Google advanced search: Six powerful tips for better SEO

30-second abstract:

Google superior search helps you get granular together with your searches and ship hyper-focused searches with the assistance of search operators (or a mixture of them).
For instance, you'll be able to seek for articles revealed within the final week by your rivals or uncover inner linking alternatives you would possibly’ve missed.
In this how-to information, Venngage’s Aditya Sheth outlines six Google superior search hacks you'll want to know to grasp Google search and turn into a greater web optimization.

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

While being lazy will not be a advantage, it does include an unseen benefit: It lets you search for artistic methods to get issues carried out with out essentially spending extra time.

And as an web optimization, I’m at all times searching for methods to get extra carried out with out working longer hours. Essentially: aiming to perform extra with much less.

One approach to do extra with much less is to search for instruments, ways and even hacks that enable you to minimize down time wasted and get extra carried out, sooner. 

One of my favourite hacks ever? Google superior search.

But what's it? In easy phrases, the Google superior search helps you fine-tune your searches to seek out precisely what you’re searching for. 

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

In this how-to web optimization information, you’ll use superior search operators to:

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

A mini-crash course on superior search operators

To preserve issues easy, we’re going to cowl 4 operators I, as an web optimization, use most frequently.

The first 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 website:[any website] into Google.

For instance, If I enter, 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'll be able to even use a key phrase along with the location operator to seek out if that website has written any content material round that key phrase.

Let’s say I wish to discover whether or not we’ve lined the key phrase “infographic” on the location. I’ll enter “ infographic” and that is what comes up:

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

The subsequent 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: 


Notice one thing totally different? 

Compared to 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 particularly highly effective to determine in case your website has any duplicate content material that could possibly be sabotaging your rankings (extra on this later).

Last however not the least, we’re going to be taught 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 wished to learn in regards to the matter of engines like google however not SEO, I’d use the next question: 


By utilizing the “- optimization” in my search, I’ll solely see outcomes about engines like google and never SEO.

The plus (+) operator, you guessed it — does the precise reverse. You can use the plus operator so as to add phrases to your authentic search and present you a distinct 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 web optimization on the Search Engine Watch weblog.


There are many search operators on the market (too many to listing actually). You can discover a way more complete listing of search operators on the Moz weblog.

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

Six Google superior search ideas for higher web optimization

Using the Google superior search operators above, you'll be able to entry precisely what you’re searching for and spend much less time trying to find it.

Advanced search can come actually useful particularly while you’re simply beginning out and don’t have the finances for costly web optimization instruments.

Imagine all of the limitless potentialities that lie in look forward to you as an web optimization; if solely you bought higher at googling. Well, it’s simpler than you assume. I’ll present it to you:

1. Conduct primary 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. 

“Related:” lets you discover websites which can be carefully associated to a selected URL. You can use associated to determine not solely direct rivals but in addition oblique peripheral rivals that you just would possibly’ve missed in your competitor analysis.

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

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

I already know the primary three outcomes are our direct rivals, however the final two are stunning 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 instrument whereas each Column Five Media and InfoNewt look like done-for-you companies. 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. Try it for your self and see what Google comes up with. You would possibly simply come away with a greater understanding of the competitors because it pertains to web optimization.

2. Stalk your competitor’s content material technique

Sticking to the subject of competitor analysis, right here’s a cool manner you'll be able to 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 rivals: 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. 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 concentrating on.

You can discover much more information by filtering the outcomes by days, months, or customized time durations. 

I may even embrace 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 approach to uncover their matter cluster technique. 

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

Using 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 time limit
How typically your competitor has written a few given matter

Pretty cool proper? 

three. Unearth a gold mine of visitor posting alternatives 

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

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

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

Here are a number of superior search queries you'll be able to copy and paste into Google

Your Keyword “visitor put up alternatives”
Your Keyword “visitor put up”
Your Keyword “submit visitor put up”
Your Keyword “submit weblog put up”
Your Keyword intitle:“write for us”
Your Keyword 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:

Sites bookmarked. Guest put up pitches despatched. Fingers crossed. 

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

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

four. Discover hidden alternatives for inner linking

Internal linking performs a small however vital position within the rating elements that decide how properly you rank on Google.

Irrespective of how well-designed and easy-to-navigate your website could also be, a nice inner linking construction could make all of the distinction relating to driving site visitors from one put up to a different throughout your total weblog.

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

Just a few weeks in the past, I revealed a mammoth webinar information on the Venngage weblog. I wished it to begin driving site visitors to the put up and rank for high-volume key phrases instantly.

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

Boom! Barring the primary consequence, I discovered 47 inner linking alternatives with a easy search. And all it took was a number of seconds.

You may even use this search question: intext:”your key phrase” to just about do the identical factor.

This superior search hack gained’t be as helpful when you’ve not too long ago began running a blog, however it's going to turn out to be useful when you handle an enormous weblog that already has numerous current content material.

5. Find 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 may confuse engines like google relating to deciding which web page to rank greater. 

In quick: Duplicate content material can damage your web site rankings and it’s a technical web optimization challenge you can't afford to disregard.

To present 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

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

The identical piece of copy reveals up on six different pages on Walmart. Things could possibly be rather a lot worse however nonetheless, not excellent.

But if 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 numerous duplicate content material. 

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

6. Find missed content material alternatives

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

Filetype may also help you discover non-HTML content material in your website, comparable to Word Documents or PDF recordsdata. This content material is commonly useful, however not search optimized. And site visitors to it doesn’t present up in your Analytics.

To use this search operator, easy kind in “ filetype:pdf” like so: 

Then have a look at that content material. Have you revealed it as HTML content material? Is it search optimized? Is there a chance to make it a useful, 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 approach to publish precise net pages.

They ought to at all times be an alternate (print-friendly, download-friendly) model of HTML content material. They ought 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 tip of this mammoth information. 

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

Knowing what to seek for and the right way to seek for it with the assistance of Google superior search operators will enable you to harness Google’s true energy and in flip, develop your website.

As SEOs, our job includes working web optimization assessments, tinkering with Google’s algorithms, and staying on prime of the newest search traits.

Google superior search will not be solely a enjoyable ability which you could be taught over the weekend. It may also help you uncover alternatives hiding in plain sight and enable you to be simpler at your job.

The actual kicker

Google is and at all times shall be free. The know-how to fine-tune your searches will enable you to turn into a greater web optimization and pay dividends over the long run.

Has utilizing Google superior search in your day-to-day made you a greater web optimization? Which search operators do you utilize most ceaselessly? Did I miss any superior search ideas? Drop them within the feedback under.

Aditya Sheth does Content & web optimization at Venngage. You can join with him on Linkedin or discover him on Twitter @iamadityashth.

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