Development and Managed Hosting

Tips and tricks for searching with Google

Written on March 11, 2019 by Manuel Wutte

Have you ever stumbled upon a problem and didn’t know how to go on? Just google it and you’ll find what you’re looking for.

But that’s the theory. What happens when Google search gives you all kinds of things, but not what you need or looking for?

This is where search operators come in. With any search engine, you can search the web more accurately and efficiently with just a few simple tricks.

What search operators exactly are and how they can help you further, I’d like to show you in this blogpost.

What is a search operator?


A so-called “search operator” can be (simplified) a simple character or a string that gives you the opportunity to control the focus of the search engine in relation to content type.

Especially marketing people make use of this when optimizing content for certain keywords. This is also important for search engine optimization (SEO).


Register of common Google search operators


Search operator


Quotation mark (“”) Returns only results that contain the exactly desired phrase.
Example: “Anexia offers high-quality customized solutions”
plus (+) Returns only results where the given single words occur together (regardless of their order of positioning) in the text.
Example: Anexia + software
minus (-) Similar to the plus operator, but with the difference that the minus excludes the following word.
Example: Anexia -software
site: Searches only the specified website for the desired term.
inurl: Crawl through the URL of the single websites for the search term
Example: inurl:development
intitle: Equal to “inurl:”, but related to the page title
Example: intitle:development
inurl:.extension Country-specific search by TLD (Top-Level-Domain)
OR Searches the one „or“ the other search term irrespective of the occurrence in the result.
Example: software OR development
filetype: Delivers only the required file type.
Example: filetype:pdf
info: Delivers an information page for the desired domain
define: Crawl through the „Google Dictionary” for the desired search term, and also provides tools (such as a converter) if required.
Example: define:megabit


Search operators and their usage


Quotation mark

If you want results that contain the exact expression you entered, put the expression between ordinary quotation marks. This function is useful, for example, if you only know a certain fragment from a text, but you want to find the whole fragment. On the other hand, it’s easier to find plagiarism – assumed they are listed somewhere in Google or have been indexed.

Example: click here


Minus (-)

This search operator is particularly relevant if your search term has more than one meaning. A good example therefore is “Django”. It is a well-known Python framework, but there is also an Italian movie called “Django Unchained”.(Django ist ein italienischer Film – Django unchained amerikanisch) In the Google results you will find both, even though if you want to know more about the framework. But you can simply add “-film” to your search term for excluding the film results.

Example: without restriction
Example: with restriction



Do you only want to search content from a specific website? Then add “site:” to your search term, followed by the respective domain. This will be useful if you want to search a particular website, for example view content of your competitors or check your own website. This makes it easy to check a website for possible indexing problems.

Example: click here


Asterisk (*)

You aren’t sure which words you need in your query? Google has also come up with a solution for this situation. Just enter an asterisk (*) as a placeholder for your unknown word. Tip: For better result combine it with quotation marks!

Example: click here



Do you want search results that contain your search term in their URL? Then you can do this by prefixing your search term an “inurl:”.

Example: click here



Similar to “inurl:”, but with the difference that the search for the desired term is carried out in the page title.

Example: click here



In addition to the “normal” inurl filter, you can also search for contents of certain countries respectively top-level domains (TLDs).

Just add “inurl:” to your search, followed by a dot and your desired TLD (e.g. “.at”, “.de”, etc.).

Example: click here

Or (“or”)

Would you like to receive results for search terms which are independently of each other? Then simply type “or” between the individual search terms.

Example: click here



If you are looking for suitable results, but only want to have a certain file format (e.g. PDF, PPT, etc.), then you can easily limit this as well.

Just add “filetype:” to your search, followed by your desired file format.

Example: click here



There is a lot of general information that Google can provide you at a glance about a particular domain.

This can be useful for finding competitors, finding sites that are linked to you or your competitors.

Example: click here



Do you want to find definitions for something specific?

Then simply put a “definition:” in front of your search term.

Example: click here



If you want to search for certain topics, you will come across many improper results very quickly. Google has created an effective way for you to influence your search by using their search operators. You probably won’t remember every single one, but a few definitely appeal to you. And maybe I could make your life a bit easier with this article 😉