The Google search engine is very powerful tool for connecting you with whatever you’re looking for on the web. Already one of the top search engines available (maybe the top, depending on who you ask), Google engineers are constantly striving to improve your results. There is a complicated metrics system in place to rank webpages as they relate to the keywords you search for. But the way you search with Google will help you get your best results, too, and it goes beyond just tying in a good search query.

Do you know about all the helpful search shortcuts on Google?

Here are some that everyone should know.


Shortcuts for Google Search

Here are some simple ways to get more targeted results from your search and help you find exactly what you’re looking for.


Example: ice cream or sherbet

Will return results relating to either term


Example: ice cream and sherbet

Will return results relating to both terms


Example: “give me a hand”

Will find results containing the exact phrase

– (the small dash)

Example: television -remote

Will find results for “television” but not include results for “television remote”

+ (the plus sign)

Example: iPhone +4S

Will find results for “iPhone” that include “4S”

*(an asterix)

Example: three * mice

Will find results that have word(s) in between “three” and “mice”

~ (the tilde)

Example: ~car

Will search for “car” and synonyms of “car”

Search Operators

Google also a lot more ways to target your search results with what it calls “operators.” Operators are terms that will narrow your results followed by a colon (:). These can be very useful. They are especially great for SEO professionals or anyone interested in researching their own website or their site’s competition, among other uses.


Example: pets

This will narrow your search to only one website. In this example, you would be searching for the keyword “pets” only as it is found on


Example: pets

This will search for the keyword “pets” in only “.edu” domain names. Enter any domain, such as “.org” or “.gov.”



This will return results for pages that contain links back to Great for finding backlinks to your own site.



This will search for any information on



With this search Google will give you results it thinks are related to



This will give you Google’s cached (recorded) version of and tell you when it was taken.


Example: Monet filetype:pdf

This allows you to search for a specific file type. In this example you would receive only PDF results for “Monet”


Example: allintitle:Social media

This will find results that contain your keyword(s) in the title of the website.


Example: allinanchor:Social media

This will search for “social media” in the link or anchor text of a website.


Example: allintext:Social media

This will find results that contain “social media” in the body text of the website.


Example: inurl:social media

This will search only page URLs for your keyword(s).


Example: social media daterange:201101-201102

This will search for “social media” only within the specified date range (here it is January 2011 – February 2011). Enter your dates in whatever format you prefer.


Example: safesearch:prostate cancer

This search shortcut will exclude any results for adult content.


Terry Ford writes for Grammarly grammar checker, the most accurate web editor and home to English Grammar Rules.

Share This