Google Advanced Operator Cheat Sheet

Advanced operators are extremely useful set of commands that every SEO should know.  These operators can help you to gain insights into the competitive landscape in which you are competing as well as help you to gain insights into Google’s view of your website.

I’m going to share a few of my favorites, then give you a chart with a number of the advanced search operators that are most useful to SEOs.

The Most Useful Advanced Search Operators for SEOs

1. How to check local search Google results in different cities

This is a somewhat underused technique that few SEOs know how to use. Using this feature, you can see how the search engine results page changes from city to city.

1. Open up your browser in incognito

By opening a browser in incognito, you’ll automatically depersonalize your results. This will keep any past searches from affecting the search results that you see on the page. Remember to start from google.com afresh every time you search. Failure to do so will further change your search results based the previous search you performed.

search results page with default local results

Now click on the url bar:

url of search results page

Now replace everything past “q=divorce&lawyers” with “&near=Other City”

search url bar for other city

Hit enter and you’ll see the search engine results are now personalized for a city:

Local results boston

There are some results that are being delivered due to my ip address, (namely, the Adwords placement in the 3-pack and one organic result below for a divorce lawyer with “locations” in Cherry Hill and Boston (don’t ask how he managed that).

2. How to Find Websites with Keywords in Title

This one is particularly useful for finding guest posting opportunities if you don’t have access to Ahrefs, SEMrush, or a similar content explorer.

The most useful way to use it is like this:

inurl operator example

This way, you’ll get search results for pages about “SEO” that have the keywords “guest-post” in the URL.  This can be used for any number of things, including finding job pages, bios, or whatever you may need.

SEO-Favorite Search Operators

Search Operator Example What it does
inurl: OR allinurl: inurl:seo-tips Displays webpages w/ keywords in url
intitle: OR allintitle: intitle:adwords Find sites w/ keyword in the page title
intext: OR allintext: intext:pizzerias find competitors ranking for keywords you select
inanchor: OR allinanchor: pizzerias inanchor:brick oven find websites using a given keyword in its anchor text
&near=City: https://www.google.com/search?q=lawyers&near=Philadelphia check search results from specific cities. Read paragraph above for more details.
region: region:Pennsylvania/td> This will give you search results from certain cities. It differs from the previous technique in that it delivers you region-specific websites, as opposed to the search results for a given city, which may have high-ranking non-local websites.

Advanced Search Operators

Search Operator Example What it does
cache: cache:sagapixel.com View Google’s cached version instead of current version
filetype: lawyers info:.pdf Find files in a specific format with a filename containing the keyword you enter
daterange: intext:pizzerias find competitors ranking for keywords you select
site: site:sagapixel.com “content marketing” find pages on a site containing specific keywords
&near=City: https://www.google.com/search?q=lawyers&near=Philadelphia check search results from specific cities. Read below for more details.
region: region:Pennsylvania This will give you search results from certain cities. It differs from the previous technique in that it delivers you region-specific websites, as opposed to the search results for a given city, which may have high-ranking non-local websites.

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