For any SEO the most important skill to master is Googling. Not in the traditional sense of reuslts, but learning how to use Google as an SEO audit type tool. There are a lot of tools for SEO, but I prefer to use the search engine itself for a quick audit. These SEO operators can help you gain insight into SEO issues and audit ideas you may not have identified in the usual tools. The SEO tools are excellent for ongoing SEO and maintenance, but in my experience, the search operators deliver a very Google specific response.

My top 10 Google search operators are:

  1. Site Command – – this command will show you all pages in Googles index for your domain
  2. Cache – – this is helpful in finding when a page was last crawled / the most recent cache
  3. Inanchor – inanchor:”backlink building” – this operator will identify page with inbound links that contain the anchor text (sample of data only)
  4. Filetype – filetype:png – this operator will hep you find images that fall under a specific file type
  5. Allinurl – allinurl:your search term – this will return all URLs that the “search term” in them
  6. Related – “” – this one will help you find other sites with similar content to yours
  7. Site 404 Command – “ how to SEO” – if you want to search for specific articles on a particular site
  8. Duplicate Content – “content search term” – this will give you surface-level results for “thin” content
  9. Secure vs non secure – -inurl:https – use this to make sure all your pages are https://
  10. Exclude staging domains – -inurl:stage -inurl:dev -inurl:staging – use this to make sure you are not indexing your staging site post go live.

How do I use search operators for SEO?

Google search operators are special commands and characters that extend the capabilities of standard text searches. To use a search operator, simply enter it directly into the Google search box (in the same manner you would if you were doing a text search). These could be specialty tools for finding backlinks, on-page optimization aids, or tools for supporting SEO audits. Using Google search operators can deliver powerful insights to inform your content strategy, SEO audits, and technical issues.