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Luke Monaghan

5 Search Operators Perfect For SEO

10th Mar 2015 SEO, SEO Resources 3 minutes to read


5 Search Operators Perfect For SEO

With billions of resources to filter through in search engines, search operators are often the most efficient way of finding exactly what you’re looking for in a fraction of the time. Although search operators are no big secret, not many people make the most of them, especially for the benefit of SEO. Whilst we have spoken about using search operators before, using ‘operators’ to assist your SEO efforts is a different kettle of fish. “How?” you ask. Well, I’ve listed 5 of my personal favourites below (all of which refer to Google’s SERPs).

Site:<url>

For example: site:Koozai.com

This search operator is one of the most commonly used; this allows you to filter your search down to a specific domain. From an SEO perspective, this can be used to check how many pages of a certain website are being indexed and help identify any issues with the crawling of the website:

site negative search operator

This search operator can be used in a number of ways to retrieve different information. Another being the following combination:

  • Site:<url> -www

The above operator is used to discover indexed subdomains – by negative searching ‘www’, Google will exclude all results with ‘www’ (the root domain) and only return indexed subdomains of the specified website:

site negative search operator

This is useful when you are checking to see whether certain subdomains are indexed or not, this can be useful in helping you to identify subdomains you don’t want appearing in the SERPs (e.g. development subdomains).

Intitle:/Intext:<brand>

For example: Intitle:Koozai / Intext:Koozai

It’s common knowledge that link acquisition is still an important part to SEO (although not the definitive answer to optimising for search engines). Quite often, opportunities by brands in retrieving strong brand mentions that link to their website are missed.

The Intitle: and Intext: search operators allow you to find any mention of your brand on indexed pages across the internet – this is a good way of identifying any unlinked brand mentions:

intext search operator

The above search (Intext:Koozai) returns any indexed pages that include the word ‘Koozai’ in the main body of text.

This search operator provides a simple but effective way of identifying opportunities to secure relevant links to your website. It is efficient for brands with non-generic names, however it’s usefulness is lessened if the brand name is a common phrase.

Info:<url>

For Example: Info:Koozai.com

This search operator returns multiple pieces of information, including the latest cached version of the searched website, pages indexed from a website and pages linking to a website:

info search operator

Using this operator allows you to keep a top-level view of your SEO efforts, along with providing a resource to analyse competitors’ websites. Although this search operator provides multiple pieces of information, it’s still important to use other tools to further research and substantiate findings.

“<keyword>”

For Example: “Digital Marketing Agency”

Searching with quotes allows a user to filter through results for pages with an exact term, for example “digital marketing agency”:

site negative search operator

Not only is this useful in narrowing searches down to very relevant results, from an SEO perspective along with allowing you to recognise if your pages are being indexed for certain keywords, it can also be very useful in identifying search competition volume for specific keywords.

If you were to search ‘digital marketing agency’ without quotes, you’re searching for pages that contain digital, marketing and agency in its content – not all returned results will be optimised for the keyword ‘digital marketing agency’. By searching with quotes, you’re searching for the exact term and so the returned results are very likely to be targeting the searched keyword.

Intitle:”<keyword>”

For Example: Intitle:”Digital Marketing Agency”

Another way of conducting search competition for certain keywords is by using the above search operator.

intitle search operator

As it’s very important SEO practice to ensure page titles are optimised for certain keywords, any page that includes your keyword in their page title is very likely to be competing for your keyword.

Final Thoughts

When used effectively, search operators can provide valuable data that can deliver increased help towards SEO efforts. There are a number of search operators that can be used across a number of search engines, all of which can be combined in different ways to provide different results.

Got any you’d like to share? Get in touch below or tweet me @LukeTheMono

For more information on SEO, please contact us today.

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Luke Monaghan
About the author

Luke Monaghan

Luke’s a pretty chilled guy with a dry sense of humour. He loves his music and is your go-to guy for all things Adele. If he could have a song to describe his life, it would be Queen, Don’t Stop Me Now, so he’s pretty ambitious and up for a good time. His party trick is making the sound of dripping water with his mouth – see… that’s a good time!

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