The Full Record (44 Superior Operators)

Google superior search operators are particular instructions and characters that filter search outcomes. They do that by making your searches extra exact and targeted.

For instance, the web site: operator restricts outcomes to these from a specific web site:

The site: search operator filters for results from a particular site

On this submit, you’ll study all of Google’s search operators and the right way to grasp them for web optimization.

Google search operators: the whole record

Beneath is a quick description of what each Google search operator does.

I’ve grouped them into three classes:

  • Working – Works as meant.
  • Unreliable – Not formally deprecated by Google, however outcomes are hit-and-miss. 
  • Not working – Formally deprecated by Google. 

Right here’s the total record:



You can even use the _ operator, which acts as a wildcard in Google Autocomplete.


Not working (formally dropped by Google)

Search operator What it does Instance
~ Embrace synonyms within the search. Dropped in 2013. ~apple
"+" Seek for outcomes mentioning an actual phrase or phrase. Dropped in 2011. jobs +apple
inpostauthor: Seek for posts by a selected creator within the discontinued Google Weblog Search. inpostauthor:”steve jobs”
allinpostauthor: Identical as inpostauthor:, however removes the necessity for quotes. allinpostauthor:steve jobs
inposttitle: Seek for posts with sure phrases within the title in Google’s discontinued Weblog Search. inposttitle:apple iphone
hyperlink: Seek for pages linking to a specific area or URL. Dropped in 2017.
data: Seek for details about a selected web page or web site. Dropped in 2017.
id: Identical as data:
phonebook: Seek for somebody’s telephone quantity. Dropped in 2010. phonebook:tim prepare dinner
# Seek for hashtags on Google+. Dropped in 2019 when Google+ shut down. #apple

11 methods to make use of Google search operators

Let’s sort out a couple of methods to place these operators into motion.

My intention right here is to indicate that you could obtain nearly something with Google superior operators if you understand how to make use of and mix them. So don’t be afraid to mess around and deviate from the examples beneath. Chances are you’ll simply uncover one thing new.

Choose video?

Take a look at 9 actionable Google search operator ideas in Sam Oh’s video.

1. Discover doable indexing points

Eyeballing the outcomes of a web site: seek for your web site can uncover potential indexing points. 

For instance, if we mix it with the filetype: operator, we see that this 3D printing firm has fairly a couple of PDFs listed: 

Combining the site: and filetype: operators shows that this site has a few PDFs indexed

This isn’t a nasty factor if it’s intentional, however I’ve a sense it isn’t for a few of these. 

As an example, its web site has a lead-generation touchdown web page for a white paper in regards to the complete price of possession for 3D printers:

Lead-generation landing page for a PDF white paper

However this PDF is listed, so you’ll be able to simply entry it with out filling in your particulars:

PDF that's supposed to be "gated" is indexed and accessible in Google search

The positioning homeowners ought to most likely add an x-robots noindex tag to resolve this.

2. Discover and analyze your rivals

Use the associated: operator to search out web sites associated to yours, which are sometimes rivals.

The related: operator shows related sites

You may then use different search operators to analyze these websites additional.

For instance, if we seek for web, we are able to rapidly see that it has revealed a whole lot of content material on its weblog, assist part, and “web optimization Studying Heart.”

The site: operator reveals where Moz publishes content

If we alter our web site: operator to concentrate on its Studying Heart, we are able to begin to get a way of the kind of content material revealed and what it’s about.

Restricting the site: operator to a subfolder

On this case, it seems like there are many definition-type posts. 

In actual fact, if we add intitle:("what's"|"what are") to our search, we see 86 matching pages.

Restricting the site: operator with the intitle: operator

Nevertheless, what Google can’t inform us is whether or not these pages get any natural visitors. To seek out that out, we’ll want to make use of a third-party software.

In case you’re an Ahrefs person:

  1. Go to Website Explorer
  2. Enter the competitor’s area or subsection
  3. Test the High pages report
Moz's top pages by traffic, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

In case you’re not an Ahrefs person, you need to use our free visitors checker to examine pages one by one:

Estimated organic traffic to Moz's meta description guide, via Ahrefs' free traffic checker

Each of those strategies present that a lot of its definition-type posts are getting in extra of 20K estimated month-to-month natural visits. So this may very well be a great sort of content material to create if you happen to needed to draw search visitors on this area of interest. 

In actual fact, that’s precisely what we did with our web optimization glossary.

Right here’s its natural visitors development over the previous few months:

Estimated organic traffic growth to our SEO glossary, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

3. Discover visitor submit alternatives

Most individuals discover visitor posting alternatives by trying to find “write for us” pages of their area of interest. 

For instance, when you have an internet site about espresso, you’ll be able to seek for one thing like espresso intitle:"write for us" inurl:write-for-us:

Searching for guest post opportunities with intitle: and inurl:

Nevertheless, as numerous persons are utilizing this technique, you’ll typically find yourself pitching the identical websites as everybody else. For that purpose, a greater technique is to discover a serial visitor blogger in your area of interest and search for websites they’ve written for.

You are able to do this by trying to find [topic] inurl:creator/[firstname-lastname].

For instance, this search finds web sites Ryan Stewart has written for:

Finding posts by a particular author using inurl:

You can even do that in Ahrefs’ Content material Explorer by trying to find [topic] creator:[firstname lastname"].

Searching for posts by a particular author using the author: operator in Ahrefs' Content Explorer

The advantage of utilizing Content material Explorer over Google is that you could filter the outcomes to concentrate on high-quality web sites. Plus, not each web site will use the /creator/firstname-lastname/ footprint. 

For instance, we are able to simply filter for posts from web sites with a Area Score (DR) above 30 and an estimated web site visitors of not less than 5K per month.

Filtering for posts by a particular author from high-DR and high-traffic websites in Ahrefs' Content Explorer


This could generally generate a couple of false positives, relying on how widespread the particular person’s title is.

You may even spotlight outcomes from domains that haven’t linked to you so you’ll be able to prioritize getting backlinks from extra web sites. 

Filtering for one page per domain and highlighting domains that haven't linked to us in Ahrefs' Content Explorer

4. Discover useful resource web page alternatives

Useful resource pages curate and hyperlink to the very best assets on a subject. This makes them nice hyperlink prospects when you have a becoming useful resource.

To seek out them in Google, seek for: [topic] intitle:assets inurl:assets.

For instance, if you wish to construct hyperlinks to a espresso useful resource, you’ll be able to seek for this:

Searching for resource page opportunities with intitle: and inurl:

Nevertheless, not all of those pages will likely be price pitching. You’ll discover that some simply hyperlink to their very own assets, so that you’ll must sift by them and pitch the related ones.

If you need a fair simpler solution to discover useful resource pages, strive this: 

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Website Explorer
  2. Enter the area of a giant competitor
  3. Go to the Backlinks report
  4. Filter for backlinks with “assets” within the Ref. web page URL
Searching for resource pages in competitor's backlink profile in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

5. Discover recordsdata you don’t need in Google’s index

You most likely don’t need Google to index each file you add to your web site.

For instance, when you have PDFs behind lead magnets or content material upgrades, you most likely need to shield these recordsdata to forestall folks from discovering them on Google.

Let’s use the filetype: operator to examine for these on

Searching for indexed PDFs from a particular site with site: and filetype:

It seems like there’s one PDF listed, which is an previous useful resource from 2017.

If we had been bothered about folks discovering this (we’re not), we’d need to set this file to noindex with an x-robots header response

6. Discover the e-mail handle of the particular person you need to attain out to

Individuals typically share their e-mail addresses on Twitter, so you need to use search operators to search out these tweets.

For instance, if you happen to needed to search out Tim Soulo’s e-mail handle, you may seek for any of his tweets that point out the phrase “e-mail” and “” or “” (as his e-mail handle is sort of definitely at a type of domains).

In case you do that, his e-mail handle pops up proper away: 

Searching for Tim Soulo's email address on Twitter with the site: operator

7. Discover alternatives so as to add inner hyperlinks

Internally linking to necessary content material from different related pages in your web site can ship it extra visitors and doubtlessly assist it to rank increased in natural search.

For instance, let’s say we needed so as to add some inner hyperlinks to our record of web optimization ideas

If we search in Google for web "web optimization ideas", we’ll discover weblog posts mentioning the phrase “web optimization ideas” someplace of their content material. 

Searching for internal link opportunities with the site: operator

On this case, we are able to ignore the primary end result, as that is the submit we need to construct inner hyperlinks to. However there are 99 different outcomes mentioning web optimization ideas, and lots of of them are good contextual inner hyperlink alternatives.

As an example, our information to creating web optimization content material has an unlinked point out of “web optimization ideas,” so that is the proper alternative so as to add an inner hyperlink. 

Explanation of the use of keywords

That stated, the one draw back of utilizing search operators to search out inner hyperlink alternatives is that they don’t distinguish between linked and unlinked mentions. In different phrases, they typically discover alternatives you’ve already taken benefit of.

For instance, our search discovered a point out of “web optimization ideas” in our record of web optimization strategies:

Finding mentions on a site using the site: operator

But when we discover that point out on the web page, we see that it’s already internally linked:

Example of a mention found with site:

If this occurs quite a bit and you discover it irritating, join a free Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments account and do that as a substitute:

  1. Crawl your web site with Website Audit
  2. Go to the Inside Hyperlink Alternatives software in Website Audit
  3. Add your goal web page’s URL to the search subject
  4. Choose “Goal web page” from the dropdown subsequent to the search subject
  5. Hit the return key
Using the Internal Link Opportunities tool in Ahrefs' Site Audit to find places to add internal links

You must see a listing of alternatives like this: 

Example of an internal link opportunity found in Ahrefs' Site Audit

It tells you:

  • The place to hyperlink from (Supply web page).
  • The place so as to add the hyperlink (Key phrase context).
  • The place to hyperlink to (Goal web page).

8. Discover “finest” listicles that don’t point out your model

Let’s say you run an e-mail advertising and marketing software like ConvertKit. 

In case you search Google for “finest e-mail advertising and marketing instruments,” you’ll discover hundreds of outcomes itemizing high picks:

Google search results for "best email marketing tools"

Given that you simply most likely need to be featured on these lists, it’ll be useful to see which of them do and don’t point out you already, proper? That manner, you’ll be able to attain out to the authors of lists not mentioning your software and see if you will get them so as to add you.

Fortunately, you are able to do that by appending your search with -[your business name]:

Excluding results mentioning a particular brand with the "-" operator

Alternatively, in order for you a fair faster technique, you need to use Ahrefs’ Content material Explorer

In case you’re not conversant in Content material Explorer, it’s a search engine for entrepreneurs with an index of over 11 billion pages. You need to use this search to search out listicles that don’t point out your model: title:"finest [whatever]" -[yourbrand].

For instance, if we search for lists of the very best e-mail advertising and marketing instruments that don’t point out ConvertKit, we get 3,182 outcomes:

Excluding results mentioning a particular brand in Ahrefs' Content Explorer using the "-" operator

What makes Content material Explorer extra handy than Google is that you could filter the outcomes by issues like DR, estimated web site and web page visitors, and extra. Then you’ll be able to export them in a couple of clicks.

For instance, if we prohibit the outcomes to at least one web page per area and filter for web sites with a DR of 30 or extra, we slim issues down from 3,182 to 156 pages.

Narrowing results with filters in Ahrefs' Content Explorer

This can be a far more manageable variety of web sites to overview and doubtlessly attain out to.

9. Discover web sites which have reviewed rivals

If an internet site posts a overview of a competitor, likelihood is it could even be keen to overview you.

Right here’s the right way to discover competitor critiques: allintitle:overview ([competitor 1] OR [competitor 2]).

For instance, if we needed to search out critiques of ConvertKit rivals, we may seek for this: 

Finding websites that have reviewed competitors with the allintitle: operator

In case you like, you’ll be able to add the after: operator into the combination to search out just lately revealed posts. This fashion, you’ll be able to concentrate on pitching web sites that you understand are nonetheless lively.

Using the after: operator to filter for results from a particular period


You need to use Ahrefs’ web optimization Toolbar to obtain search outcomes.

Nevertheless, all of that is as soon as once more simpler in Content material Explorer as a result of you’ll be able to filter and export the outcomes extra simply. 

Right here’s the right way to run the identical search there:

  1. Select “In title” because the search mode
  2. Seek for overview (mailchimp OR aweber)
  3. Filter for one web page per area
Searching for reviews that mention competitors in Ahrefs' Content Explorer

This offers us 2,948 outcomes, which is quite a bit. So let’s prioritize our record by filtering for pages revealed within the final 12 months on web sites that get not less than 1K month-to-month search visits:

Filtering the results in Ahrefs' Content Explorer

Get alerts for brand spanking new competitor critiques

Simply arrange a brand new “Mentions” alert in Ahrefs Alerts. You need to use the identical search from Content material Explorer and filters for DR and area visitors too. 

Setting up an alert for competitor reviews in Ahrefs Alerts

10. Discover related Quora inquiries to reply

Quora is an internet site the place folks ask questions, contributors submit solutions, and the very best ones get upvoted to the high.

As my colleague, Si Quan Ong, has confirmed, it’s a fantastic place to construct model consciousness. He’s had over 2 million views on his solutions and continues to recover from 25K views each month regardless of his latest inactivity:

My colleague's achievements on Quora

On the subject of discovering inquiries to reply, Quora’s search operate works effectively. The draw back is that you could solely seek for one matter at as soon as.

As Quora makes use of the query itself because the URL, you’ll be able to overcome this drawback with this search operator: web inurl:([topic 1] | matter 2).

For instance, when you have a well being and health web site, you’ll be able to seek for one thing like this:

Searching for relevant threads on Quora using inurl:

In case you’re an Ahrefs person, you’ll be able to even mix this with the web optimization Toolbar to overlay visitors estimates on the SERP. That manner, you’ll be able to concentrate on answering questions that already get natural visitors.

Using Ahrefs' SEO Toolbar to check estimated traffic to relevant Quora threads on the fly

Or in order for you a fair sooner technique, strive this:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Website Explorer
  2. Enter
  3. Go to the High pages report
  4. Filter for outcomes with URLs that include explicit phrases

This gives you a listing of related Quora solutions, sorted by their estimated month-to-month search visitors from excessive to low.

Searching for relevant Quora threads with traffic in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

For instance, one of many questions above asks whether or not it’s higher to make a protein shake with milk or water and will get an estimated 792 month-to-month visits. In case you can reply this query effectively and get upvoted, likelihood is a whole bunch of individuals will see your reply each month.

Even higher, as you’ll be able to embody hyperlinks in your solutions, these solutions can ship some good referral visitors your manner.

11. Discover how briskly your rivals are publishing new content material

Mix the web site: operator with earlier than: and/or after: operators to learn how a lot content material any competitor has revealed in a given time interval.

For instance, right here’s what number of posts one other web optimization weblog revealed in December 2022: 

Checking a competitor's publishing pace using the site:, after:, and before: operators

And right here’s what number of it revealed in the entire of 2022:

Checking Search Engine Land's publishing pace using the site:, after:, and before: operators

Simply bear in mind that this operator isn’t at all times 100% correct, because it contains up to date pages.

For instance, the search beneath returns a submit with January 25, 2022, hooked up to it:

Misleading result from using these search operators

But when we plug that submit’s URL into Ahrefs’ Website Explorer, we see that it’s been attracting natural visitors since 2019. So it will need to have existed lengthy earlier than 2022.

Estimated organic traffic to the misleading results, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

In case you’re an Ahrefs person and desire a extra correct solution to see a competitor’s publishing frequency, run a web site: search in Content material Explorer and filter for “Pages revealed as soon as.” 

Filtering for pages from Search Engine Land that were first published in the last 12 months in Ahrefs' Content Explorer

Remaining ideas

Google superior search operators are tremendous highly effective. You simply must know the right way to use them.

However I’ve to confess that some are extra helpful than others, particularly in relation to web optimization. I discover myself utilizing web site:, intitle:, and inurl: typically. But I not often use allintitle: and most of the different extra obscure operators.

I’d additionally add that many operators are borderline ineffective until paired with one other operator, or two, or three.

So do mess around with them and let me know what you come up with. 

I’d be more than pleased so as to add any helpful mixtures you uncover to the submit. 

Acquired questions? Ping me on Twitter.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles