9 Essential Google Operators for SEO and Content Marketers

There’s one thing that all great SEO experts have:

An ability to solve problems.

The modern SEO is expected to be a jack-of-all-trades. As an SEO expert, you’re expected to combine specialized knowledge about search engines, technical development, link building, marketing, and more.

Couple that with the fact that there isn’t a single good SEO program offered by a major university and it’s clear that SEOs need to take it upon themselves to figure things out.

When you come across a problem, what do you do?

Google is the first stop for most.

And, for good reason. As a major search engine – Google itself is one of the best tools at an SEO’s disposal.

However, not everyone knows how to use it effectively. There are dozens of search engine operators and tools that you can use to find virtually anything you’re looking for, but you need to know how to use them.

In this post, I’m going to show you 9 Google search term operators that you should know and use on a regular basis.

I’ll show you some tactics that they could be helpful for.  But, if you combine all of these operators, they could be used for thousands of useful purposes. Don’t be afraid to be creative.

Download this essential Google operators cheat sheet that you can use today to improve your search engine optimization and content marketing efforts.

A nifty trick to make all of these operators more powerful

One thing that I wanted to point out before we get started is the power of the minus sign in your search query term.

If you stick the “-” in front of any of the operators in this article, they automatically do the opposite of what they usually do.

You can also stick the minus in front of any normal word or phrase you type into the search engines. This will exclude that specific word from your search results.

For example, if you were interested in learning about matrix software, haircare products or math, you could search terms like: “matrix -movie”

The minus sign tells Google that you don’t want to see any mention of the movie in the title tags or content:


Once you start playing around with operators, you’ll see the power of the minus sign. Rocketship SEO It’s really useful.

While I’m going to mention it specifically a few times throughout this article, Real Estate Leads know that it can be used with any search query, word or phrase, or operator when using search engines.

Here’s another example to clarify one major limitation of the minus sign feature. What if you found me on Quick Sprout and wanted to see other content that I produced?

You’d probably search my name in Google.


The only problem with this is that a lot of the search term results are going to be from Quick Sprout. If you already explored Quick Sprout, followed the anchor texts, and did your research – you might not be interested in that.

What you could do is search query my name, but subtract any mention of Quick Sprout:

Neil Patel -“Quick Sprout”

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That will give you results from other web sites so you don’t need to worry about duplicate content.

Note that you have to be careful with the minus sign. Leads for Real Estate In this case, any content that mentions both my name and Quick Sprout won’t be included in the search term results. Many of my guest post bios mention that I blog at Quick Sprout and they won’t show up.

I’ll show you some better ways to use the minus sign shortly.

Understand how quotes work – “insert keywords here…”

One final basic feature that you need to understand, before we look at actual search operators, is the use of quotation marks.

When you search query a phrase normally, it’s a broad search. Google will consider and rank any pages that contain those search terms in the title tags, in any order.

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If you search for:

content strategy


You’ll get results where “content” and “strategy” aren’t always together.

If you want to be 100% sure that only results with a specific key phrase are shown, you need to put them in quotations.

If you type into the search box:

“content strategy”


Every single search term result will have the exact key phrase “content strategy” in it somewhere from the title tags to the anchor texts.

This helps you remove any irrelevant results from the search engines.

1. Dig into any domain – “site:”

There are many situations where you’ll be looking to explore a particular web site.

That’s where the “site:” operator comes in.

It’s simple to use.  Just put the domain name immediately after the colon. For example, if I wanted to see every page that Google had indexed from Quick Sprout, I would search query:


Every single result  in those title tags will be from Quick Sprout.

However, you can take things a step further and only retrieve search term results from a specific folder within the search engines. So, if you wanted to see all of my blog posts from 2013, you could search:


On top of folders, you can also look specifically at subdomains.

For example, if you wanted to see blog posts on the web site Video Fruit, which are hosted on a subdomain, you could search query:



The real power comes from using the operator with other webmaster tools as well.

Having a list of a web site’s blog post is much more useful than just staring at pages of search term results sending you into a rabbit hole of content and anchor texts. Best SEO agency

There are many free scraper tools out there, like Google Parser. I’d recommend using Scrapebox, if you’re going to be doing this seriously. Online scrapers are typically very limited in the results that they provide.

Either way, enter your search query in the exact same way: