Advanced search operators

Search engines are gateways to the world of The Internet. Some famous search engines that you might be aware of are Google, DuckDuckGo, StartPage, Yandex, Bing, Baidu etc. They are more capable than you think. With right commands, your search engines can turn into demigods, fetching the exact information that you are looking for. So let’s start from some low hanging fruits.

  1. Tools

Well, this is not exactly a search operator, but, using this feature that’s provided by Google’s search engine by default can come in handy. It can fetch you the information from specific time and you can also customise particular dates from which date or year you need to retrieve the information.

As you can see in the above pictures, by customising the date range I was able to fetch videos and articles that were published in between those dates. You can also use look for Finance under More drop down.

2. Settings

Moving on, lets try to play around with settings!

Let me demonstrate, how useful advanced search could be! I’ll take an example of a news article, and try to search the exact article.

There is no rocket science involved in here, I just took a random article which I had saved, I opened up Advanced search, and added few parameters and I got the result! And the best part is, you’ll instructed at the right hand side that what parameters should be added to the tool bar! Just follow along the images and try to pick a random article and see how good a search sniper you are! Perfect practice makes man/woman perfect.

If you observe the search bar of our previous image, you can notice that some arguments or instructions are automatically passed to it. When you add the parameters to Advanced search’s tool bar and press Advanced search, your search bar renders the parameters that you’ve passed and parses through it.

3. Operators

There are colossal amount of operators out there, through which you can unravel the super powers of search engines. It’s quite difficult to remember all of them, but, let’s try to look at some important operators which could help you in saving some time.

site:url — This will give you the search results from the specific site that you’ve included. For example, will only give you the results from New York Times website. To find the result about a particular topic, you can search, for example, “Donald Trump”

filetype:pdf — This will help you to get legally acquired file formats such as doc, pdf, xls, ppt etc of a specific topic. For example, India filetype:pdf

inurl — This will help you to find results that include your keyword in the URL. For example, inurl:India

intext — As the name suggests, it helps you to find results that include your keyword in the (text of) online articles. For example, intext:India

quotes — Using quotes helps you to search specific phrases, they are so powerful that they can find and parse the exact phrase that you are looking for. You can see the magic in the following image.

Here I was looking for a dialogue from Richard II, where I could not remember the entire dialogue:/ But, quotes saved me. :)



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Freelancer, writer, OSINT and cyber security enthusiast, geopolitics nut, movie buff, bibliophile, selective extrovert.