There are a lot of pages on the Internet, billions and billions of them. When you go to search for a topic, you often get millions of hits listed. It is very easy for a worthwhile site to get buried so far down in a search that you will never see it. So when you want to do a search, it pays to do whatever you can to narrow down the hits that will be displayed.
That’s where search operators come in. By adding certain terms to a search, you can filter out a lot of irrelevant stuff and have a better chance of finding what you are looking for. There are a number of Google operators and previous tips (see the list at the end) have discussed some of them. Here are four more that I use to help keep my searches manageable.
To limit a search to a particular site somelink.com, add the term site:somelink.com to your search query.
For example, Microsoft is often the authentic and best source for Windows information. Microsoft does have a search facility but my experience is that Google has done a better job of indexing Microsoft articles than Microsoft. So when looking for Windows material I often add a term site:microsoft.com to my search.
If you are pretty sure that a certain word or string is included in the title of a page you are looking for, you can limit the search by using the term intitle:someword. You can look for several words with a term allintitle:word1 word2.
For example to find pages with the words “windows command tips” in the title use the search allintitle:windows command tips. Note that the words do not have to appear grouped together in the actual page title
This is similar to the above operator but looks for words or strings contained in the URL rather than the page title. With allinurl, you can search for words that are in different parts of the URL.
For example, allinurl: google faq would find links such as google.com/help/faq.html
If you are looking for a particular kind of file rather than an HTML page, use the operator filetype:extension
For example to find PDFs, use filetype:pdf
Operators can also be combined to achieve even greater filtering of searches. But that's for another time.
Bing also has advanced search operators. For example, see this article.
And there you have it. Happy searching!
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