Search operators

Narrow down your search results by adding symbols and words to your search called search operators. Don’t worry about memorizing every operator - you can also use the Advanced Search page to create these searches.

When you search using an operator, don't add any spaces between the operator and your query. A search for site:nytimes.com will work, but site: nytimes.com will not.

Search for an exact word or phrase 

"search"

Use quotes to search for an exact word or set of words on a web page. This is helpful when searching for song lyrics or a line from a book. But only use this if you're looking for an exact word or phrase, otherwise you'll exclude many helpful results by mistake.

"imagine all the people"

Exclude a word

-search

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

jaguar speed -car

pandas -site:wikipedia.org

Search within a site or domain

site:

Get results only from certain sites or domains. For example, you can find all mentions of "olympics" on the NBC website, or any .gov websites. 

olympics site:nbc.com 

olympics site:.gov

Search for pages that link to a URL

link:

Find pages that link to a certain page. For example, you can find all the pages that link to google.com.

link:google.com

Search for pages that are similar to a URL

related:

Find sites that are similar to a URL you already know. If you search for related sites to the Time.com, you'll find other news publication sites you may be interested in.

related:time.com

Fill in the blank

*

Add an asterisk within a search 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

OR

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

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

Find information about a site

info:

Get information about a URL, including the cached version of the page, similar pages, and pages that link to the site. 

info:google.com

See a cached version of a site

cache:

See what a page looks like the last time Google crawled the site. 

cache:washington.edu

Punctuation

When you search, most punctuation and special characters are ignored. However, there are some punctuation and symbols that work in searches.