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Advanced Search Made Easy

You can increase the accuracy of your searches by adding operators that fine-tune your keywords. Most of the options listed on this page can be entered directly into the Google search box or selected from Google's Advanced Search page.

Additionally, Google supports several advanced operators which are query words that have special meaning to Google. For a complete list, see below.

" + " Searches

Google ignores common words and characters such as "where" and "how", as well as certain single digits and single letters, because they tend to slow down your search without improving the results. Google will indicate if a common word has been excluded by displaying details on the results page below the search box.

If a common word is essential to getting the results you want, you can include it by putting a "+" sign in front of it. (Be sure to include a space before the "+" sign.)

Another method for doing this is conducting a phrase search, which simply means putting quotation marks around 2 or more words. Common words in a phrase search (e.g., "where are you") are included in the search.

For example, to search for Star Wars, Episode I, use: Star Wars Episode +I or "Star Wars Episode I"

" - " Searches

Sometimes what you're searching for has more than one meaning; "bass" can refer to fishing or music. You can exclude a word from your search by putting a minus sign ("-") immediately in front of the term you want to avoid. (Be sure to include a space before the minus sign.)

For example, to find web pages about bass that do not contain the word "music", type: Bass -music

" ~" Searches

You may want to search not only for a particular keyword, but also for its synonyms. Indicate a search for both by placing the tilde sign ("~") immediately in front of the keyword.

For example, to search for food facts as well as nutrition and cooking information, use: ~food ~facts

Phrase Searches

Search for complete phrases by enclosing them in quotation marks. Words enclosed in double quotes ("like this") will appear together in all results exactly as you have entered them. Phrase searches are especially useful when searching for famous sayings or proper names.

"OR" Searches

Google supports the logical "OR" operator. To retrieve pages that include either word A or word B, use an uppercase OR between terms.

For example, to search for a vacation in either London or Paris, just type: vacation London OR Paris

Domain Restrict

If you know the website you want to search but aren't sure where the information is located within that site, you can use Google to search only that domain. Do this by entering what you're looking for followed by the word "site" and a colon followed by the domain name.

For example, to find admission information on Stanford University's site, enter: admission site:www.Stanford.edu

Numrange Searches

Numrange can be used to specify that results contain numbers in a range you set. You can conduct a numrange search by specifying two numbers, separated by two periods, with no spaces. Be sure to specify a unit of measure or some other indicator of what the number range represents.

For example, you might conduct a search for DVD player $250..300 or 3..5 megapixel digital camera. Numrange can be used to set a range for everything from dates (Willie Mays 1950..1960) to weights (5000..10000 kg truck). eg: DVD player $250..350

Other Advanced Search Features

Advanced Operators

Google supports several advanced operators, which are query words that have special meaning to Google. Typically these operators modify the search in some way, or even tell Google to do a totally different type of search. For instance, "link:" is a special operator, and the query [link:www.google.com] doesn't do a normal search but instead finds all web pages that have links to www.google.com.

Several of the more common operators use punctuation instead of words, or do not require a colon. Among these operators are OR, "" (the quote operator), - (the minus operator), and + (the plus operator). More information on these types of operators is available above.

Many of these special operators are accessible from the Advanced Search page, but some are not. Below is a list of all the special operators Google supports.

Alternate Query Types

cache:

The query [cache:] will show the version of the web page that Google has in its cache. For instance, [cache:www.google.com] will show Google's cache of the Google homepage. Note there can be no space between the "cache:" and the web page url.

If you include other words in the query, Google will highlight those words within the cached document. For instance, [cache:www.google.com web] will show the cached content with the word "web" highlighted.

This functionality is also accessible by clicking on the "Cached" link on Google's main results page.

link:

The query [link:] will list web pages that have links to the specified webpage. For instance, [link:www.google.com] will list web pages that have links pointing to the Google homepage. Note there can be no space between the "link:" and the web page url.

This functionality is also accessible from the Advanced Search page, under Page Specific Search > Links.

related:

The query [related:] will list web pages that are "similar" to a specified web page. For instance, [related:www.google.com] will list web pages that are similar to the Google homepage. Note there can be no space between the "related:" and the web page url.

This functionality is also accessible by clicking on the "Similar Pages" link on Google's main results page, and from the Advanced Search page, under Page Specific Search > Similar.

info:

The query [info:] will present some information that Google has about that web page. For instance, [info:www.google.com] will show information about the Google homepage. Note there can be no space between the "info:" and the web page url.

This functionality is also accessible by typing the web page url directly into a Google search box.

Other Information Needs

define:

The query [define:] will provide a definition of the words you enter after it, gathered from various online sources. The definition will be for the entire phrase entered (i.e., it will include all the words in the exact order you typed them).

stocks:

If you begin a query with the [stocks:] operator, Google will treat the rest of the query terms as stock ticker symbols, and will link to a page showing stock information for those symbols. For instance, [stocks: intc yhoo] will show information about Intel and Yahoo. (Note you must type the ticker symbols, not the company name.)

This functionality is also available if you search just on the stock symbols (e.g. [ intc yhoo ]) and then click on the "Show stock quotes" link on the results page.

Query Modifiers

site:

If you include [site:] in your query, Google will restrict the results to those websites in the given domain. For instance, [help site:www.google.com] will find pages about help within www.google.com. [help site:com] will find pages about help within .com urls. Note there can be no space between the "site:" and the domain.

This functionality is also available through Advanced Search page, under Advanced Web Search > Domains.

allintitle:

If you start a query with [allintitle:], Google will restrict the results to those with all of the query words in the title. For instance, [allintitle: google search] will return only documents that have both "google" and "search" in the title.

This functionality is also available through Advanced Search page, under Advanced Web Search > Occurrences.

intitle:

If you include [intitle:] in your query, Google will restrict the results to documents containing that word in the title. For instance, [intitle:google search] will return documents that mention the word "google" in their title, and mention the word "search" anywhere in the document (title or no). Note there can be no space between the "intitle:" and the following word.

Putting [intitle:] in front of every word in your query is equivalent to putting [allintitle:] at the front of your query: [intitle:google intitle:search] is the same as [allintitle: google search].

allinurl:

If you start a query with [allinurl:], Google will restrict the results to those with all of the query words in the url. For instance, [allinurl: google search] will return only documents that have both "google" and "search" in the url.

Note that [allinurl:] works on words, not url components. In particular, it ignores punctuation. Thus, [allinurl: foo/bar] will restrict the results to page with the words "foo" and "bar" in the url, but won't require that they be separated by a slash within that url, that they be adjacent, or that they be in that particular word order. There is currently no way to enforce these constraints.

This functionality is also available through Advanced Search page, under Advanced Web Search > Occurrences.

inurl:

If you include [inurl:] in your query, Google will restrict the results to documents containing that word in the url. For instance, [inurl:google search] will return documents that mention the word "google" in their url, and mention the word "search" anywhere in the document (url or no). Note there can be no space between the "inurl:" and the following word.

Putting "inurl:" in front of every word in your query is equivalent to putting "allinurl:" at the front of your query: [inurl:google inurl:search] is the same as [allinurl: google search].