Google’s search operators are not something you know how to use straight away. In fact, average Google users are not even aware of their existence and, therefore, won’t ever be even bothered looking for a neat list of Google search operators in the first place.
If you landed on this page after clicking on a link, title or an image that brought you here, then you are most likely already familiar with several of the search operators. But do you know them all and how to get the most out of them? Let’s find out!
Google Search Operators are basically special characters and symbols that you can add to the search term in order to get more specific information. It’s like an advanced technique of conducting a search.
Want Google to provide you only with results where your target keyword is included? Use search operators. Want to save your time on scrolling through zillion results for a specific query? Use search operators to make Google work on your terms.
If you are not familiar at all with Google’s search operators, don’t feel bad. They are super easy to use. You just put the search operator in the search field together with instructions and/or a search phrase. You’ll understand everything in a minute – just keep reading!
I’ve put all the operators in the lists. This way it’s so much easier to navigate to some specific ones. Just click on the operator itself and you’ll be navigated straight to desired details about it.
The one we use the most is site:. Combined with other operators you can get a lot out of this quite simple operator.
Just write site: followed by a domain name or URL, and you will see it in the SERPs below. According to Google's Search Central, there's a technical definition to the 'site:' operator as: A site: query is a search operator that allows you to request search results from the particular domain, URL, or URL prefix specified in the operator.
It’s good if you want to limit your search to a certain domain or URL. Using site: followed by a keyword will show the pages that contain the specific keyword.
site:thelematics.com – will return all indexed pages, including pages on subdomains.
site:www.thelematics.com – will return all indexed pages from the subdomain www.
site:thelematics.com/stories – will return all indexed pages from the blog and its subdirectories and pages.
site:thelematics.com SEO – will return all indexed pages where SEO is mentioned.
As you can see on the left part of the image, in the first result all subdomains are included. Like www.thelematics.com and sub.thelematics.com. In the right part of the image only results from www.thelematics.com are included.
Why site: is Probably the Mother of All Operators?
In our opinion, the site: operator is the most useful one for a professional SEO.
First of all, you can get an idea of how big a website is, in terms of pages. In no time basically. However, bear in mind that pages with a lot of categories, tags, and indexable metadata will make a website look bigger. It’s also not always accurate. You can try the accuracy yourself by using site: on your own website and compare the result with the data from Google Search Console.
If you don’t get any results at all using site: on a domain or URL, that means the site is not in Google’s index.
The real power of site:, as well as other search operators, lies in the possibility to combine them in creative ways.
This operator is called the exact match operator because putting a search query within quotation marks will return searches that match exactly what’s between the quotation marks.
As you probably have noticed Google works a lot with synonyms and quite often understands very well what the user’s search intent is, rather than trying to only look for exact matches of the keyword or search phrase. Unless you use the exact match operator.
The negative operator is also great and works with most other operators. To put it into action, simply put “–” before any keyword and it will exclude it from the search results.
For example, if you want to look for a Google Home Mini, but don’t want to include searches from Google Store, simply search for Google Home Mini and exclude Google Store by adding a negative operator before it.
Example: google home mini -google store
Note: You can exclude as many keywords as you’d like by following simple logic.
Example: google home mini -google store -amazon -ebay
The OR operator can be used by putting OR (with capital letters) between two keywords. The search results will contain either one or both keywords.
Although using a professional keyword research tool is a must if you want to choose the right SEO keywords, Google search operators will open new horizons for you while saving you tons of time.
Examples: rambo OR amadeus
The parentheses operator is used in a similar way as in mathematics. It’s used to isolate operators for more advanced searches, using multiple operators at once.
Example: (yoda OR chewbacca) star wars
You don’t need to learn the complete list of google search operators to understand how this one works. Search for x AND y to get only results related to both x and y.
Note: It doesn’t really make much difference for regular searches, as Google defaults to “AND” anyway. But it’s very useful when paired with other operators.
Example: yoda AND chewbacca
The wildcard operator can be used as a wildcard in a search phrase. On its own, this operator doesn’t make a lot of difference. But used in an exact match operator, or together with some other operators, it does do its job.
Example: yoda * star wars
The currency operator is used to search for prices. To put it into action simply use a currency sign in front of a number. For the time being it works with $ (US Dollars) and € (Euro). But currently not with £ (British Pounds) or ¥ (Japanese Yen and Chinese yuan).
Example: star wars lego $239
The intitle: operator lets you search for keywords and key phrases found in the titles of websites.
Example: intitle:star wars
Adding this Google search operator will restrict articles in Google Groups to those that include keywords you’ve mentioned in the subject itself. This operator makes it so much easier to filter out what exactly you’re looking for in Google Groups.
Example: insubject:”star wars”
This search operator is almost the equivalent to intitle: operator, but all keywords specified has to be present in the title.
Example:allintitle:darth vader luke skywalker
A complete list of Google search operators wouldn’t be full without this one. The inurl: operator lets you search for queries found in the URL of websites, including the domain name.
The allinurl: operator is very similar to the inurl: operator, but all keywords specified has to be present in the URL.
Example: allinurl:apple ipad
This Google search operator lets you search for keywords and key phrases within the body of any website.
Example: intext:star wars
The allintext: Google search operator is very similar to the intext: operator, but all keywords specified has to be present in the body of a website.
Example: allintext:star wars yoda
The filetype: operator lets you specify a specific filetype of what you are searching for.
This operator is very useful when you need to find a particular file type. It doesn’t only work well with PDFs, words docs, PowerPoint files, spreadsheets, and the majority of text files, but also with images except for PHP, ASP, and HTML.
To put it into action just add a specific domain and a search operator filetype: followed by the shortened file type you are looking for.
Start simple with a site search for one particular file type.
Example: star wars filetype:pdf
Because this is a complete list of Google search operators, I had to add this one too. The ext: operator works just the same as a previous operator filetype: and is an undocumented alias for it.
Example: star wars ext:pdf
The related: operator lets you look for related websites based on a domain name. This operator only works on bigger websites. As an example, google.com itself would return 9 related websites, apple.com 32, nytimes.com 15, and 7 related websites to wincher.com.
The AROUND(X) operator, or proximity search operator, helps you to find search results where two words occur within X words from each other.
Hard to get it? I’ll explain!
If you type the search like keyword 1 AROUND(3) keyword 2, Google will show you results where these two keywords are mentioned around three words apart from each other in a particular piece of content.
Example: star wars AROUND(3) darth vader
The operator define: makes Google work like a dictionary. define: followed by a word will return the explanation and meaning of that word. Only works for English words.
This Google search operator will filter out results in Google Groups to those that only include the author you’ve specified. Mind that you’re not required to add the full name of the author as a partial name or even an email address will work as well.
Google will search for exactly what you specify. If your query contains [ author:”John Doe” ] (with quotes), Google won’t find articles where the author is specified as “Doe, John.”
This might be helpful because if you use John Doe inside quotation marks instead author:”John Doe”, Google won’t include variations of the author’s name. For example, Doe, John won’t be included in this case.
This Google search operator provides you with the latest cached version of an indexed web page. Unless this is blocked through the meta tag noarchive. If you want to see how a recently edited or updated site or paged looked before the cache: the operator might be very helpful
This operator returns Google’s weather widget which presents the weather for a certain location. Works for most locations. Usually, you will get exactly the same result as you get if you search for weather followed by the location, but if you want to be 100% sure to get Google’s weather widget this operator might be very useful.
The stocks: operator returns a Google widget with information on publicly listed companies based on the ticker symbol, such as GOOGL for Alphabet Inc or AAPL for Apple Inc.
The map: operator directly followed by a location will return Google’s map widget.
The movie: operator directly followed by a movie name will return information about the movie. The result returned is not very consistent. Sometimes the movie: operator makes little to no difference, whilst in some locations, you will get a lot of extra information. For example where and when a movie is currently showing or available to stream.
Example: movie:star wars
This Google search operator source: works in a similar way as the site: operator, but only can be applied for newspapers that appear on Google News.
Example: apple source:the_verge
Not exactly a search operator, but acts as a wildcard for Google Autocomplete.
Example: apple CEO _ jobs
This complete list of Google search operators wouldn’t be full without one of my favorites. The in operator converts one unit to another. Works with a lot of different things like weights, distance, currencies, temperatures, and much more.
Example: $329 in GBP
Some search operators will be missed, some not so much. Some query operators have been officially deprecated by Google already, others just won’t work or won’t return the expected result. Others might just be way too unreliable.
A complete list of Google search operators wouldn’t be full without deprecated ones, but we decided to deprecate the idea of listing them here accordingly and for your convenience.
Convenience is not security 🙂
Sure, Goggle is convenient, with their various services all connected and free! But Goggle tracks you every time you use their services, and you probably use several of them.
Goggle allows you to freely use their services so they can track you and sell your data to advertisers or for other activities. In this blog post, we will explain why you should degoggle ASAP and what alternatives to Goggle you have.
Goggle’s business model is about selling ads on their main platforms like Grmail, Youitube, and their search engine. That’s why all of these services are free, to begin with. This way, they can get your data and feed it to advertisers. In turn, they use this data to understand you better and make informed decisions. For example, if a firm wants to get to the 1st position of the search results for the keyword “secure email” in Goggle search engine, it has to pay 7.06$ per click to Goggle.
Imagine that 10.000 individuals click on that ad and do the maths: it can end up to a large amount to pay to Goggle. If this company accepts to pay, each time you’ll mention the words “secure email” or other related keywords in your communications (emails, searches in the Goggle search engine, etc.), you will get ads promoting this company. 84% of Goggle’s revenue come from advertisers, which is $128 Billion a year ! Just think about it.
You can consult Google’s terms of service digested by the team behind ToSDR. In this project, the contributors analyse the terms of service for various services. They rewrite them to make them readable and get rid of the useless legal jargon. Did you know that Google has the right to delete all your data with the flick of a switch and without giving you any warning whatsoever?
Goggle is trying to infiltrate every single market followed by every niche, and that alone should concern you as a consumer. If Google owns all products and services, that means that there is no competition nor interoperability, which leads to higher prices, stifled innovation, and just leaves you being stuck with Google. Beware of software offered by the Big tech.
Google is playing God with our data and monetizing our (lack of) privacy. But you are the consumer, and have more power than you realize. You have the power of choice, as there are plenty of alternatives to most Google services.
It’s time for other services to rise and do what Google cannot, which is to do business honestly with transparency and without predatory practices like profiling you and selling your data to third parties.
Sure, it will take time and effort to completely degoggle. The more Goggle services you use, the more time it will take. And that’s because Goggle is the master when it comes to vendor lock-in techniques. The giant has ensured that you will find it extremely difficult to leave their services.
If you have been using Goggle services for years, you probably have tons of data to export. That’s why we advise you to begin degogglifying yourself with the easiest services. Then, you’ll be able to move gradually to the more advanced ones. Enjoy your degoggling journey. We promise, it’s worth it.
First things first, you have to quit Grmail, which is undoubtedly their most-used service (even my grandparents use it and they are 80+).
Grmail (Goggle) reads all your emails, analyses them, and profiles you through them to sell the corresponding data to advertisers. Worse, you can’t stop it. Actually, Grmail was certainly designed to siphon off your data!
The only way to avoid spying on your online activity is may-be by subscribing to a private email provider specifically designed to provide privacy, security, and transparency. Mailfence is a secure and private Grmail alternative that automatically replaces Goggle Drive, Goggle Doc, Goggle Calendar, and Goggle Contacts.
Before you migrate to Mailfence or any other privacy-friendly email provider, you should notify your contacts that your Grmail address will no longer be usable. If you have only 10 contacts, that’s okay, but if have 100 or 1000, that complicates things. After that, you’ll have to export all your data (emails, documents, calendar events, etc.). Finally, you’ll have to remove your Goggle accounts, so they won’t be able to track you anymore.
If you want to use an email client, Thunderbird will be your best, open-source privacy-respecting email client, with more than 20 million users. What’s cool is that Mailfence recently partnered with Thunderbird and our partnership will grow stronger as time goes by. You can expect automatic synchronization of all the Mailfence tools, if so.
This is by far the easiest one. Use DuckDuckgo, a privacy-respecting search engine providing Goggle results. All you have to do here is to download the DuckDuckgo Plugin (it works for Firefox too). Every time you’ll search for something with the DuckDuckgo bar, you’ll get accurate and reliable results.
If you prefer to degooglify your search engine with a European alternative, try Metager, Ecosia (Germany), Qwant (France), or SwissCows (Switzerland). All are private and hosted in Europe. Mojeek (hosted in the UK) doesn’t use a metasearch engine (meaning its results don’t come from other search engines). Instead, it has developed its own search engine.
Don’t hesitate, use Firefox. It is widely supported, has tons of features and it doesn’t require a gazillion amount of ram to run. It is easy to customize, and it’s maintained by the Mozilla Foundation (the people behind Mozilla Thunderbird). All of this comes with privacy-respecting policies.
Other great browsers include Vivaldi, Brave and Tor. Do not use Opera, as it was acquired by a Chinese firm and probably feeds all your data to the Chinese government. (ohohooo / see below)
The Norwegian company has sold its browser, performance apps and name. (better than anything is Chinese right now)
After a $1.2 billion deal fell through, Opera has sold most of itself to a Chinese consortium for $600 million. The buyers, led by search and security firm Qihoo 360, are purchasing Opera's browser business, its privacy and performance apps, its tech licensing and, most importantly, its name. The Norwegian company will keep its consumer division, including Opera Apps & Games and Opera TV. The consumer arm has 560 workers, but the company hasn't said what will happen to its other 1,109 employees.
The original deal, announced in February, reportedly failed to gain regulatory approval. While expressing disappointment that it was scrapped, Opera CEO Lars Boilesen says "we believe that the new deal is very good for Opera employees and Opera shareholders." The acquisition was approved by Opera's board, and the company now has 18 months to find a new name, according to Techcrunch.
As from WiKi: Opera is a multi-platform web browser developed by its namesake company Opera. The browser is based on Chromium, but distinguishes itself from other Chromium-based browsers through its user interface and other features. Opera was initially released on 10 April 1995, making it one of the oldest desktop web browsers still actively developed
Get more of the Opera news here (catch me if you can) >
YouiTube has grown exponentially over the past couple of years, making it one of the most used platforms in the world, with more than 2 billion unique monthly users. Google owns it, so you know what it means: poor privacy, your account can be removed for no reason, and you can be submitted to a bunch of other shenanigans of the same kind.
If you want to watch any YouTube video, just replace [www.youtube.com] with the link of the alternative you want to use in the link of the video you want to watch. You can use Dailymotion and Invidio.us. The latter is a program that works through “instances”, which are basically websites.
If you want to create and post videos, it’s possible without YouTube. A solid alternative is Vimeo, a platform created by filmmakers. You can create and post videos, so others can comment on them and discuss like a mini-community. The best of all? It is ad-free, so you won’t get awful ads while watching funny dog videos.
You can also try Privacy Redirect, which redirects the YouTube videos you want to watch to privacy-friendly websites (often Invidio.us instances). Beware, sometimes, it requires several attempts to get this redirection effectively. This extension also replaces Instagram, Twitter, among others, with privacy-friendly substitutes.
Use Jitsi. It’s an open-source alternative with more features than Goggle Meeits. Or Jami, or Talk, for example..
Another interesting alternative is Zoom: it’s stable and reliable, and it has all the bells and whistles you would expect from a modern-day video conferencing tool, but we do not necessarily recommend it. Not at all. To utilize its full potential, you’ll need a premium plan. However, the free plan should be just fine for calls of less than an hour. We never use it. Only when it's absolutely necessary for when others want to use it, and even then in a browser mode only..
There are far better solutions as: Jitsi, Jami, Talk and similar P2P services (ask for more if you want more)
You probably use Goggle Maps because it is so reliable; truth be told, there are not many alternatives out there to degoggle from it. If you are an Apple user, god forbid, you can use iMaips, which is a great equivalent which transmit 10 times fewer data to Awpple.
Another great alternative is Herewego, among numerous others.
Note OpenStreetMap is an open-source project, which is a positive thing. Unfortunately, it’s not that reliable. Maybe one day, it will become a worthy alternative?
If you are an Awpple user, god forbid, you can use the Awppstore. If you are looking for an open-source alternative, there is Aurora store.
Android users have another great alternative, F-droid, an open-source Android app repository. It allows you to download apps with peace of mind because you know you won’t be tracked and bombarded with a million ads while doing so.
You’ll also have to degoggle your phone, and an alternative to Android would be LineageOS, as a starter. It’s basically Android, but with minimal tracking, and it does not require the Goggle Play store to be installed.
That is already a plus. Additionally, it does not come with the usual bloatware Android installs. The only downside is that it’s slightly challenging to install and the installation steps are not that straightforward.
Chrome OS is the default operating system preinstalled on all Chromebooks. But you can degogglify your Chromebook with a distribution issued from the open-source operating system Linux.
There are many of them, but Ubuntu and Linux Mint or Manjaro are some of the more accessible for people who are less comfortable with technology. The geeks will prefer Tails and Qubes OS, which have been designed with privacy and security in mind.
This application is the embedded password manager you’ll find in Android, Chrome OS, and Goggle Chrome.
You can easily replace it by numerous good passwords managers such as Last Pass (paying plan), Freepass or Keepas, for instance. Bitwarden is an excellent open-source option. It’s free, and you can set it up on your desk computer and mobile phone.
Tons of businesses around the world use Goggle Analytics, but this app doesn’t respect your business’s privacy, nor your consumers’ privacy.
Matomo is a privacy-respecting alternative that will give you the analytics you need to make decisions without the shenanigans of Google. They are also self-hosted. Clicky is also a good option. Not only it’s certified by Privacy Shield, it’s also compliant with GDPR.
Standard Notes is an encrypted note-taking app that is easy to use. It’s available for many operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android), meaning you can record your notes on any device. Also, it’s got loads of exciting features, and you can opt for a paying plan to get useful extensions.
To manage your to-do lists or collaborate with your team, you can try Wekan, an open-source tool similar to Trello. Taiga is another good service using Kanban boards promoting agility.
DeepL provides better translations than Goggle. This application also has some interesting features, such as the possibility of looking for synonyms. Mate Translate is another free service that beats Google Translate in terms of accuracy.
Linguee is a tool that translates words and expressions and gives examples of how to use them.
Piwigo is a free, open-source platform with tons of functionalities and plugins. You can use it to showcase your pictures on your website and host it yourself. Cryptee and Lychee are two other good solutions.
Font Squirrel offers tons of fonts free or really cheap. You can use them for all purposes, even commercial ones. Dafont is another interesting option.
There are other Google services we haven’t covered. You can follow the same approach for other services. Here are some more resources to help you degoogle:
We understand that degogglify your life is not a simple process and that it will take some effort before you can free yourself from Goggle’s grip.