Mastering Google Search Operators in 67 Easy Steps

Posted by Dr-Pete

Any SEO worth their sustainably harvested pink Himalayan salt knows that Google offers a variety of advanced search operators – special commands that take you above and beyond regular text searches. Learning search operators is a bit like learning chess, though. It’s easy to memorize how each piece moves, but that’s about 1% of your path toward mastery. I know that the pointy-hat guy in chess moves diagonally, but that doesn’t mean I’m about to take on Kasparov or Deep Blue.

Instead of just listing all of the operators and telling you what they do, I’d like to try something different. This post is a journey in 67 parts, split into five functional stories:

  1. Content Research
  2. Title Research
  3. Plagiarism Check
  4. Competitive Research
  5. Technical SEO/Audits

You can skip around, but I’d suggest following the story from the beginning. When you’re done, you’ll understand not only what each operator does, but how to use it in real-world situations and mix-and-match it with other useful operators.


I. Content Research

Crafting original content in 2017 requires wading into the sea of content that’s already been created, and Google remains the most complete map of that sea. Advanced search operators are invaluable research tools for content marketers. Let’s walk through a sample content journey…

1. Find all the content

tesla

Let’s say you’ve got a blog post to write about the inventor Nikola Tesla. You hop over to Google and search “tesla,” only to find a lot of results like this:

Google has decided that Tesla Motors is the dominant intent for this phrase, which doesn’t help you very much for your current project.

2. Narrow your search

nikola tesla

So, of course you add more keywords and narrow your search. Now you’re on the right track:

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