How to Use Advanced Google Search Commands

Narrow your searches, dig deeper, and retrieve accurate information

What to Know

  • Enter define:term to find a definition, use AND between terms to search all words, put quotes (") around words to find an exact match.
  • Don't put spaces between symbols and words when searching, and feel free to use multiple commands in a single search.
  • Remember that multiple commands mean fewer results, which can sometimes be good and can sometimes be bad.

There are several other ways to use the Google search engine. Many advanced Google search techniques are helpful and easy to use. Use search commands to get the results you expect and avoid showing unnecessary items. We've compiled a list of all these little-known Google search operators below.

Advanced Commands for Google Search

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 "best phone" Search lifewire.com for "best phone"
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
Illustration of a person typing "cache:lifewire.com" into Google search on a computer
Lifewire / Theresa Chiechi

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

Below is another, where we're looking for a PDF manual for a specific kind of router on Linksys' website. Just the domain search provides several tens of thousands of results, but it eventually dropped to fewer than 50 with the other commands added,

filetype:pdf "user guide" wrt54gl site:linksys.com

Be careful how many of these 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.

Instead, it's better to start with fewer, and slowly build up more as you realize which kind of results you're not interested in seeing.

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