Author Archives: Pranay Panday

About Pranay Panday

The author is a comic book and technology enthusiast and a Digital Marketer by profession. An alumni of Birla Institute of Technology, he enjoys explaining concepts using illustrations and drawings, watching cartoons and anime in leisure. He is a master of E-R diagrams, DFDs, UML and Process flow Diagrams.

Optimize Your Search Queries via Search Operators..

Suppose you’re on a lead generation drive, your boss has asked you to find event management firms in the UK, for the upcoming quarter with a specified criteria to shortlist them. In such a case, what would be your approach to go about the same? Google OR Bing, huh! Well it’s your favourite search engine, which naturally would be your first step towards the same. Let’s say you hit your computer’s browser, open google and type a search query, something like “Event Management companies UK”, this is what you get:-

(I will be using Google here for my examples.)

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Your next step would probably be, opening each & every link separately and qualify them as per the specified criteria, to add them to your excel sheet. Things are further simplified, if you’re using an online directory of companies such as Insideview e.g. “Event Management Companies UK Insideview”:-

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However, the problem with this approach is that, as we proceed further in the SERPs (Search engine result pages), the relevancy of the results goes down and we start getting results from other websites, other than InsideView. What if, I want results only from www.InsideView.com’s pages, having the exact terms “Event Management” and “UK”?

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Search Operators

These are basically a set of symbols and words, which allow you a greater control over your search results. Alternatively, you don’t need to mug them up, as they can be easily generated by the “Advanced Search” feature of your search engine. For e.g. the following search query utilises 2 different search operators:-

“Event Management” “UK” Site: InsideView.com

“”

Used to search for an exact word or set of words

Site

Limits the scope of search to the specified website/domain

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As you can clearly see, the application of search operators provides more refined and relevant results, as compared to a simple keyword based search query. Here’s a link to a list of all Google search operators:-

https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/136861?hl=en

https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/2466433

If you prefer using Bing, check out:-

http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-in/bing/ff808421.aspx

http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-in/bing/ff808438.aspx

Let’s try doing a search using Bing’s search operators. Suppose, I want to search presentations related to FDI in retail, in such a case my search query will look like:-

“FDI in Retail” filetype:ppt

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Cons

The availability and diversity of search operators varies from platform to platform for e.g. The search query for above example in Google, might look something like this:-

“FDI in Retail” ppt

(As Google does not support, a ‘filetype’ operator.)

Conclusion

Search operators provide a quick access to the relevant results, which are usually indexed at a lower position in the SERPs, while using a keyword based approach.