Making Google Work For You


Flickr Credit: SunnyMarry

Google is a very powerful search engine, however many of us only perform very basic searches. In the post, I discuss my favourite advanced searches that can be performed. This list was compiled from various sources on the web including various Google ‘cheat sheets’.

The Cache Command


Google takes a snapshot of each page it searches and caches (stores) that page as a back up. The cached version is what Google uses to judge if a web page is a good match for your search query.The cache command shows the cached snapshot of any page on the web. For example: Cache of Google typically caches the first 101K of a page and not the images. Its a great way to discover how a web page looked before it was updated.

The Filetype Command


Google indexes more than just web pages, the filetype command is a great one to use if you need to identify a particular file type as part of your search. For example, here’s a search for PDFs that contain the word iPad.  The command works equally well for PPTX, DOCX etc.

The Site Command


The site command restricts a Google key word search to a single site. For example, if I wanted to see all references to ‘Microsoft’ in my blog, I would type: Microsoft

This is a very handy command, especially if you looking for certain keyword on a web site that has no search capability. The site command can either include or remove the ‘www’ in a web domain, removing the www will show all the sub domains from the domain which Google has found.

The Link Command


Google’s link command lists pages which “link back” to the specified website. These links are also known as "inbound Links" or "IBLs". For example, here’s a link search for

In general terms, a site with more link backs is more of an authority than a site with fewer link backs. However, not all link backs are of equal ranking!

The Related Command


The related command allows you to find pages which discuss a similar topic to a website that you have already found. For example, here’s a search.

The Info Command


This command shows some  limited information about a particular page that Google has in its index. Typically, the command shows the page snippet and title as well as links to the cache or related pages. For example, here’s an info search for

The Define Command

The define  command displays Google’s glossary of definitions for a particular searched term, for example: define: Semantic Web results in definitions for ‘semantic web’ in a bullet point format with a link to the authoritative URL.

The Allintitle Command

This command restricts a Google search so that all the listed keywords must appear in a page’s title tag. For example: allintitle: apple iPad shows a good example of this. 

The NCR Command

This command is particularly useful if you are abroad, and Google redirects your search page to the local country you are in. If you type /ncr after google address, no redirection is made.  For example: = =

This should equally work for other countries.

Other useful search commands include:
The Allinurl Command
Restrict a search so that all of the keywords must appear in the page results. For example, here is a simple search for pages with 720p and video in their URLs.

The Allintext Command
Restrict a search so that all of the keywords must appear in the body text  For example here is a simple search for pages with 720p and video in their body text.

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Author: Jas Dhaliwal

Jas Dhaliwal is a highly experienced International Social Media Strategist. He specializes in building and engaging with social communities across the web. Born and bred in London, he is passionate about technology and social anthropology. You can follow @Jas on Twitter