Google advance search operators are useful search queries that can help you determine your competitive environment and assess the level and degree of work that an SEO campaign requires. Here are the Google search operators most commonly used by SEOs:
Site:www.website.com will show you the number of pages in your website that are indexed by Google.
If you find a large discrepancy (> 20%) between the number of web pages indexed and the number of pages you have published, you will need to identify and resolve the technical issues that may be blocking web crawlers.
For a quick way to see if a specific page is indexed, you can use the allinurl:www.webpage.com query. Google will return the page in its results page if it is indexed or show no results if it isn’t.
Link:www.webpage.com will display all sites linking to this particular webpage. Since link popularity is an important search engine ranking factor, it’s important to determine how many links you have, and how many you need. You should definitely use this search query on your competitors.
Allinanchor:keyword returns all the pages/sites that have links from other pages that contain those specific keywords in link anchor text.
Allintitle:keyword returns a list of websites that contain the keyword in its title tag.
Allintext:keyword tells Google to display webpages that contain that particular keyword in the body of the page.
It tends to give prominence to documents that contain the keyword at the beginning of the body text.
Cache:www.webpage.com will show you the last time the Google crawled your web page and what version of the page it has in its cache.
Cache:www.webpage.com keyword will show you the keyword or key phrases highlighted within the cached content.
Info:www.webpage.com shows a variety of data about that web page, such as the latest cache date, other similar web pages, web pages that link to your site, web pages within your site and web pages containing the your domain name.
You can use Google advanced search operators them to keep track of your SEO efforts and keep an eye on your competition. However, understand that the data these operators really just provide a ball-park estimation.
According to Michael Martinez, using Google’s advanced search query operators has its pros and cons:
Search engine results analysis has to focus on the most important factors for optimization. You need to know:
1. Which pages in your site are indexed
2. How often your page data is recached
3. How many of your pages pass value through their links
4. How many of your pages are receiving value from other pages
In some cases you can (and should) combine query operators to refine your analysis. If rank-checks and backlink profiles are all youâ€™re doing, youâ€™re running slower than the leaders in the field and they are way out ahead of you. You canâ€™t understand a Web siteâ€™s performance simply by looking at a handful of targeted queries and running backlink reports on Yahoo!
The search engines look at hundreds of signals to determine how to crawl, index, and rank sites. You should be looking at hundreds of signals, too.