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Search Engine Commands - how to optimise search engine results

Updated on May 29, 2013

Search engines are great way to find information. Most majority of the Internet users however are not using search engines to their fullest potential. There are special search engine commands that you can type into the search engines combined with the term or phrase you are trying to find more information on. These commands are really very easy to use; you do not need any special skills or training to use them. Of course you can also combine one or more of these commands to have search results that suit your needs exactly. Also please note that the following commands are not used by all search engines, so you need to experiment with which one works at your search engine. For a complete list of search engines please go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_search_engines.

Below you will find a reference of these search engine commands.

(click column header to sort results)
Command  
Search engine  
Commands with same function  
Description  
-
Google, Yahoo, Bing, Exalead
Bing's not
exclude search term
$
Google, Yahoo, Bing
 
extensions of words
&
Google, Yahoo, Bing
and command
 
()
Google, Bing
 
combines two other commands
*
Google, Exalead
 
at least one of the search terms
_
Google
Google's *
at least one of the search terms
[#]...[#]
Google
 
number within number range eg.: [1]...[10]
|
Bing, InfoSeek
Google's or
the pipebar command find results that include at least some of the search terms
~
Google
Yahoo's synonym
synonym of search term
“”
Google, Bing, Exalead
 
all search terms in exact order
+
Google, Yahoo, Bing, Exalead
 
include all search terms
after:
Exalead
 
pages created/cached after a time period
airport
Yahoo
 
Yahoo Farechase link with maps, directions, terminal map, Flight Information, local weather above search results. Airport abbreviation before the command.
allinanchor:
Google
Bing's inanchor
all search terms in anchor text of a page
allintext:
Google
Bing's inbody
all search terms in results' body text
allintitle:
Google
Yahoo's intitle, Bing's intitle
all search terms only in title
allinurl:
Google
Yahoo's inurl, Bing's inurl
all search terms must be within page URL
and:
Google, Yahoo, Exalead
 
both search terms
and not:
Yahoo
 
excludes search term
area code
Yahoo
 
list of US cities with same area code. No colon and city name after command.
before:
Exalead
 
pages created/cached before a time period
cashe:
Google
 
saved preview of page
contains:
Bing
 
list pages that include the searched file type
convert
Yahoo
 
convert different measurement, and currency units. Snippet before search results. No colon, insert word "to" between units
date:
Google
 
pages indexed in the past 3, 6 or 12 month periods
daterange:
Google
 
pages indexed between two dates
database
Google, Yahoo
 
find searchable databases containing invisible web pages
define:
Google, Yahoo
 
definition of search term
facts
Yahoo
 
Columbia Encyclopedia description before search results. Term before the command
feature:
Yahoo
 
restricts search results that match a feature. Full list of feature restrictions at: http://www.searchcommands.com/feature/
filetype:
Google, Bing
 
type of file (pdf, exl)
gas
Yahoo
 
gas prices at stations in a US area, a Yahoo map, and a link to info provider. No colon, city name after command
hostname:
Yahoo
 
search within one subdomain only
hotels
Yahoo
 
price ranges, star classes, popular hotels in a city from Yahoo Travel. No colon, city name before command
inanchor:
Bing
Google's allinanchor
some search terms in anchor tag of a page
inbody:
Bing
Google's allintext
some search terms in body text in the results page
info:
Google
 
specific URL in the search database
intitle:
Google, Yahoo, Bing, Exalead
Google's allintitle
some keyterms in title
inurl:
Yahoo, Bing, Exalead
Google's allinurl
some search terms must be within page URL
ip:
Bing
 
lists sites hosted on the searched IP address
language:
Bing
 
sites in a specified language containing the search term
link:
Google, Yahoo, Bing, AllTheWeb, AltaVista, Teoma
 
backlinks to a page
LinkDomain:
Bing, HotBot
Yahoo's linkdomain
backlinks to a page
linkdomain:
Yahoo
Bing's LinkDomain, HotBot's LinkDomain
backlinks to a page
location:
Bing
 
restricts searches to a specific geographical region
map
Yahoo
 
includes Yahoo maps data of only US locations, only in US Yahoo
news
Yahoo
 
links to city news from major news networks. No colon
not:
Bing, Yahoo
Google's -, Yahoo's -
exclude preceeded search term
or:
Google, Yahoo, Exalead
 
either of the search terms
patent
Yahoo
 
link to US patient. No colon, command followed by patient number
prefer:
Bing
 
gives higher importance to a seach term. Last term can be more important than the last one.
quote:
Yahoo
Google's stocks:
basic price data and chart of US stocks and link to Yahoo Finance page of specific stock. No colon, command followed by stock ticker
related:
Google
 
related pages
safesearch:
Google
 
excludes adult sites
scores
Yahoo
 
Scores of US sports teams, and their last-, and next game date, time, city. Also a link to Yahoo Sports. Team name before command
showtimes:
Yahoo
 
Showtimes of movies in US cities. No colon, city name before command. From Yahoo Movies
site:
Yahoo, Bing, AltaVista, Exalead
 
search within one site only
stocks:
Google
 
stocks: Ticker; US stocks information
synonym:
Yahoo
Google’s ~
definition and synonym of search term
t:
Google, Yahoo, Bing
title command
 
time:
Yahoo
 
a world city's current time. City name before command
traffic
Yahoo
 
link to US local traffic details on Yahoo maps. No colon, city name after command
u:
Google, Yahoo, Bing
url command
 
url:
Yahoo, Bing
 
searches for one specific webpage in the search engine's database. In Bing no other iformation is provided in the results.
weather
Yahoo
 
Includes weather forcast of US locations. No colon in search command
zip code
Yahoo
 
list of all zip codes of a city and a link yahoo maps link. No colon

Comments

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    • profile image

      kabela 

      6 years ago

      nice your info, thx

    • profile image

      oh no 

      7 years ago

      some examples how to use them will be useful for dummies like me

    • Dilnashi profile image

      Dilnashi 

      7 years ago from England

      nicely written i think its a great hub on SEO. bEST OF LUCK...

      yOU MIGHT vISIT mInE...

      https://hubpages.com/technology/complete-guide-lin...

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