For regular users, Google is the best place on the internet to find the answer to any question. But for a blogger, Google is the main channel where you can get organic traffic from. It takes SEO endeavor to have your blog posts in the front page of Google search results page. In doing SEO for your blog, you can use some advanced search operators that Google provides, which we will cover shortly below.
Advanced search operators themselves are special commands and characters provided by Google aimed at filtering the search results. You can use them to instruct Google to display more precise results on the results page.
For instance, if you are looking blogs that accept guest post, you can use the
intitle: operator to filter the results page to display blogs that have a “write for us” page (will be further covered shortly). Or, if you want to check a certain blog post is indexed by Google or not, there is a
site: operator that you can use.
Google Search Operators for Bloggers
There are over 40 advanced search operators that Google provides for more focused results. But, not all of them are necessary for bloggers to do SEO. Instead, you are likely to be needing the following operators only.
|Search Operator||What It Does||Syntax|
|Display search results from a particular website only.|
|Search for pages in which the title tag contains a particular word.|
|Search for pages in which the title tag contains multiple words.|
|Search for pages in which the URL contains a particular word.|
|Search for pages in which the URL contains multiple words.|
|Search for pages in which the content contains a particular word.|
|Search for pages in which the content contains multiple words word.|
|Search for pages in that mention a word or phrase.|
5 Usage Examples of Google Search Operators for Your SEO Attempts
If you have unlimited marketing budget, using tools like Semrush and Ahrefs can make your SEO attempts much easier. Otherwise, you can make use of the advanced Google search operators mentioned above. You can use them to do such things as finding potential backlinks, checking indexing issues, and so on.
Here 5 examples of how to use the above operators on your SEO attempts.
1. Check the Indexing Issues on Your Blog
The first example of how you can use the search operators on the above table is to check the indexing issues on your blog. For this case, you can use the
Say you have just published a new listicle on your affiliate blog and plan to build off-page links. Before doing so, you need to make sure that the listicle is already indexed by Google. You can simply type
site:your_listicle_URL on Google to find out if it is already indexed. If you find your listicle on the results page, it means it is already indexed.
Need an example?
Try to type
site:https://www.wppagebuilders.com/custom-css-elementor/ on Google and you should see the following results.
If your post is not indexed yet, you can request for indexing via Google Search Console dashboard. Type the post URL to the URL field and hit enter. Next, click the REQUEST INDEXING button.
In addition to checking the indexing status of a particular blog post, you can also use the
site: operator to check the indexing status of the entire website. If you type
site:yoursite.com on Google, this will display all pages and posts on your blog that have been indexed by Google.
2. Find Blogs That Accept Guest Posts
Guest posting remains one of the best methods to build off-page links. One crucial thing to note when you want to pitch for a post contribution on a certain blog is to check its domain rating. You should never submit a guest post on a blog with the domain lower than 40.
One question in regard to guest post is, how to find blogs that accept guest post?
You can use the
intitle: operator combined with the
"" operator to find blogs that accept guest posts. For instance, if you have a blog about Elementor, you can type
elementor intitle:"write for us" on Google. This query will search for blogs about Elementor that have a “write for us” page. Here are the results of the given search query:
Alternatively, you can also use the
inurl: operator. If you type
elementor inurl:write-for-us, it will search for blogs about Elementor that have
write-for-us string on their URL structure.
3. Find Potential Backlinks with a Certain Anchor Text
Anchor text is crucial in off-page link building. It has to be related to the keyword you want to target. For instance, if you want to target the keyword “wp engine alternatives“, the anchor texts you should add your link to should be something like “wp engine alternative“, “alternatives to wp engine“, “wp engine competitor“, and so on.
The question is, how to find blog posts that contain those words?
You can combine the
intext: operator and the
"" operator. If you want to search for blog posts in which the content body contain the words “wp engine alternative“, for instance. You can type
intext:"wp engine alternative". This query will result in the following search results.
If you click one of the posts on the results page above, you should find the words “wp engine alternatives” on the content body.
4. Find Listicles that Don’t Mention a Certain Brand
Say you have joined the affiliate program of Kinsta and already write a very comprehensive review about Kinsta. To promote your review, you plan to find listicles about fast WordPress hosting that don’t mention Kinsta yet. Once you found the listicles, you plan to approach the writers to include Kinsta — with the link pointed to your review post. In such a case, you can type
fast wordpress hosting -"kinsta". Here are the results of this search query:
While this technique is hard to implement as the writers might prefer to link to Kinsta directly instead, there’s no harm in trying it.
5. Find Internal Link Opportunities
Say you have just published a new blog post about newsletter plugin and you want to make it one of the main posts on your blog. To make it more discoverable — and potentially help it to rank higher in organic search, you want to add some internal links to it. The problem is that you already have too many posts and checking every single one of them can take forever. For such a case, you can harness the
site: operator and
"" operator once again.
If you type
site:wppagebuilders.com "newsletter plugin" in Google, you will find all blog posts that have the word “newsletter plugin” on their content body. You can ignore the first item on the results page as it is the post you want to build internal links to.
The Bottom Line
The vast majority of bloggers rely on Google to get organic traffic for their blog. The bad news is that the competition is extremely tight. For small businesses, it’s even harder to compete with big players that have countless resources, budget in particular. When it comes to SEO, big players commonly use paid tools like Semrush and Ahrefs. With these tools, you can easily find potential blogs to get backlinks from, analyze the competition, and so on.
If you have limited budget and can’t afford those tools, you can harness the advanced search operators that Google provides. You can use them to do such things as finding potential blogs for guest post, finding potential anchor texts for link insertion, and so on.