How to use Search operators in Google

Google is the biggest and the best search engine in the world. Sometimes searching through the billions of search results can be tricky. Google search operators can help you modify the typical simple search to give you better and more precise search results.

What are Google Search Operators

Search operators are text modifiers to your search query that will modify your search to give you specific results. In other words, you can use Google Search Operators to make your search smarter and to find specific information or results on specific websites.

Let’s take a look in detail at the Top 10 Google Search Operators.

1. Use quotes to get exact match results

ex. "what is a wordpress blog"

The first search operator is the quotes character (“). If you use quotes around your text in your search, you can force an exact-match search. A typical search will try to find as many words in your search phrase on the indexed webpages. But a search modified with quotes will only search for the exact sequence of words between the quotes. For example, search for “what is a WordPress blog” in quotes. You will see the results are more specific to the phrase instead of searching the individual words.

To get a demonstration of all the Search Characters in this post, read until the end and watch the video posted at the bottom of the page.

2. Use the AND operator to search for 2 terms in the same result

blogging AND wordpress

The second search operator is the AND operator. If you search for two search terms with the AND operator in the middle, Google will return only results based on both terms. In the example above, you’ll get the pages that contain both of the words blogging and WordPress. This will eliminate the webpages that may discuss blogging on other platforms.

3. Use the OR operator to search for 2 terms in separate results

(blogging OR wordpress) free tutorial

That brings us to the third search operator. The OR operator. When using OR, Google will return results related to one of the two terms. This will bring you pages where you can read about either blogging or WordPress.

4. Use the omit operator to omit terms from your search results

blogging -wordpress

The fourth search operator is the omit character. If you use the dash operator, you can exclude a term or a phrase. In this case, Google will return search results based on your search, but, excluding the term after the dash. In the example above, you can find webpages that are discussing blogging but do not contain the WordPress word.

5. Use the wildcard operator to search for multiple phrases

"how to start * in 1 month"

The fifth search operator is the wildcard operator. When using wildcards, the operator can be replaced by any word or phrase. In this example, you may find all sorts of guides for various activities that you can start in one month.

6. Search inside a single website xlookup

You can use this search operator to find results inside a single website. This is useful if you are looking for a specific tutorial on a large website.

7. Search for a file based on file type

filetype:pdf start a blog

If you are looking for a specific file type, like a pdf file or a PowerPoint presentation you can use this search operator to search for a specific file type that would be relevant to your search phrase.

8. Search for a range of numbers

excel vlookup 2016..2019

You can also use a range of numbers to filter your search. For example, if you want to find some specific tutorials or documents related to older versions of a software, you can add years in the range like this.

9. Search for results before a specific date

excel tutorial before:2019

Similar to the range, you can use the operator before to filter search results before a specific year.

10. Search for results after a specific date

python tutorial after:2020

And last, the tenth tip is that you can use the operator after to filter the search results written after a specific year.

If you want to see this demonstrated, watch the video below.