30-second abstract:

  • Google superior search helps you get granular along with your searches and ship hyper-focused searches with the assistance of search operators (or a mix of them).
  • For instance, you possibly can seek for articles revealed within the final week by your opponents or uncover inner linking alternatives you may’ve missed.
  • On this how-to information, Venngage’s Aditya Sheth outlines six Google superior search hacks you have to know to grasp Google search and turn into a greater website positioning.

I’ve to come back clear on one thing: I’m lazy.

Whereas being lazy is probably not a advantage, it does include an unseen benefit: It means that you can search for artistic methods to get issues executed with out essentially spending extra time.

And as an website positioning, I’m at all times on the lookout for methods to get extra executed with out working longer hours. Basically: aiming to perform extra with much less.

One strategy to do extra with much less is to search for instruments, ways and even hacks that assist you to minimize down time wasted and get extra executed, sooner. 

One in every of my favourite hacks ever? Google superior search.

However what’s it? In easy phrases, the Google superior search helps you fine-tune your searches to search out precisely what you’re on the lookout for. 

That is an particularly helpful ability if you wish to rapidly pull up small-bits of data with out at all times having to depend on instruments like Ahrefs, Moz, or SEMRush to do it for you.

On this how-to website positioning information, you’ll use superior search operators to:

Earlier than we dive into the meat of this information, first issues first:

A mini-crash course on superior search operators

To maintain issues easy, we’re going to cowl 4 operators I, as an website positioning, use most frequently.

The primary operator is the location search operator. What this lets you do is retrieve outcomes from a single web site. All you need to do is kind web site:[any website] into Google.

For instance, If I enter web site:semrush.com, I’ll solely see outcomes pertaining to SEMrush:

You don’t want the http://, https://, or www prefixes when utilizing the location operator.

That’s not all, you possibly can even use a key phrase along with the location operator to search out if that web site has written any content material round that key phrase.

Let’s say I need to discover whether or not we’ve coated the key phrase “infographic” on the location. I’ll enter “web site:semrush.com infographic” and that is what comes up:

I personally use the location operator very incessantly because it limits my search outcomes to a single area. Hold this operator in thoughts as we’re going to be counting on it later.

The following operator you’ll discover helpful is the quotes or exact-match (“”) operator. What the exact-match operator does is restrict your searches to exact-match phrases solely.

For instance, here’s a regular Google search (discover the variety of outcomes):

And now the identical phrase wrapped in citation marks: 


Discover one thing totally different? 

In comparison with a traditional Google search, exact-match queries will solely present you outcomes the place your keyphrase has been talked about precisely as it’s (and never a variation). 

This operator is very highly effective to determine in case your web site has any duplicate content material that might be sabotaging your rankings (extra on this later).

Final however not the least, we’re going to study the sprint (-) and plus (+) operators to carry out laser-targeted searches. 

What the sprint (-) operator does is excludes sure key phrases from showing within the search outcomes. So if I needed to learn in regards to the matter of serps however not SEO, I’d use the next question: 


Through the use of the “- optimization” in my search, I’ll solely see outcomes about serps and never SEO.

The plus (+) operator, you guessed it — does the precise reverse. You should use the plus operator so as to add phrases to your unique search and present you a special set of outcomes. 

For instance, right here’s a question I entered in Google search:

What did I do right here? I used the location:, sprint and plus operators in conjunction to point out me articles that carefully relate to go looking engine advertising however not website positioning on the Search Engine Watch weblog.


There are a lot of search operators on the market (too many to checklist in truth). You’ll find a way more complete checklist of search operators on the Moz weblog.

However for simplicity’s sake, we’re going to stay to the location, precise match, sprint, and plus operators on this information.

Six Google superior search ideas for higher website positioning

Utilizing the Google superior search operators above, you possibly can entry precisely what you’re on the lookout for and spend much less time trying to find it.

Superior search can come actually useful particularly while you’re simply beginning out and don’t have the price range for costly website positioning instruments.

Think about all of the countless potentialities that lie in anticipate you as an website positioning; if solely you bought higher at googling. Properly, it’s simpler than you suppose. I’ll present it to you:

1. Conduct fundamental however insightful competitor analysis

Conducting competitor analysis on Google is very easy. All you need to do is use the “associated:” search operator adopted by an internet site URL. 

“Associated:” means that you can discover websites which might be carefully associated to a selected URL. You should use associated to determine not solely direct opponents but in addition oblique peripheral opponents that you simply may’ve missed in your competitor analysis.

Not solely that, the associated: operator additionally helps you perceive how Google is categorizing your opponents and your web site.

Let’s have a look at what Google returns if we seek for opponents associated to Venngage

I already know the primary three outcomes are our direct opponents, however the final two are shocking as a result of they appear to be not directly competing with us (and I wasn’t even conscious of them).

We’re an on-line infographic maker software whereas each Column 5 Media and InfoNewt look like done-for-you businesses. Google has recognized and categorized them as websites associated to Venngage which is an insightful discover.

Don’t dismiss this superior search hack due to its simplicity. Attempt it for your self and see what Google comes up with. You may simply come away with a greater understanding of the competitors because it pertains to website positioning.

2. Stalk your competitor’s content material technique

Sticking to the subject of competitor analysis, right here’s a cool approach you possibly can spy in your competitor’s content material technique: combining the location operator and Google’s date-range filter.

Let’s do that on one in all our direct opponents: Piktochart.

To restrict my search to solely blog-related outcomes, I’ll use Piktochart’s/weblog subdomain as a substitute of their web site. And by the seems of it, they’ve 790 pages on their weblog. 

I can use the date-range filter (click on on instruments and filter by date) to additional drill down these outcomes to determine what content material they revealed within the final month solely. Right here’s what comes up: 

This not solely tells me Pitkchart revealed 4 new articles final month but in addition offers me perception into Piktocharts’ content material technique and the key phrases they’re focusing on.

You’ll find much more knowledge by filtering the outcomes by days, months, or customized time durations. 

I may even embody exact-match (“your key phrase” in quotes) key phrases to learn the way a lot content material Piktochart has revealed on any given matter, which is a intelligent strategy to uncover their matter cluster technique. 

Let’s take content material advertising as a subject for instance

Utilizing the location operator along side the date filters on Google search offers you data on: 

  • How a lot content material your competitors has revealed until date
  • How typically they publish new content material in a given time interval
  • What sort of content material they publish at a sure cut-off date
  • How typically your competitor has written a few given matter

Fairly cool proper? 

3. Unearth a gold mine of visitor posting alternatives 

In case your purpose is to drive high quality visitors again to your web site, decide up high-quality backlinks, enhance your web site’s area authority and even rank larger on Google — visitor running a blog will assist you to do the entire above.

Anyone that tells you visitor running a blog is useless is both mendacity or in on it. Visitor running a blog nonetheless works, even in 2020.

Now that we’ve briefly coated how essential visitor running a blog actually is, how do you uncover visitor running a blog alternatives in your area of interest or business?

Listed here are just a few superior search queries you possibly can copy and paste into Google

  • Your Key phrase “visitor put up alternatives”
  • Your Key phrase “visitor put up”
  • Your Key phrase “submit visitor put up”
  • Your Key phrase “submit weblog put up”
  • Your Key phrase intitle:“write for us”
  • Your Key phrase intitle:“visitor put up pointers”

If I’m trying to visitor put up for websites within the design area, for instance, I’d use the next question:

Websites bookmarked. Visitor put up pitches despatched. Fingers crossed. 

Check out these search queries for your self and also you’ll be capable to construct a good checklist of web sites to contribute for.

Brian Dean has essentially the most exhaustive information on visitor running a blog I’ve learn (it contains an enormous checklist of search operators that may assist you to discover much more visitor posting alternatives).

4. Uncover hidden alternatives for inner linking

Inside linking performs a small however essential position within the rating components that decide how effectively you rank on Google.

No matter how well-designed and easy-to-navigate your web site could also be, a nice inner linking construction could make all of the distinction with regards to driving visitors from one put up to a different throughout your total weblog.

Inside linking additionally creates topical relevance by creating supporting content material for the principle matters of your web site.

A couple of weeks in the past, I revealed a mammoth webinar information on the Venngage weblog. I needed it to start out driving visitors to the put up and rank for high-volume key phrases instantly.

I started working by discovering out the place I might hyperlink to our information internally from as many related posts on our weblog as attainable. All I did was use the location operator and the key phrase “webinar”: 

Increase! Barring the primary consequence, I discovered 47 inner linking alternatives with a easy search. And all it took was just a few seconds.

You’ll be able to even use this search question: web site:www.yourwebweb site.com/weblog intext:”your key phrase” to just about do the identical factor.

This superior search hack received’t be as helpful if you happen to’ve not too long ago began running a blog, however it should come in useful if you happen to handle an enormous weblog that already has quite a lot of present content material.

5. Discover duplicate content material in your web site

Duplicate content material is content material that seems on a couple of location in your web site and might confuse serps with regards to deciding which web page to rank larger. 

In brief: Duplicate content material can damage your web site rankings and it’s a technical website positioning subject you can not afford to disregard.

To indicate you an instance of duplicate content material, I’ll use this small piece of copy from the Apple Airpods product description on Walmart

Google advanced search tips: Duplicate Content

Utilizing the location operator, I’ll paste the copy into Google utilizing the exact-match operator. Right here’s what I give you: 

The identical piece of copy exhibits up on six different pages on Walmart. Issues might be loads worse however nonetheless, not superb.

But when I had been to go looking for a similar piece of copy throughout the net (not simply Walmart) utilizing the sprint operator, that is what comes up:

The identical piece of copy seems on ~19,000 different web sites (excluding Walmart). That’s quite a lot of duplicate content material. 

Duplicate content material is very a significant subject for web site blogs with 1,000s of pages or ecommerce websites with the identical product descriptions. 

6. Discover missed content material alternatives

One of many final search operators I’ll cowl is the “filetype” operator. 

Filetype might help you discover non-HTML content material in your web site, resembling Phrase Paperwork or PDF recordsdata. This content material is usually beneficial, however not search optimized. And visitors to it doesn’t present up in your Analytics.

To make use of this search operator, easy kind in “web site:yourwebsite.com filetype:pdf” like so: 

Then have a look at that content material. Have you ever revealed it as HTML content material? Is it search optimized? Is there a chance to make it a beneficial, rank-worthy and trackable webpage?

PDF recordsdata are sometimes the rust of the web, added to websites as a result of the content material supervisor doesn’t have a straightforward strategy to publish precise internet pages.

They need to at all times be an alternate (print-friendly, download-friendly) model of HTML content material. They need to virtually by no means be the one model of a chunk of content material.  

Your flip to grasp Google search

Congratulations! You’ve formally made it to the top of this mammoth information. 

Google is way extra highly effective and strong than we understand or give it credit score for. 

Understanding what to seek for and seek for it with the assistance of Google superior search operators will assist you to harness Google’s true energy and in flip, develop your web site.

As SEOs, our job contains operating website positioning assessments, tinkering with Google’s algorithms, and staying on high of the newest search traits.

Google superior search is just not solely a enjoyable ability which you can study over the weekend. It could possibly assist you to uncover alternatives hiding in plain sight and assist you to be simpler at your job.

The actual kicker

Google is and at all times might be free. The know-how to fine-tune your searches will assist you to turn into a greater website positioning and pay dividends over the long run.

Has utilizing Google superior search in your day-to-day made you a greater website positioning? Which search operators do you employ most incessantly? Did I miss any superior search ideas? Drop them within the feedback beneath.

Aditya Sheth does Content material & website positioning at Venngage. You’ll be able to join with him on Linkedin or discover him on Twitter @iamadityashth.


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