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Google Searching: Search Operators

A guide to Google search techniques

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Google Search Operators

Search operators

If you're not finding what you're searching for after using our basic search tips, try a search operator. Add these symbols or words to your search terms in the Google search box to gain more control over the results that you see. Don’t worry about memorizing the operators - you can use the Advanced Search page to generate many of these searches.

Search for an exact word or phrase
"search query"
Use quotes to search for an exact word or set of words. This option is handy when searching for song lyrics or a line from literature.
"imagine all the people"

Tip: Only use this if you're looking for a very precise word or phrase, because otherwise you could be excluding helpful results by mistake.

Exclude a word
Add a dash (-) before a word or site to exclude all results that include that word. This is especially useful for synonyms like Jaguar the car brand and jaguar the animal.

jaguar speed -car or pandas

Tip: You can also exclude results based on other operators, like excluding all results from a specific site.

Search within a site or domain
If you are looking for more results from a certain website, include site: in your query. For example, you can find all mentions of "olympics" on the New York Times website like this:

Tip: Also search within a specific top-level domain like .org or .edu or country top-level domain like .de or .jp.

Search for pages that link to a URL
Using the link: operator, you can find pages that link to a certain page. For example, you can find all the pages that link to

Tip: You can also search for links to specific pages, like

Search for pages that are similar to a URL
To find sites that are similar to a URL you already know, use the related: operator. For example, when you search for related sites to the New York Times, you'll find other news publication sites you may be interested in.
Include a "fill in the blank"
query * query
Use an asterisk (*) within a query as a placeholder for any unknown or wildcard terms. Use with quotation marks to find variations of that exact phrase or to remember words in the middle of a phrase.
"a * saved is a * earned"
Search for either word
query OR query
If you want to search for pages that may have just one of several words, include OR (capitalized) between the words. Without the OR, your results would typically show only pages that match both terms.
world cup location 2014 OR 2018

Tip: Enclose phrases in quotes to search for either one of several phrases.
"world cup location 2014" OR "world cup location 2018"

Search for a number range
Separate numbers by two periods without spaces (..) to see results that contain numbers in a given range of things like dates, prices, and measurements.
camera $50..$100

Tip: Use only one number with the two periods to indicate an upper maximum or a lower minimum.
daytona 500 winners ..2000


Most search rules have exceptions to accommodate the ways that people commonly search. For example, Google will show calculator results for the query 34 * 87 rather than interpreting the asterisk as the "fill in the blanks" operator. In general, most punctuation and special characters are ignored, however there is a growing list of punctuation and symbols that are recognized in searches.


Google. "Search operators." 

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