Google Search Operators | Ultime Guide to Advanced Use of Search Engines | Boolean Search | SEO | Nikola Lugonja | Skillshare

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Google Search Operators | Ultime Guide to Advanced Use of Search Engines | Boolean Search | SEO

teacher avatar Nikola Lugonja, HR and Marketing Instructor

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (23m)
    • 1. What are Google Search Operators

    • 2. How does Google Search Operators work

    • 3. 6 basic operators

    • 4. Key things to know (coolest hacks and tricks)

    • 5. Google Advanced Search

    • 6. Google Search Operators in Online Marketing

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About This Class

Search Operators allow you to pull resources and define search queries more precisely by using simple strings and commands. This concept was popularized in SEO and online marketing but has adopted wider implementations over the years, mostly in HR and recruiting. There it is known as Boolean search. Although this course is called Google Search Operators, it is not only applicable to Google but to any Search Engine online. Tips and tricks that you learn here will be beneficial for both your business, educational, and professional life. It will save you a lot of time looking for something particular online!

Google Search Operators (lectures):

  1. Introduction
  2. How does Google Search with operators work?
  3. 6 basic operators to understand
  4. Key things to know (coolest hacks and tricks)
  5. Google Advanced Search
  6. Google Search Operators in Online Marketing

Meet Your Teacher

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Nikola Lugonja

HR and Marketing Instructor


-Multi-year experience in both HR and digital marketing. I started my career in Marketing, but over time I dived deeper into the world of Human Resources. I find these two areas commonly overlapping (e.g. when it comes to employer branding), therefore I will also try to link them in some classes. 

-Here are 4 values that I always keep in mind when preparing and publishing classes:

Keep it short and sweet - eliminating waste i.e. everything that does not bring any value and ensuring the students get the most out of every single second Unscramble the content - making things simple to comprehend and outlining the most important takeaways Always explore - stepping into the unknown to extensively research new topics and broaden the knowledge spectrum Improve... See full profile

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1. What are Google Search Operators: Hi there. Thank you for watching this video. In this class, we're going to talk about Google Search Operators, or maybe you're familiar with them as Google Advanced Search Operators or Google Search Commands. Essentially, there are special commands that extend the capabilities of regular text searches on Google. They allow to pull resources and define search queries more precisely by using simple strings and commands. This concept was mostly popularized in SEO and online marketing, but ever since has adopted a wider implementation in other areas, such as HR, and recruiting, and there it is more familiar as the term Boolean search. So in this class we're essentially looking at different types of commands and strings. And the best possible way you can utilize them to search anything you wish online. And I hope you stick to the end because in the final lecture, we're going to take a look at how this is applicable in our area of interest. Thank you once again for watching this intro and I hope to see you in the next video. 2. How does Google Search Operators work: Hi everyone. Thank you for taking this class. I'm really glad to see you here in this short lecture. We're looking at how the search would operators work. So Google Search Operators uses a combination of keywords and commands to organize the search results. It produces more accurate and relevant results by narrowing or broadening in certain cases the search and allowing to navigate through only related results. Why disregarding the unrelated ones? As you might imagine, search with operators is not always needed when performing a search. Sometimes the engine itself is aware of the results that you're looking for. Nevertheless, when there is a particular set of instruction for a specific query that is, given, it is easier to use Google operators to save time and get precise results. Before we finally look into some operators, I would just like to point out that there is no one single approach when it comes to this surge. It is more of a skill or ability to freely combine different possibilities and experiment with what works the best. In the next video, we are looking into the sixth most basic elements or operators of Google Search. Thanks for watching and I hope to see you there. 3. 6 basic operators: How once again, in this video we're looking at the six basic operators. Now before we start, I would like to say that this may look complicated if it's your first time to encounter these operators. However, when you bring it to the basics, there are only six fundamental elements to understand. Further on, everything is built on their foundation. So here they are, and I will use the Venn diagrams to better illustrate the function of sum. The first one is end. The and operator is used when you want to take in two or more search criteria. That is, when you want to include two or more criteria in your search, the operator and narrows down your results. This is because you only get the results that contain both values. Here is an example, Hotel and garage. Here the search would include only the results that somehow contain both terms. The more keywords we add using the and operator, the more precise and narrow the results we get. It sounds like an oxymoron, but by adding more queries with an operator, we're actually narrowing the search and getting the more relevant content. The next one is or the or operator, on the other hand, allows us to expand our search results. People can use different words to refer to the same thing. Therefore, the operator or is particularly helpful when it comes to synonyms. Using OR operator indicates multiple entries or variables in the search results. Therefore, this operator expands the search results to encompass a wide arrange of information. Now referring to our previous example, let's say we search for a hotel or garage. In this case, the search results would not have to contain bro terms. So there could be some resource that only have hotel or only garage, but there could be both included as well. Next is the not operator, which excludes unwanted terms from the search. Not also works with the use of a minus symbol followed by the term with no space in some searches not only works as a minus, so if you see that your results still include undesirable terms, remember to use the minus instead. Back to our example again, if we search for hotel minus garage, we'll get only the resource containing hotel, not any of those results should contain the term garage. Here is a short overview of the three examples that we just covered for these three operators. Bear in mind that operators must be capitalised to work. Those were the three, let's call them the most basic operators. Now to the other three. First one is or the fourth one is brackets. Brackets or parenthesis can be used to group multiple search strings and to specify which parts of the search take priority over the other lemons. Essentially, brackets help identifying which sections should be emphasized. Compare or excluded. Here is the example on the screen. And let's say here that I'm looking for either hotel or motel, but I wanted to get results that contain both parking with it and not Garage. Let's assume that I want to keep my car in the open because I don't like Rogers. So then I'll use the example like you see on the screen. You probably see that as a string gets more complex, brackets will become very helpful in keeping everything structured, organized, and logical. Moreover, if there are only certain terms in the brackets, they will have a priority over other elements around it. Next, quotations, quotations are used to search for an exact phrase. Therefore, this is very useful when looking for an exact search results and wanting to exclude anything that doesn't include that term. For instance, leaving a blank space between customer and service will provide pages that contain both terms customer and service, but not necessarily together as a phrase, customer service. So to expand further on this, if there are no quotations for the phrase, the engine sees the space between the two words as an and operator, which of course will extend the search resource in this case, compared to the quotations. Coming back to our example, let's say that you are looking for a specific hotel this time called Hotel and garage. So that's the name of the hotel. Only once you put the term under quotations as you see it on screen, you will get the results for the specific place called like that. Therefore, adding quotations around a single word or multiple words, we'll treat that string as a search them. Lastly, the sixth operator is asterisk, is used to broaden or to get more resources for the search key words or phrases. It is also useful to look for variants of the keywords. For instance, if I have a word account with the asterisk at the end, it will provide the search results for accounting, accountant, accountability, etcetera. Same way goes for admin with asterisk at the end, which would resort for administrator, administration, administer, administrative, etcetera. It is also helpful when missing a word in a sentence. Let's say, here's a random example. We heard about some quote, but I don't remember exact saying. We could try typing parts of the quote that we remember. And for the missing share, just add asterisk. For example, He Who is something at asterisk is free. And the result would be He who is brave is free because that's the quote. There is one more thing to know here, and that is the existence of double asterisk. It allows searching for all forms of a word. For example, typing fly with two asterisks. In the end, we'll return all instances of fly, such as flu, flown, flies, flying, flight, et cetera. I hope this all makes sense now, if not fully, feel free to watch again the partial grasp completely. In the next video we are adding on this and looking at some cool hacks and tricks. Stay tuned, and I hope to see you there. 4. Key things to know (coolest hacks and tricks): Welcome back everyone. In this video, I want to show you some truly significant things that you can do with the search. So without any further ado, let's just jump right in. The first thing is use column to search within specific sites. This is very useful when looking for something specific mentioned on certain sites, domains, articles, or any content. Here is an example of the syntax. So as you can see on the screen LeBron James site column This will search for all content about the famous basketball player LeBron James, but only on All other search loads will be removed. This can also be useful to find some information on specific domain extensions. For instance, you can see now site Mahatma Gandhi. In this example, it will show the results for Gandy on all websites that have had you in their domain, which are educational websites. Next, search for similar words. This hack is very useful to search not only for a single keyword, but for words that are similar to that keyword, the character is swung, dash, or tilda. It works in a similar way to asterisk operator or a double asterisk, bit broader. We can say that it takes more synonyms into account for the search term. Basically, what you need to do is just include the swung dash character before the word in question. And the search results will contain that word and all appropriate synonyms. For example, we can put the following search question. As you can see on the screen, are elderly using social media and just add a spoon dash character before elderly. This will include results that contain not just elderly, but also seniors, older adults, aged older people, et cetera. This really expands the search results, giving you a lot more opportunities to choose from. The third step is find sites that are similar to other sites. This is a great trick to help find relevant alternatives or even competitors in the industry. It fundamentally works by asking what are some related sites to Britain? And here is the syntax. So you put related column,,,, whichever side you prefer, just choose one. And the results won't include these sides. But irrelevant alternatives for Amazon that might be Walmart or recruiting for YouTube, it would probably be VMO for Trello, it would be a Son, our base camp at so on. Although it might only work with big names insights, it can definitely be a powerful tool to find new content to browse. Next, find a specific file. This can be substantially beneficial when looking for a specific file online. It works quite simple with only the right file extension needed. And this is a syntax, as you can see on the screen. So electric vehicles file type colon PDF. And let's say in this example that we're focusing on a pdf file, it can be any other extension. So in this example, there will only be results for the term electric vehicles that is found in PDF files. Everything that is not in the form of PDF will be excluded, so you won't see it. And feel free, as I said, to test out with different file types. Furthermore, you can use the fine term to learn the meaning of words. This is a very helpful and this is a very, very general and broad application. But when looking for a certain word meaning, it can really help out a lot. Moreover, it helps him riding or researching about something. It works the similar way when typing synonyms or antonyms instead of the word define. So here is another example, define superficial. And when you typed that, you will be able to see the definition that appears in the dictionary. It also works with abbreviations and slang words. So for example, you can type define sth, and the result will show that the abbreviation stands for the word something. Next, search specific parts of the content. You can search titles, URLs or text-only, and user search entitle column. And then what you need to look for words in the webpage style. For example, if you put entitle column vehicle, you will only get results that have vehicle in the title. Moreover, if you add all entitle column that will provide tangible results that contain all written words. For instance, if you put all entitled column electric vehicles future transportation. Similarly to the previous one, this will include not just electric, but electric vehicles, future transportation in the title. So all words, if you just put in title and give the old forwards, it will unfortunately include only the first one. So when you have several words that you want to look for, be sure to include all entitle. And similar to the previous As we just saw, the same can be applied to URL and text only. And here are the syntax as you can see on the screen for those. And in this example, basically, intact syntax allows you to only search in the text of a site as opposed to the title and the URL which the search algorithm usually takes into consideration. Lastly, preform reverse image search. Although we're going to talk about Google Advanced Search in the next lecture, I would like to draw attention to one really, really cool feature here. It is called the reverse or backward image search. This feature allows to upload an image file and find source or information on that image. For example, if we upload an image of Statue of Liberty, Google has the ability to recognize it and give further information. This can also work with faces, posters, and infographics, so it's a bit easier to trace the origin. In addition, a backward search can direct to websites where the particular image appears and even show images that are visually similar. And I think it would be far easier if I just show you how this feature works. So just had to Google image search. And when you are here, so you see here Google Images, you press this camera button and you can pass the image URL or upload an image if you have it. So I'm going to choose one of the Eiffel Tower. And so what it's going to happen is basically you see Google actually recognizes what's on the photo. This is the photo that I uploaded and it already gives me the information about it. And even if I click on it, I can see all sizes of the photo. And I can also see on which websites they're used and so on. And believe me, this can sometimes work even with faces, with some shapes, with some infographics, which is really, really awesome. This is really powerful feature. Thank you very much for watching. I hope you found this useful and I hope to see you in the following videos. 5. Google Advanced Search: Hey guys, thank you for following so far. This lecture will be a relatively short, and I think it will be more beneficial if I show it to you as a tutorial this time before we had to go search page here is the overview of the four things you can do there. Use the category tabs below the search bar. When searching images, use tools option under the search. Use Google Advanced Search feature and filter explicit content. So the first step, as I said, and you can see now my screen, I just search for a random queries such as FIFA World Cup. The first step is to use these tabs that you can find below. So you can see here all images, videos, news, shopping, and even some more. And basically these categories help you formulate what you are looking for more precisely. So if you're looking for an image, use the image. If you're looking for a news article, used a new step and so on. These steps will reduce the search time vastly If utilized properly. The next thing is when searching images, you'll use tools option under the search. And you will like when we go to images, you will find this option here. And basically you can choose here size, color, type, time, and usage rights. And you can see if you want any larger images or just icons, which colors you want or Shades You want your photo or image to have. Also different types, clip arts, line joining or GIFs and time, whether you want something that is recent, for example, if there is an event that's ongoing and repairing every year, but you only want to have the photos from the vendor is happening right now you can click on past 24 hours. And of course when it comes to user tries, you can check whether they are available for commercial uses or not. When it comes to Google Advanced Search feature, you can access it by clicking on the settings below. And if you go to advanced search, you will be brought to New Page. And basically this page contains a number of options to fine-tune the search results without having to remember some of those operators that we covered earlier. You just fill out relevant fields and Google will do the filtering for you. And I would say it's a bit easier here because you already have some explanation on how it works and so on. Lastly, filter explicit content. So in case you have children who are using the computer, you're just publicly presenting, sharing your screen and presenting some results in real time. You can ensure protection against an explicit content with Google Safe Search feature. And you can basically essence that whenever you search for something, just click on Settings here and you can click on hide explicit results. Or you can also go to Search Settings and then just click here, turn on Safe Search and you can read a bit about it here. So basically this way you get to filter out and explicit lengths, images or videos that may be an appropriate. And although it's not always 100% precise, it still works in most of the cases. Thank you very much for watching this video and I hope to see you in the next one. 6. Google Search Operators in Online Marketing: Alright, welcome to the final lecture of this class. So far we have been covering a lot of things and I'm not sure if you were able to draw real-life applications of these operators, tools, and tricks right away. Even if you weren't able to worry, not because we will make an overview. As I said, Advanced Search is applicable across many fields scenarios, but let's focus now on marketing only. The first application is in social media monitoring. There could be many things here, but let's say looking for your brand mentions besides the ones on your website. Or uncovering this satisfied costumers that is, using operators to search for posts that contains the problematic terms. Next, Surgeon for the existence and frequency of the keywords or phrases at competitors sites. This is quite straight forward now, you just need the site URL and relevant keywords. The following use is in searching for specific keywords within the website when you search on Google. So what happens is that you get relevant results but from all different places. But by using certain strings, you can put a constraint on the search and get only the results within the desired website. Next, Surgeon for the image source and usage rights. You may want to publish someone's infographic or use some photo you found online for your website. But if you're not sure where it comes from and whether someone's owns it. You can run a simple image backward search, and discover more about it than checking for plagiarism. This is probably the least obvious case, but can be very, very useful. Just setup a query that will search for an exact matches of the continent pieces across the web and see if you accidentally carpet someone's countered or if someone has used yours without approval, covering the references is yet another significant use. It can happen sometimes that you have some data or text paragraph that you would use in your article, but have no idea where you got it from or from whom. Using operators, you can instantly track all the places where it appears. And if you go deep enough, you can even find the original order. And also lastly, finding some synonyms and performing content research when doing copywriting. So the takeaway of this overall class is that you can be very creative with these operators once you have a solid foundation that we built in the previous lectures, once you start getting more comfortable with operators, you will discover in numerous suitable and practical uses. Before we finish off, I prepared to creative examples to reinforce this. The first one is find non secure pages on your website. But using the minus or not operator, you can easily find the pages that don't have HTTPS and therefore not secure. This is an example for Acis. And as you can see among the search results in the number of it, you can see how many pages there are. Here is yet another example on how to narrow the search and get more precise results. In this case, the search results were constructed by focusing on just one side and a certain phrase within dialogue. I hope this makes it clearer and more useful. Thank you for watching this class and I'm looking forward to seeing you in the following ones.