Google Syntax Words
Google also allows keyword searches in specific parts of web pages using special syntax words. Additional commands, called special syntaxes, let Google users search specific parts This comes in handy when you’re dealing with billions of web pages and need every opportunity to narrow your search results. Specifying that your query words must appear only in the title or URL of a returned web page is a great way to have your results get very specific without making your keywords themselves too specific.
intitle: restricts your search to the titles of web pages. The variation, allintitle: finds pages wherein all the words specified make up the title of the web page. It’s probably best to avoid the allintitle: variation, because it doesn’t mix well with some of the other syntaxes.
- intitle:”george bush”
- allintitle:”money supply” economics
inurl: restricts your search to the URLs of web pages. This syntax tends to work well for finding search and help pages, because they tend to be rather regular in composition. An allinurl: variation finds all the words listed in a URL but doesn’t mix well with some other special syntaxes.
- allinurl:search help
intext: searches only body text (i.e., ignores link text, URLs, and titles). There’s an allintext: variation, but again, this doesn’t play well with others. While its uses are limited, it’s perfect for finding query words that might be too common in URLs or link titles.
inanchor: searches for text in a page’s link anchors. A link anchor is the descriptive text of a link. For example, the link anchor in the HTML code <a href=”http://www.oreilly.com>O’Reilly and Associates</a> is “O’Reilly and Associates.”
- inanchor:”tom peters”
site: allows you to narrow your search by either a site or a top-level domain. AltaVista, for example, has two syntaxes for this function (host: and domain:), but Google has only the one.
link: returns a list of pages linking to the specified URL. Enter link:www.google.com and you’ll be returned a list of pages that link to Google. You can include the http:// bit; you don’t need it, and, indeed, Google appears to ignore it even if you do put it in. link: works just as well with “deep” URLs—http://www.raelity.org/apps/blosxom/ for instance—as with top-level URLs such as raelity.org
cache: finds a copy of the page that Google indexed even if that page is no longer available at its original URL or has since changed its content completely. This is particularly useful for pages that change often. If Google returns a result that appears to have little to do with your query, you’re almost sure to find what you’re looking for in the latest cached version of the page at Google.
daterange: limits your search to a particular date or range of dates that a page was indexed. It’s important to note that the search is not limited to when a page was created, but when it was indexed by Google. So a page created on February 2 and not indexed by Google until April 11 could be found with daterange: search on April 11.
Remember also that Google reindexes pages. Whether the date range changes depends on whether the page content changed. For example, Google indexes a page on June 1. Google reindexes the page on August 13, but the page content hasn’t changed. The date for the purpose of searching with daterange: is still June 1.
Note that daterange: works with Julian, not Gregorian dates (the calendar we use every day.) There are Gregorian/Julian converters online, but if you want to search Google without all that nonsense, use the FaganFinder Google interface (http://www.faganfinder.com/engines/google.shtml), offering daterange: searching via a Gregorian date pull-down menu. Some of the hacks deal with daterange: searching without headaches, so you’ll see this popping up again and again in the book.
- “George Bush” daterange:2452389-2452389
- neurosurgery daterange:2452389-2452389
filetype: searches the suffixes or filename extensions. These are usually, but not necessarily, different file types. I like to make this distinction, because searching for filetype:htm and filetype:html will give you different result counts, even though they’re the same file type. You can even search for different page generators, such as ASP, PHP, CGI, and so forth—presuming the site isn’t hiding them behind redirection and proxying. Google indexes several different Microsoft formats, including: PowerPoint (PPT), Excel (XLS), and Word (DOC).
- homeschooling filetype:pdf
- “leading economic indicators” filetype:ppt
related: as you might expect, finds pages that are related to the specified page. Not all pages are related to other pages. This is a good way to find categories of pages; a search for related:google.com would return a variety of search engines, including HotBot, Yahoo!, and Northern Light.
info: provides a page of links to more information about a specified URL. Information includes a link to the URL’s cache, a list of pages that link to that URL, pages that are related to that URL, and pages that contain that URL. Note that this information is dependent on whether Google has indexed that URL or not. If Google hasn’t indexed that URL, information will obviously be more limited.
phonebook: as you might expect, looks up phone numbers.
- phonebook:John Doe CA
- phonebook:(510) 555-1212
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