Google Prefixes (for advanced searches)

The “google prefixes” are code words, also called operators or shortcuts that you can enter along with or in place of your keywords. Some prefixes require a URL instead of keywords. The article below will explain in more detail.

Here are the google prefixes that I find most useful:

  1. Site:URL – shows all pages Google has indexed on your site. Useful to see if your site has been indexed yet or not, and how many pages Google found. This is also very useful to search a specific site for a keyword, for example: “dog training”. Some sites use this internally with some programming to allow site users to search the site with Google, instead of some other search program.
  2. Cache:URL – see if Google has cached a page. I use this to see if Google has indexed a specific page of my site.

    I also use it when buying expired domains, sometimes it allows me to see the former content of the home page of the site, which might help my “buy”/”no-buy” decision.

  3. Link:URL – shows pages that point to the given URL, i.e. shows you your “backlinks”. Everyone doing SEO is interested in getting as many backlinks as possible. If you are running an SEO program such a Bruteforce EVO, this can be used to help you determine if your backlinks have been crawled and “accepted” yet; i.e. if they “took”. The concept is similar to a picture on a camera; some take and some don’t…
  4. AllInTitle:KEYWORDS – restricts results to those containing the query words you type after the colon. Some people use to to analyze competition, i.e. how many sites have titles containing the keyword you are researching. The related prefixes are: AllInURL, AllInText, and AllInAnchor.
  5. Define:WORD – gives websites that provide a definition of the word, usually dictionaries first.
  6. Filetype:FILETYPE – limits search to files ending with a certain extension, most useful with files such as .PDF or .DOC
  7. Info:URL – a quick way to show how Google would display your site in a search listing, but only shows your site. Below this, are some of the other common prefixes already encoded for you.

Here are some others, but they will actually work fine without the colon.

  1. movie:Harry Potter” will help you find local theater play times
  2. stock:AAPL” will give you a stock quote on the ticker symbol for Apple.

You can actually leave the colon out on these last two, and you will usually get the same results. The only time the colon might be useful in these, is when the keywords themselves might contain the prefix. For example, “movie:Scary Movie”. In this example, the prefix helps google to know that you are looking for the movie locations and times, even though the word “movie” is in the name of the movie itself.

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