You type hundreds of search queries daily on Google, but how much of the content that comes up is actually what you need?
For some queries, we get exactly what we were looking for.
But sometimes, we find the results are totally incompatible.
This post is all about how to use search operators.
- But why use search operators at all?
Because using search operators can make your search queries 60% more effective.
Many SEOs use search operators for link building by searching for things like “guest posting opportunities”. Using these little-known operators can narrow the focus of your search and give you exactly what you want.
Read: What Are Backlinks in SEO and What Are the Advantages of Backlinks?
So let’s begin…
What is a Search Operator?
A search operator is simply a character or string of characters used to get more specific search results.
There are thousands of operators that you can use to speed up your process of finding accurate results from search engines.
This post will cover nine important operators that you can start using today.
Important search operators that link builders should know:
The allinanchor: operator gives you results which contain your query as anchor text used in that post.
Let’s say you use the query term:
- “best hotels in India”
In order to find all the results that use the anchor text “best hotels in India”, you can use the operator:
- “allinanchor: best hotels in India”
The allintext: operator gives you results which contain your query as text in the page.
For example, if you want to search for:
- “link building for beginners”
You can find sites with this specific query as text in their page. Simply put your query with the operator:
- “allintext: link building for beginners”
This will return results having “link”, “building”, and “beginners” in the text of that page.
Similar to allintext:, the allintitle: operator gives you results that contain your query in the title.
For example, if you want to query for:
- “dog training”
You can find only those articles with this query in the title by using the operator:
- “allintitle: dog training”
This will give only give results that contain “dog” and “training” in their titles.
The allinurl: operator restricts search results to only those which have your query term in URL of the page.
For example, you want to search:
- “product reviews”
To find that query in the URL, use the operator:
- “allinurl: product reviews”
This operator will only return results that contain “product reviews” in their URL.
Take a look at this screenshot to understand better:
Note: “product reviews” is highlighted in the URLs of the results.
The intitle: operator gives you results that contain a specific part of the query in the title.
For example, you want to search for:
- “link building service”
To make sure you filter out results that aren’t a service, use the operator:
- “link building intitle:service”
This will give you results that contain “service” in the title and “link building” somewhere else.
- Important Note: There must be no space between the “intitle:” operator and the following word (EX: intitle:service – CORRECT … intitle: service – INCORRECT).
The site: operator is used to find all posts from a particular website.
For example, if you want to see only posts from ShoutMeLoud, then you can simply use the operator:
This will restrict Google results to posts that are only from ShoutMeLoud.com.
7. + (now quotation marks)
Initially, the + operator was used to restrict results for an exact keyword or phrase.
After 2011, Google updated its + operator to quotation marks (“).
Now, to search for an exact word or phrase you can simply enclose the word or phrase in quotations.
For example, to find guest posting opportunities for link building, you can use the operator:
- link building “write for us”
This will give results that are related to link building that have the specific phrase “write for us” somewhere in the title, URL, description, or elsewhere.
The ~ operator is used when you want to search for results that also include synonyms of your query.
Let’s say you are searching for:
- “link building guide”
You can use the operator:
- “link building ~guide”
This will not only display results of “link building guide” but will also display results of “link building help”, “link building tutorials”, “link building tips”, etc.
The * operator (asterisk) is a little-known operator used while searching for phrases having placeholders between them.
For example, if I query Google with:
- “India * country”
Google will find pages having phrases starting with “India”, followed by one or more keyword, then followed by “country”.
So the results may look like this:
- “India best country”
- “India top country”
- “India is my favorite country”
Two Tips For Link Building Using Search Operators
1. Guest Posting Opportunities
Guest posting will always remain a high-priority link building method.
It helps you build online authority and trust with your audience. In order to find guest posting opportunities, you can try using these operators:
- YOUR KEYWORD “write for us”
- YOUR KEYWORD “guest post”
- YOUR KEYWORD “blog for us”
- YOUR KEYWORD “writers needed”
Example- intitle:seo “write for us” gives the following results:
(Read: List Of Quality Blogs That Accept Guest Posts)
2. Link Roundup Opportunities
Link roundups can be very effective if you have some quality information to offer.
In order to find sites that do link roundups, you can simply use this operator:
- intitle:roundup ” YOUR KEYWORD”
Example- intitle:roundup “weight loss tips”
Note: After finding sites that accept link roundups, you can manually contact them and pitch them your excellent content.
This is how you can use search operators to easily find sites that are worth reading, match your specific interests, or even for gaining links.
Search operators give you a totally different way to explore information by providing you with exactly what you were looking for.
Do you use search operators? Let me know which one is your favorite in the comments below.
Did you find this search operator guide useful? Share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus!
Here are more posts that will help you to earn links:
- 101 Ways to Get Quality Backlinks To Your Blog
- 12 Best Practices To Generate Backlinks to Your Website
- 7 Ways To Get Quality Backlinks