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google syntax

felix schaudt [PersonRank 1]

Wednesday, September 20, 2006
11 years ago2,109 views

does anybody know whether there's a site that covers the syntax of google's search operators in a sort of reference book manner i.e. what kind of operators can be combined etc.

for example:
if you want to do a site-search for more than one domain the following query will work:
site:blog.outer-court.com OR site:searchenginewatch.com

but not if you use the pipe character instead of "OR" without a space before and after it:
site:blog.outer-court.com(pipe character not supported in this forum) site:searchenginewatch.com

whereas you don't need the space for normal search terms. Which is why I always thought that you can't search more than one site.

I hope you get the idea
thanks

Milly [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Here's a site which aims to do what you ask for, though it (like Google's own docs) overlooks multiple site searches (and therefore your unspaced pipe quirk). I'll link to some relevant parts, but there are others there too : googleguide.com/crafting_queri ... googleguide.com/advanced_opera ... googleguide.com/advanced_opera ...

Maybe others here know of better sites?

Why don't Google do it properly? Their Help pages, e.g. google.com/help/refinesearch.h ... google.com/help/cheatsheet.htm ... google.com/help/operators.html are always incomplete, and often outdated.

Why must we users be left to trial and error, and occasional tidbits from helpful Googlers in unofficial blogs (e.g. mattcutts.com/blog/changes-in- ...) and forums? Is keeping the docs in sync with the actuality, for something as basic and core as user query input, really too hard (or too unimportant) a problem for Google to solve?

felix schaudt [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

I already knew about googleguide but thanks nevertheless. There are a lot of similar sites that cover the basics very well, but offer no really comprehensive easily accessible information.
e.g.

- as far as I can see googleguide doesn't mention that the site-operator can also be used with path information like :

site:blog.outer-court.com/forum/
(if it does you'd still have to sift through a lot of text that doesn't really interest you)

-same for using OR or Numrange inside a phrase search

doesn't mention that you can do something like a proximity search by using several wildcards with dashes in between them.
eg "a-*-* face" or "a-*-*-* face"
(I got this from www.searchlores.org but the site is rather difficult to navigate and has way too much rambling text)

Milly [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Felix, you've spotted a gap in the market: it sounds like *you* should create such a site! ;)

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