Google Search Operators – how do you search to find?

Have you ever wondered how to make using Google easier for yourself? Are you aware that there are special tools that can make your searches much faster and easier? In this article, we will introduce you to the ins and outs of Google’s search operators, which are a key part of searching the web effectively.

These special logical operators will ensure that Google provides you with results that are closely tailored to your needs. They will make searching for information as simple as ever.

From this article you will learn:

  • How exactly do I narrow down my search results?
  • What operators does the Google search engine use?
  • What should I type into the search box to find a result that interests me?
  • How do you exclude results that contain things you are not interested in?

search operators - contact us

What is a Google search operator?

A search operator is a special character that can be entered into Google’s search engine to more precisely and effectively manipulate what is displayed in search results. They are often used by people looking for very specific information that may be difficult to find using normal searches. Search operators can be, for example, inverted commas (“”), minus (-), and special words such as “site:” or “filetype:”.

For example, using inverted commas allows you to search for an exact string of words. If you type ‘healthy diet’ (in quotes), Google will search for pages that contain that exact phrase, rather than just the individual words ‘healthy’ and ‘diet’ anywhere on the page. Another example is the minus (-) operator, which allows you to exclude specific words from search results. By typing ‘cats-dogs’, you will get results about cats, but without any information about dogs.

Special keywords such as “site:” and “filetype:” allow even more detailed searches. “Site:” allows you to search only a specific website, for example “air-conditioning site:allegro.co.uk” will only show results about air-conditioning within Allegro. On the other hand, “filetype:” allows you to search for a specific type of file, for example “recipes filetype:pdf” will search for files with the PDF extension containing recipes.

Search operator types

The types of operator in Google search can be divided into several categories. These include:- Phrase operators – such as “”, which help you search for exact phrase matches.

Exclusion operators – represented by “-“, which help to exclude certain words from search results.

Substitution operators – such as ‘*’, which are used to substitute a word or phrase in a query.

Range operators – represented by “…”, which are used to search within a specific range.

Site-specific operators – such as “site:”, which help you search only on a specific page.

File operators – such as “filetype:”, which help you search for specific file types.

Logical operators – such as “OR”, which after

Google’s most important search operators

The following are the most helpful Google search operators. They vary quite a bit – some only return pages with a specific URL, others exclude single words or key phrases.

Operator “”

Using this operator results in an exact phrase search.

Example of use: “healthy diet”

Effect: Displays pages containing the exact phrase “healthy diet”.

quotation marks search operator

Operator –

Exclude the phrase from the entered phrase that comes after the minus.

Example of use: cats -dog

Effect: Displays pages about cats, but without information about dogs.

search operator minus

Operator *

Substitutes a word or phrase in a search.

Example of use: “the best * in the world”

Effect: Displays pages containing any phrase matching the pattern “best [something] in the world”.

star search operator

Operator ..

We use it to search within a certain range.

Example of application: phone 500..1000 PLN

Effect: Displays pages with phones priced between 500 and 1000 zł.

colon search operator

Currency operator

Used to find products whose cost oscillates around the value we enter.

Example of use: Laptop 500 PLN

Effect: Displays pages with laptops with a price close to 500 PLN – they can be both slightly cheaper and slightly more expensive.

currency search operator

Operator site:

Finds a key phrase only within one site.

Example of application: air-conditioning site:allegro.pl

Effect: Displays results about air conditioning only from allegro.pl

site operator

Operator filetype:

Allows you to search for a specific type of file. For example, if you are a student and are looking for a presentation on ‘climate change’ in PowerPoint format, you can use the query below.

Example of use: climate change filetype:ppt

Effect: Displays presentations in .ppt format on the topic of climate change.

filetype operator

Operator OR

Allows us to search for pages that contain at least one of the specified words.

Example of use: dogs OR cats

Effect: Displays pages containing the word “dogs” or “cats”.

operator wyszukiwania or

Operator cache:

Allows us to see the previously saved version of a particular website.

Example of use: cache:digitix.pl

Effect: Displays a previously saved version of the digitix.pl website

Operator link:

Allows you to search for pages that link to the specified page.

Example of use: link:gazeta.pl

Effect: Displays pages linking to gazeta.pl. It should be added here that a Google search often returns rather misleading results. Therefore, if you want to accurately track the link profile of a site, you should use tools such as SEMRUSH or AHREFS.

Operator define:

Used to quickly check the definition of a word.

Example of use: define:happiness

Effect: Displays the definition of the word ‘happiness’.

Operator pogoda:

Pozwala na szybkie sprawdzenie pogody w danym miejscu.

Example of use: pogoda Warszawa.

Efekt działania: Wyświetli aktualną pogodę w Warszawie.

Operator film:

Used to find information about films.

Example of use: film:’Harry Potter’

Effect: Displays information about the film ‘Harry Potter’.

Operator ksiazka:

Used to find information about books.

Example of use: book:”1984″

Effect: Displays information about the book ‘1984’.

Operator postcode:

Allows you to search for area codes.

Example of use: postcode warsaw.

Effect: Displays all postal codes within Warsaw.

Operator time:

Used to find the current time.

Example of use: time Tokio.

Effect: Displays current time in Tokio.

Do advanced operators affect search results and their ranking?

Google’s search operators, while very useful, do not directly affect the ranking of search results. Their main purpose is to help users find information accurately and efficiently, not to manipulate the position of pages in search results.

The page ranking in Google’s search results is the result of a complex algorithm that takes into account many factors, such as the quality of content on the page, the number and quality of links to the page, the history of the page, as well as many other technical and contextual factors. Search operators do not affect these factors.

However, operators can have an unintended effect on search results in some ways. For example, using the ‘site:’ operator restricts results to a particular site, which may ‘artificially’ increase that site’s ranking for your query. Similarly, using the ‘-‘ operator to exclude certain words or pages may have the effect of reducing the visibility of those words or pages in your results. But this is not the effect of the operators influencing the ranking – it is the effect of you specifying what you want to see in the results.

So when using search operators, it’s worth remembering that they are a tool for making your search easier and more precise, not for manipulating the ranking of pages in your search results.

What tricks are still available in Google search?

In addition to the search operators, Google offers a number of other useful features that make everyday use of the web easier.

Advanced Search

If you want full control over your query, you can use Google Advanced Search. This tool allows you to fine-tune your query, exclude unwanted words, search in a specific language, region or on a specific page, and even search for pages you have visited in the past. You can also use most of the operators there without having to remember them.

Search suggestions

When you type a query into the Google search bar, suggestions automatically appear that can help you refine your query or inspire new questions. Google generates these suggestions based on the popularity of other users’ queries, making them an invaluable tool when you are unsure how to phrase your query.

Google as a calculator and unit converter

Google is not just a search engine. You can use it as a calculator by typing mathematical equations directly into the search bar. You can also convert units (like milligrams to grams, inches to centimetres, dollars to gold, etc.) or currencies and Google will convert them for you. Just type in what you want to convert in the search box, such as “100 dollars to gold”.

These features, combined with the search operators, make Google an extremely powerful tool for searching information on the internet.

Google search operators – FAQ

Czy istnieją jakieś ograniczenia w korzystaniu z operatorów wyszukiwania Google?

Nie, Google nie nakłada żadnych konkretnych ograniczeń na korzystanie z operatorów wyszukiwania. Możesz ich używać tak często, jak tylko chcesz, aby ulepszyć i usprawnić swoje wyniki wyszukiwania.

Czy operatory wyszukiwania działają również na innych wyszukiwarkach, takich jak Bing czy Yahoo?

Niektóre operatory wyszukiwania mogą działać na innych wyszukiwarkach, ale nie wszystkie. Każda wyszukiwarka ma swoje unikalne operatory i funkcje, dlatego zawsze warto sprawdzić specyfikację danej wyszukiwarki.

Czy mogę łączyć różne operatory wyszukiwania w jednym zapytaniu?

Tak, możesz łączyć różne operatory wyszukiwania w jednym zapytaniu, aby uzyskać bardziej precyzyjne wyniki. Na przykład, możesz użyć operatora “-” do wykluczenia pewnych słów z wyników wyszukiwania, a jednocześnie użyć operatora “” do wyszukiwania dokładnej frazy.

Czy korzystanie z operatorów wyszukiwania ma wpływ na moją prywatność?

Nie, korzystanie z operatorów wyszukiwania nie ma wpływu na Twoją prywatność. Google nie zbiera żadnych dodatkowych informacji na podstawie Twoich zapytań z operatorami wyszukiwania.

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