Google Vertical Search Operators


If you’re a Google power user like myself, then odds are you know a few of the very handy search operators Google has created to help simplify the process of finding exactly what you’re looking for online.

Every SEO should be aware of and have used each search operator at least once in a real life scenario if they want to properly do their job of optimizing for search. No surprise here, but one thing I wanted to point out is how Google has created a few Vertical Search Operators for non-SEO purposes.

Take a look at GoogleGuide‘s robust list of the current Google search operators and how you can use them to improve the quality of your search results.

define: and movie: are two Google search operators I find practical use with when I want to quickly find a definition for a word or if I want to look up local movie show times.

Example of a ‘define:’ search operator in use:

As you can see the results display right on Google’s SERP – rather than display a list of links that may answer your query. I typed in define:keyword, in hopes to find a definition to the word, keyword.

The results as displayed above for the definition of the word, keyword, are 1) A word or concept of great significance, and 2) A word that acts as the key to a cipher or code. I think 2 fits the most common use of the word for me – only fitting, seeing as how pretty much all of what we do in SEO is to help send the right ‘signals’ to Google about what the focus or ‘topic’ of a Web page is when the Googlebot crawls it.

Because the majority of all searches are either a quest for navigation to a section of a Web site, an answer to a question, or a way to purchase something online, it only makes sense to include a few search operators to help simplify the process for search users.

Example of a ‘movie:’ search operator in use:

And finally, as you can see from the above screenshot, searching for information on local show times for the movie, Prometheus, is pretty quick and easy while using the Google search operator, movie:prometheus.

So get to know Google’s search operators if you haven’t already. They can be a huge time saver.

As always, more to come. Stay tuned.

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