done this with over a dozen “inurl:” statements and am not aware of any fixed limit on how many operators you can combine in a single search. Most sites aren’t big enough to require those kinds of extremes, but it’s good to know that it’s possible if and when you need it.
54. Focus on a single subdomain
Alternatively, you can focus on a single subdomain. For this, I generally prefer to include the subdomain in the “site:” operator instead of using “inurl:”. Otherwise, you could find the text anywhere in the URL:
You could extend this concept to dive deeper into any of the sub-folders returned here (“/ios”, “/ja”, etc.) and even combine a more specific “site:” operator with additional “inurl:” operators.
55. Filter for non-secure pages
Interestingly, you can use “inurl:” to include or exclude secure (https:) pages:
If you’re moving a site from “http:” to “https:”, this trick can help you make sure that new pages are being indexed properly and old pages are gradually disappearing from the index.
56. Search for a URL parameter
You can also use “inurl:” to target URL parameters on dynamic pages. For example, let’s say you want to see what kind of internal search pages Google is indexing on Amazon:
Please note that there’s no way to specify a URL parameter – Google may find the text anywhere in the URL. On the bright side, many URL parameters tend to have unique names.
57. Search multiple URL attributes
allinurl: amazon field-keywords nikon
Much like “allintitle:” and “allintext:”, there’s an “allinurl:” operator. In this example, you’re looking for internal search pages on Amazon that have the word “Nikon” in the URL:
Unfortunately, “allinurl:” suffers from two problems. One, you can’t reliably combine it with “site:”, which limits your options. Two, it tends to return strange results. For example, notice that the top results for my US search were from Amazon France. In most cases, I recommend using multiple “inurl:” statements instead.
58. Find stray text files
site:amazon.com filetype:txt -inurl:robots.txt
You might be wondering if you left any stray documentation files laying around your site that happened to get picked up by Google. You can do this using a combination of “site:” and “filetype:”:
In this case, you want to exclude “robots.txt” (using “-inurl:”) because Amazon has dozens of Robots files. This combo is a good way to clean up files that have been accidentally left live on a site.
59. Dig deep into duplicate content
site:amazon.com “hot wheels 20 car gift pack”
A site like Amazon has massive potential for internal duplicate content. By using the “site:” operator with exact match phrases, you can start to pin down near-duplicates:
In this case, Google is still returning almost 1,000 results. Time to dig deeper…
60. Dig through duplicate titles
site:amazon.com intitle:“hot wheels 20 car gift pack”
You can specifically using “site:” plus “intitle:” to find pages on a site that may be exact duplicates.
Believe it or not, Google still returns over 100 matching pages. Let’s keep at it…
61. Find title duplicates with exclusions
site:amazon.com intitle:“hot wheels 20 car gift pack” -inurl:review -inurl:reviews
You dig in and notice that many of the results in #60 are review pages, with either “review” or “reviews” in the URL. So, you build on the previous search and add two exclusions:
Voilà… you’re down to just a half-dozen results. You just leveled up in technical SEO.
62. Find similar products with different counts
site:amazon.com “hot wheels * car gift pack”
Maybe you’re curious about other Hot Wheels gifts packs that represent similar products but not exactly the same one. You could replace “20” with the wildcard (*) operator:
Unfortunately, wildcards don’t play well with the “intitle:” operator, so you’ll generally be restricted to exact-match phrases outside of advanced operators.
63. Find similar products with exclusions
site:amazon.com “hot wheels * car gift pack” -20
Given all of the previous searches, you probably don’t need to know about the 20-packs, so you can add an exclusion on the number 20 (just treat it as a word with negative match):
Looks like there’s a healthy number of 5-car gift packs as well. The plot thickens…
64. Follow the rabbit hole to Wonderland
site:amazon.com “hot wheels * car gift pack” -20 -5
It’s time to take the red pill and find out just how deep this rabbit hole goes. You can keep adding exclusions and take out the 5-packs as well:
Finally, you’re nearing the bottom. This process may seem a bit obsessive, but auditing large sites is a process of identifying potential problems and drilling down until you either you pin down the issues or decide they aren’t worth worrying about. Once you master them, advanced search operators shine at drill-downs.
65. Bonus: Show me the money!
site:amazon.com “hot wheels” $19.95
I woke up in a cold sweat at 2am realizing I had forgotten a search operator (sadly, while you may find it funny, this is not a joke). I warned earlier that special characters can produce weird results, but one that Google does recognize is the dollar sign ($):
This isn’t really a site audit example, but it fits well with our Amazon story. Keep in mind that, while Google will honor the ($) in the results, they could appear anywhere in those results. Many Amazon pages list multiple prices. Still, it can be a useful tool to add to your arsenal.
66. Find results in a price range
site:amazon.com “hot wheels” $19..$20
You can also combine a ($) search with the range operator (..) and search a range of prices. Let’s say you wanted to find any pages mentioning “Hot Wheels” and prices in the $19-20 range:
While this tactic can definitely be useful for general product research, e-commerce sites can also use it in an audit to find pages with incorrect or outdated prices.
67. Find other TLDs for your brand
This last tip could be either an audit trick or a way to track down the competition, depending on how you use it. Use the wildcard (*) in the top-level domain (TLD) to find any site with the same name, and then exclude the main site:
For a large site, like Amazon, this could help you find other legitimate TLDs, including country-specific TLDs (ccTLDs). Alternatively, you could use this trick to find competitors who have registered your brand name under other TLDs.
Wait, You’re Still Here?
Congratulations for making it this far. I hope you’ve picked up at least a handful of useful tricks and the confidence to experiment. If you have favorites I’m missing, please feel free to share them in the comments. I’m sure there’s a good trick or ten I’ve never seen.
If you need a quick reference, we’ve launched a new Search Operators reference and cheat sheet in the Learning Center. This resource reflects the current state of Google’s search operators, as best we know, including deprecated operators.
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