How to use Google operators?

Google Operators

Google can help you find answers to a lot of your questions. Knowing how to use Google can improve your productivity and simplify your developer’s life.

Learn how to find the relevant information you seek by excluding keywords, or matching the entire phrases, and more. Using Google to search for an error message or a specific PHP function is quick and gives you an appropriate answer on the first results page.

Exclude a keyword

While searching for something there is a probability, that you want to exclude some keyword from the results. To exclude a keyword, use a - sign before the keyword:

keyword -aKeywordIdontWant

Matching text

To search for exact matching text in the description, wrap the keywords in "":

"exact matching phrase"

To search for matching text in the title, use the intitle: operator:

my search intitle:KeywordInTitle

To match parts of the URL, you can use the inurl: operator:

how to learn PHP inurl:tutorial

The allintitle: operator searches all the given keywords in the title. Similarly also the allinurl: works for all keywords in the URL.

If you do not know a fitting word, you can use wildcard searching using an asterisk character * for similar phrases.

"How to learn *"

Get data from a specific website or top level domain

If you want to have the result from a special website, use the site: operator:

learn PHP

Like with keywords, you can exclude a certain website too:

learn PHP

This works for TLD’s (Top Level Domains) too. Notice the .edu below is a TLD:

Learn PHP


When a website is not reachable due to server-downtime or a maintenance, sometimes you can use a Cached option by clicking on the downward arrow next to the link. Google will show you a last cached version of that link if available.

Google Cached

Get the definition of a word

Sometimes you might encounter a word you do not know or you don’t understand what it means exactly. Don’t worry, Google has a feature for that too. Simply use define, meaning, synonym or definition keywords like this:

define robot
robot definition
robot meaning
robot synonym

Search for two things at the same time

Like in programming with using IF statements looking for some value or another, we can use OR in a Google query to get all results that include at least one of the keywords:

keyword1 OR keyword2

Similarly the AND returns results that include both keywords:

keyword1 AND keyword2

Looking for specific file types

Sometimes you want to find only specific file types. For example, a PDF document. For that, Google can search certain file type, using the filetype: operator:

keyword filetype:pdf

Get content from a specific time

If you want newly released material (for example, a PHP tutorial for how to make a login rather than a tutorial from years ago), you can select a specific time range by clicking Tools and then the drop-down menu where it says Any time. From there, you can set the time range you want.

Google Time Range

Google can show you who links to your site, which can help with your SEO (even though Google Search Console is recommended for that).

To find similar sites you can use related:

Searching images

To search for similar images go to and enter either image URL or upload an image which you want to search:

Google images search

When you want even more advanced search options, use the Advanced search:

Google advanced search

After selecting Advanced search option, you’ll see the form:

Google advanced search