How to Use Advanced Google Search Commands

Narrow your searches, dig deeper, and retrieve accurate information

If you're a standard Googler who enters a few words in hopes of finding what you're after, you'll be in for a treat when you learn that there are several other ways to use the search engine. Many advanced Google search techniques are tremendously helpful and not at all hard to use.

If you've ever performed a Google search and wondered why the results weren't what you expected, you're not alone. You might even try over and over to get the search terms just right, but the results are still showing too many unnecessary items.

While it's unclear at first that there are advanced Google commands that you can use for better search results, there are actually plenty. We've compiled a list of all these little-known Google search operators below.

Advanced Commands for Google Search

Illustration of a person typing
Lifewire / Theresa Chiechi

It's easy to use these secret Google search operators with your regular search terms. You'll see in the examples below that there are really just minor adjustments you need to make to dig deeper into Google and find the stuff you're really after.

Google Search Operators Cheat Sheet
Command Example Explanation
This and That new iPhone deals Search all words: newiPhone, and deals; similar to using AND between the terms
This or That sailing OR boating Search sailing or boating
Exact Match "love me tender" Search this phrase as a whole
Exclude Words printer -cartridge Search printer but hide any results that include cartridge
Definitions define:serendipity Definitions for serendipity
Partial Search san * california Search all words but allow for another word between them
Add 978+456 1434
Subtract 978-456 522
Multiply 978*456 445968
Divide 978/456 2.14473684211
Percentage 50% of 100 50
Power/Exponent 4^18 Calculates 4 to the power of 18, returns 68719476736
Unit Conversion 45 celsius in fahrenheit Shows how 45 Celsius is expressed in Fahrenheit, returns 113; also works with currencies, weight, distance, and more
Domain Search site:lifewire.com "torrent sites" Search lifewire.com for "torrent sites"
Search a Range "Android phone" $300..$500 Search "Android phone" but only show results where the price ranges from $300-$500; also works for dates and other numbers
Cache Search cache:lifewire.com The latest cached version of lifewire.com
Filetype Search filetype:pptx zoology Search all PPTX files that include the word zoology (not all file extensions are supported)
Title Search title:running Search for pages with running in the title; use allintitle to search multiple words
URL Search inurl:chewbacca Search for pages that include chewbacca in the URL; use allinurl to search multiple words
Body Text Search intext:parlor Search for pages that include parlor in the body of the page (won't return pages that include the search in the title or URL but not the body); use allintext to search multiple words
Words by Proximity tech AROUND(3) android Search tech and android, but only show results where the terms are within three words of each other
Related Sites related:engadget.com Find websites that have similar content as another one

There are other search techniques that you might find on other websites, including Google's own Google Search Help page, that no longer work. Some examples of advanced Google search commands that you can't use anymore include phonebook, info, blogurl, location, and link.

Tips for Using Advanced Google Search Commands

Avoid putting spaces between the symbols and words in your search term. For example, site:lifewire.com will yield different results than site: lifewire.com.

You can combine multiple Google Search operators to make use of more than one at once. Here's an example where we're requesting a definition but we want the results to not only be restricted to just websites with the ORG top-level domain but we also want to explicitly exclude any results from these two domains:

define:hypothesis site:org -site:dictionary.com -site:yourdictionary.com

Be careful how many advanced Google commands you use in one query. If you stuff the search box full of several, you're bound to end up with fewer results. This can be good to a certain point (that is the idea behind them, after all), but eventually, you'll run out of results and have to step a few of them back.