Search operators: Google Chrome and Firefox plugin

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  • September 29, 2017
Stephen Kenwright

Stephen Kenwright

Strategy Director

tl;dr – we’ve made a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox to make using search operators a little bit faster.

Get the Chrome version here.

Get the Firefox version here.

What are search operators?

Search operators are commands or characters that can be added to a text search to retrieve more specific information. All search engines use operators in some form – and some useful commands work in Bing and not Google, or vice versa.

The most useful Google search operators

Note: don’t put spaces between the operator and search term or it won’t work.

Google search operators

  1. Search a specific website – add site: to the beginning of your search to find only pages on that domain e.g. site:branded3.com will only return webpages on this site. Use this to see how many pages you have indexed. You can also use a site: search to find URLs on a specific subdomain.
  2. Add inurl: to a site: search to find pages of a specific type – e.g. site:branded3.com inurl:http://www. will return pages in Google’s index that aren’t using the HTTPS protocol like the rest of the website.
  3. Add –www. to your site:search to see all the subdomains Google has in its index (or if you’ve accidently indexed your staging site, for example). This doesn’t always work.
  4. Add inurl: to the beginning of your search to see if the exact page is indexed by Google.
  5. Add filetype: to your site: search to see all indexed pages of a specific filetype – useful to see all the PDFs you have indexed (e.g. site:branded3.com filetype:pdf) – remember, PDFs are evil.
  6. Put your search inside quotation marks – “like this” – if you want to see results for the exact term with no missing words. You should know this because it’s taught in primary schools – but in the world of SEO it can be useful to copy/paste a few lines of text from a page you suspect of being duplicated into Google with quotation marks to see all the instances of those exact sentences. Usually makes for a nice, visual way to get your teams to actually do something about it.
  7. An asterisk is a wildcard – you might want to know “who is the * seo in the world”, where * can be everything from best to worst.
  8. Theoretically related: will show you similar sites, so related:branded3.com will show a list of our competitors – it doesn’t seem to be ranked in any order though.

Google has published a “full” list of its search operators here but Dr. Pete has a much better one.

Our favourite Bing search operator

Use linkfromdomain: to see all the websites your domain links to. Apparently branded3.com links to 100,000 websites, which we should probably do something about…but really useful if you suspect a blog of selling links and you want to know who to.

That’s a lot of typing

We know. So we made a Chrome and Firefox browser extension – now you can use some of our favourite Google search operators at the touch of a button.

Get the Chrome version here.

Get the Firefox version here.

Any problems – or if you desperately want a Microsoft Edge version – let us know.

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