Tips and Tricks for Google Advanced Search Operators

Google search is the most popularly used search engine, with over 3 million searches per day. Google's search engine is different from other search engines because it uses an algorithm to sort through the hundreds of billions of web pages in its index to give you the most relevant results in a fraction of a second.

However, even Google doesn't have exactly what you need. This is where Google's advanced search comes in handy. Advanced search lets you add more parameters to your search query so that you'll get better results.

If you want to find specific information in a limited time, then there are some tips and tricks that could help you get the right information without spending hours searching. These tips and tricks are known as "search operators".


In Google, you can use quotation marks ("") to search for a whole phrase. If you search for "How to use Quotation mark for Google's advanced search operator?" you'll find only exact matches of the whole phrase.

Let's understand it with the help of another example:
If you want to know what books Ernest Hemingway wrote, you could type – 'books by Ernest Hemingway' into the search bar. If you wanted to narrow my results and only find pages containing an exact phrase, I would put quotation marks around my search term: "books by Ernest Hemingway."

This will bring up results that contain the exact phrase "books by Ernest Hemingway." Without the quotation marks, Google would return pages that included both "books" and "by," regardless of whether they also contained "Ernest" and "Hemingway." You can use quotation marks to narrow down all types of searches, from song lyrics to chemical names.

The reason for using quotation marks is that it is one of the most basic of all advanced search operators in Google.

Underscore is one of the advanced search operators; it tells Google to find the exact match of a word in your keyword.

For example, if I want to find articles about "coffee makers", I will enter "coffee_makers" instead of just "coffee makers", which will narrow down my search results and give me more relevant content.

An asterisk is a placeholder for any unknown terms in a phrase and can be used in place of one or more words.

You may have done this accidentally a few times when using Google, but as with many of Google's tools, there is a lot more power to it than first meets the eye.

Here are some examples of how to use the asterisk for your searches:

Fill in the blanks: * in *.

Find missing lyrics: "I have always been * you".

Find quotations from famous people: "* is the greatest teacher".

The minus sign (also known as the dash or hyphen) can be used in Google to exclude words from your search query. For example, if we want to search for "Apple" and exclude all results that contain the word "iPhone", we will use a minus sign before "iPhone", like this:

Apple -iPhone

The pipe operator is used to separate search terms. The benefit of this is it allows you to find websites that have either term but not necessarily both.

For example, if you're searching for a specific phrase or combination of words, such as "The Lord of the Rings". Without the pipe operator, Google would try and match every word in the phrase. So it would only return results that had every word in order: "The", "Lord", "of", and "the".

However, by using the pipe operator, we can specify that Google should return results where any of the terms could be contained on the page but not necessarily all. So with the above example, we'd search using this query:

The | Lord | of | the | Rings

The range operator is useful for finding a vague number or dates. This operator can be used only with numbers and dates.

To find a specific date range, consider the following example:
intitle: "tinker tailor soldier spy" 2015..2019
In the above query, Google will look for this term in the title of the webpage.
"tinker tailor soldier spy" - It is an exact string that is to be searched in the title of the webpage.
2015..2019- This is the range operator instructing Google to search pages within this time frame.

For example, to find all the videos of "How to use parentheses for Google's advanced search operator?" on YouTube, you'd type:
(How to use parentheses for Google's advanced search operator? ) (Google's advanced search operator) ("How to use parentheses for Google" by Steve Spangler).

If the results don't include your desired video, you can use plus sign (+), minus sign (-), or asterisk (*) inside parentheses as operators. The result will be similar to that of a regular Boolean AND operator, but instead of giving up if there are no matches, it will return a page with links to every matching result.

Basic Operators

To use it, type "OR" in all caps right between two words or phrases. For example, if you were searching for a pair of shoes, you could type "sneakers OR tennis shoes" into the Google search bar and see results for both terms. This is helpful when broadening your scope and getting more results.

You can use the | character instead of OR.

For example, education|teaching is equivalent to education OR teaching.

AND is one of the simplest advanced search operators for Google. When you put AND between two words, it tells Google to include both of those words in the results.

For example, if you searched for "pizza AND delivery," Google would only show pages that contain both words. This can be helpful if you only want to see results that match both keywords.

It helps you narrow down the results by limiting to a specific type of document.

For example, if you want to find only PDF documents related to Google's advanced search operators, you can enter:

filetype:pdf google advanced search operators

This will display only PDF files as results.

Other file types you can use for searches include:

  • ppt or pptx for PowerPoint presentations
  • xls or xlsx for Excel spreadsheets and workbooks
  • doc or docx for Word documents

To use the site: operator, type site: followed by the domain name or partial domain name of the website you want to search, then specify your query. You can also use other Google Search operators in combination with the site: operator.

Here are some examples of how you might use the site: operator:

"site:edu" will return only .edu websites in your search results.
"site:com netflix" will return only pages from .com websites that include "netflix" in their title or body text.
"site:gov grants for nonprofits" will return pages from .gov websites that include "grants for nonprofits."

This is to help you find related pages.

The related: operator limits searches to pages that are similar to the specified URL. For example, a search limits the results to pages similar to the CNN home page.

Find web pages that are similar to a URL or that link to a URL.

If you want to search for a phrase only in the title of a web page, you could use the cache operator to get cached versions of pages that match your query. You could search for a cache:harry potter title.

Note: The cache operator only works with exact phrases. You can't use it to search for multiple words in a title or URL.

Advanced Operators

The difference between allintext: and intext: is that allintext: requires that all the specified keywords be present on the page, while intext: requires only one of them to be present.

For example, if we want to find a page that mentions "cookie recipe" in the body, we would use this query:

intext:"cookie recipe"

These operators are not exclusive. You can combine them with other operators such as site: to narrow down your results even further. For example, let's say we want to find pages where someone has mentioned "cookie recipe" but only on Pinterest. We could use this query: intext:"cookie recipe"

This returns only pages from that mention "cookie recipe".

TSome examples of how to use this operator are given below.

allintitle: "sick puppies"

Returns pages containing all three words sick, puppies and sick puppies.

allintitle: "sick puppies" "blue moon"

This will return pages that contain both phrases but are not necessarily next to each other. So it will return any page containing the phrase sick puppies and blue moon, but not necessarily in that order. For example, if one page had the phrase sick puppies and another had blue moon, they would both show up as search results.

The allinurl:/inurl: tag returns a snippet of text from a page that is near what you've searched for in the previous query; Google doesn't have to index a particular site because the allinurl:/inurl: tag will pull up more than one copy of that site if it exists on the web.

Consider this example: Say you are looking for an article with the words "apple" and "rose." You may get several results, but they will all be from one website or blog. You can select one of those results and view its contents by using "allinurl:" in your query.

You can use allinanchor:/ inanchor: operator to match words in the anchor text of backlinks. This is used to evaluate the quality of a website's backlinks.

To use it, simply add this in your query:


For example, I want to check backlinks that anchor "google analytics" text. I will search for:

allinanchor:google analytics

This will return results that contain Google Analytics in their anchor text.


The AROUND(n)(query) operator limits results to those that have words within n words of each other, where n is a positive integer. You can also specify a negative value for n, in which case the query ignores distance and only returns results that contain both words.

The AROUND operator is useful when you want to find terms that are close to each other with the same meaning, such as synonyms. It's also useful to limit search results to pages containing different words but with the same meaning. For example, Google returns about 1.3 million web pages for [dream vacation], but when you use the query [AROUND(10)dream vacation] to search for pages within 10 words of dream vacation, Google returns about 21,800 web pages.

The AROUND operator can be used in any type of search: Web, Image, News, and Video searches. When using the AROUND operator with videos in Google Video Search, you may need to include numbers in your query in order to find videos; otherwise, Google only returns results from webpages rather than videos.

The difference between the allin... and in... variants is that the latter will return all results matching the query, while the former will only return pages where all of the terms appear in a specific location. In this case, it would be in the title of the webpage.

Let's look at an example. Suppose I search for intitle:"how to make a great bowl of cereal" milk. I know that milk appears in my title (because I included it explicitly in my quote marks), and so I'm reasonably confident that any results returned by Google include milk in the title somewhere.

However, if I searched for allintitle: "how to make a great bowl of cereal", milk, I wouldn't get any results back at all because Google doesn't know where milk is located on those pages.

URL Modifiers

URL modifiers are basically a way to use advanced search syntax directly in your address bar in the form of a URL parameter. By appending a special string of letters and numbers to your query, you can perform functions like narrowing down your results by language, region or file format.

First, you have to know that Google has search engines worldwide. It has developed many search operators, but one of them is seldom used. The no-country redirect operator is a great way to find the best website version for your location if you are travelling abroad and want to access local results. This operator can also be useful if you don't want Google to redirect you to the local version of a website automatically and would rather search on the international domain name.

So in the USA, if you type in and search for something, you'll get results from the US version of Google (

You can switch to another country's version of Google by going to, redirecting you to your country's version of Google (for example, You can switch back to the US Google by going to, since you're now using a Canadian IP address.

Google Wave &tbs=qdr:h

The results will show only those articles that were published in the last hour. The same can be done for results from the past day (&tbs=qdr:d), week (&tbs=qdr:w) or month (&tbs=qdr:m).

This is a parameter that can be added to the end of a search URL to force Google to only search for blogs. This can be useful if you want to get results from blog posts.

What is the syntax?

To use this feature, simply add &tbm=blg anywhere in the search URL after a question mark (?). For example, to get results related to solar energy, you could use the following query:

Can I use it with other parameters?

Yes, you can use it with any other advanced search operators. For example, if you wanted to find only blog posts related to solar energy in the past two weeks, you could use the following parameter:

The &tbm=app parameter in Google, when added to the end of a search query, will show all app results related to the query.

The &tbm=app parameter is only available on Google Play and will not work on the desktop version of Google. The search results are also not filtered by country or language.

&tbm=isch is a Google advanced search operator. An operator is a special character that allows you to add additional information to your search query to make your searches more precise and accurate. Many of Google's operators work for web searches, image searches, and video searches.

The &tbm=isch operator will only return results from It will not show images from the main page or in other sections like News or Shopping.

Let's take the example of the search for your query- image search for cake.

So, the image query can be modified using secondary parameters, which include:

— &tbs=isz:l - e.g. large size cake images

— &tbs=isz:m - e.g. medium size cake images

— &tba=isz:i - e.g. icon size cake images

— &tbs=isz:lt,islt:qsvga - e.g. cake images larger than 400×300

— &tbs=isz:lt,islt:vga - e.g. cake images larger than 640x480

— &tbs=isz:lt,islt:svga - e.g. cake images larger than 800×600

— &tbs=isz:lt,islt:xga - e.g. cake images larger than 1024×768

— &tbs=isz:lt,islt:2mp - e.g. cake images larger than 1600×1200, you can replace the number &tbs=isz:lt,islt:2mp with 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20, 40 or 70

— &tbs=isz:ex,iszw:3000,iszh:3000 - You can also specify a certain size e.g. 3000x3000 cake images.

Just use this parameter &tbs=isz:ex,iszw:3000,iszh:3000 ( swap out the width and height as required )

— &tba=isz:i - e.g. icon size cake images

— &tbs=ic:color - e.g. color cake images

— &tbs=ic:gray - e.g. black/white cake images

— &tbs=ic:trans - e.g. cake images with transparent background

— &tbs=ic:specific,isc:pink - look for specific colour in images cake images you can replace the color &tbs=ic:specific,isc:pink with orange, green, teal, yellow, pink, white, gray, blue, purple, black or brown.

— &tbs=itp:front - e.g. cake front images

— &tbs=itp:photo - e.g. cake photographs

— &tbs=itp:clipart - e.g. clipart cake images

— &tbs=itp:lineart - e.g. lineart cake images

— &tbs=itp:animated - e.g. animated cake images

— &tbs=imgo:1 this parameter displays the image size for each image, e.g. cake images with size caption

— &tbs=sur:fmc - e.g. cake images labelled reuse with modification

— &tbs=sur:fc - e.g. cake images labelled reuse

— &tbs=sur:fm - e.g. cake images labelled non commercial reuse with modification

— &tbs=sur:f - e.g. cake images labelled non commercial reuse

— &tbs=qdr:s - e.g. Results from past sec

— &tbs=qdr:n - e.g. Results from past minute

— &tbs=qdr:h - e.g. Results from past hour

— &tbs=qdr:d - e.g. Results from past day

— &tbs=qdr:w - e.g. Results from past week

— &tbs=qdr:m - e.g. Results from past month

— &tbs=qdr:y - e.g. Results from past year

Google's Video Search is accessed by using the tbm=vid search operator in the URL. It can be used as an advanced search operator or a custom search engine tool. You can also use it to access videos in a number of different languages. Google Video Search has the ability to filter out adult content, which is often found on YouTube.

For example, if you're looking for videos that demonstrate how to make a bouquet out of paper flowers, you could search for [how to make paper flower bouquet &tbm=vid]. There are other video-related advanced operators as well: &tbs=vid:1 narrows your results to videos that are available to view on the web. &tbs=vir:1 narrows results to pages that contain embedded videos. &tbs=viv:1 narrows results to pages containing links to videos hosted elsewhere (such as YouTube).

The Google Patent Search interface allows you to search through millions of patents by topic and includes the ability to narrow your search by filing date, issue date, patent number, assignee, inventor and classification.

The &tbm=pts query string parameter is used to search patents - patents that Google has indexed. The URL format is, where your+search+query can be anything you are interested in.

You can add other query string parameters, such as &num=100 to request 100 results, &start=100 to start at the 101st result, and &as_lhi=[date] to limit results to before or after a specific date.

— &tbs=ptso:wo - limits results to Internationally filed patents

— &tbs=ptso:us - limits results to United States filed patents

— &tbs=ptso:ep - limits results to Europe filed patents

— &tbs=ptso:de - limits results to Germany filed patents

— &tbs=ptso:ca - limits results to patents Canada filed patents

— &tbs=ptss:a - limits results to patent applications

— &tbs=ptss:g - limits results to issued patents

— &tbs=ptst:u - limits results to utility patents

— &tbs=ptst:d - limits results to design patents

— &tbs=ptst:pp - limits results to plant patents

— &tbs=ptst:t - limits results to defensive publication patents

— &tbs=ptst:ai - limits results to additional improvement patents

— &tbs=ptst:h - limits results to statutory invention registration patents

Use the &tbm=shop parameter to restrict the search to online shopping sites. It's similar to a regular Google search; however, the results will only be from sites that sell products online.

To perform a Shopping search, type your search query in the format:

[search term] + &tbm=shop + "[location]"

For example, if I wanted to perform a shopping search for "digital camera" in Chicago, I'd type:

digital camera &tbm=shop "chicago"

Note that the location should be enclosed in quotes ("").

If you leave out the location from your search query, Google will show results from all over the country.

You can also use the &tbs=vw:l,mr:1 parameter to narrow down your results even more. The vw:l parameter limits your results to listings with large images, and mr:1 restricts results to items priced under $100.

Note: If you're looking for a specific product, we recommend using Google Shopping instead of the &tbm=shop parameter.

Google news searches are useful for finding or verifying a news story, finding a news story to reference in an article, or searching through massive amounts of archived news.

You can use the regular search query syntax as well as date-restricting operators with the &tbm=nws advanced search operator.

Use the following in your search query:

&as_qdr=y15 - past year

&as_qdr=m6 - past 6 months

&as_qdr=d30 - past 30 days

It's an advanced search operator, which means it's a modifier to add to your search query that tells Google how to handle your search request.

Specifically, it tells Google to return only results that include images. This is the command you'd use if you were looking for pictures of something rather than text results.

The &tbs=li:1 tells Google to show results that are "Verbatim" (Google's exact match)

These results are pages with the exact text, without any other words.

If you leave out the &tbs=li:1 then Google shows results with the words you've entered but in a different order or with other words between them.

So, if someone has written "I like red cars" and you search for "red cars I like" - then that page will be returned as a result (by default).

The "&cr=countryAU" parameter for Google's advanced search operator displays results from Australian websites only. However, if the page is popular or has been shared outside of Australia, it may be returned in the search results.

The simplest way to use the &cr=countryAU (or country US) is to add it to your query, separated with a space:

"surfers paradise" &cr=countryAU

This will only show results from Australian websites.

Some of you may have noticed that when you do a Google search and use the &pws=0 - disable personalised results operator, the results are not as you would expect. If a Personalised search is turned off, then the results shouldn't be personalised (theoretically). Although if you really think about it, it makes sense why they would still be personalised.

The way we see it, personalisation has two purposes:

  • Google displays custom results for different users who all searched for the same thing.
  • Google displays different results for the same user over time to show them relevant information as it changes.

&filter=0 will disable the filtering of results based on your prior search history. However, that search history is limited to the particular search query you typed. It doesn't factor in your browser cookies or personal information like account history, location, etc.

Why would you want to turn off duplicate filtering?

Most of the time, you don't have to worry about duplicate content at all. You should focus on creating high-quality, unique pages and leave the rest to Google. However, there are some legitimate use cases for disabling this feature. For example:

If you're doing SEO research, you might want to see the actual rankings of pages rather than just one canonical URL.

If you're looking at your own site's rankings and suspect that two different URLs are showing up in search results when they should be consolidated into one, this search operator can help you diagnose the problem.

The &tbm=lcl parameter is not a Google URL parameter. It's a URL parameter for Google's advanced search operator. In case you're not familiar with these, they are special Google search features that let you find exactly what you're looking for through one of our products or services. For instance, we have a Google Finance advanced search operator that lets you quickly access stock quotes and other financial information.

The &tbm=lcl parameter is used to bring up Local Finder, which lets you get quick access to local business listings and reviews and their contact information.

For example, if you're interested in finding details on the closest movie theatre to your home, you could use an advanced search like this:

movie theatres near me

Or, if you want to save time and instantly bring up the details on a specific business without having to sort through search results, you can use the following URL string:


Advanced search operators or queries are special characters and commands (words) that perform actions on search engines. You can use them to restrict, expand, or refine your searches.

Here are some of the most common advanced search operators:

Site or domain search (

File format or type search (filetype:pdf)

Exact word or phrase search ("keyword")

Search by inurl:"keyword" (search URL)

Search by intext:"keyword" (search page text)

If you're not sure which operators to use, try the Advanced Search page. It has a simple form where you can fill in information about what you're searching for. When you click "Advanced Search," it will create a search string with all the information correctly. You can then run this search directly from the results page or modify it further.

A regular word, phrase or number is something you would type into a general Google search. An advanced search operator is a special character that Google uses to filter your results. It helps you find exactly what you're looking for.

There are three commonly used advanced search operators: filetype:, site: and intitle:. Filetype: lets you restrict your searches to items of a certain type, like PDFs or PowerPoint presentations. Site: lets you restrict your searches to websites within a specific domain. Intitle: lets you search for items with that exact phrase in the title tag.