Coding Horror

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Assalama Alaikum!

Did you ever get the feeling that the browser address bar is the new command line? I keep forgetting how much functionality Google provides in their search text box; I was reminded when Damien Katz posted a link to a nice little Google search cheat sheet. Google also automatically recognizes certain strings, such as UPS tracking numbers, UPC codes, math calculations, etcetera. Here's a list of those shortcuts, with helpful examples. There's also a more comprehensive list of supposedly undocumented (at least on Google's web site) search operators. Interestingly, I found another list with at least one operator I've been looking for-- date range-- which doesn't appear at all on the other list:

  1. link:url Shows other pages with links to that url.
  2. related:url same as "what's related" on serps.
  3. site:domain restricts search results to the given domain.
  4. define:word provides a definition of the word.
  5. allinurl: shows only pages with all terms in the url.
  6. inurl: like allinurl, but only for the next query word.
  7. allintitle: shows only results with terms in title.
  8. intitle: similar to allintitle, but only for the next word. "intitle:webmasterworld google" finds only pages with webmasterworld in the title, and google anywhere on the page.
  9. cache:url will show the Google version of the passed url.
  10. info:url will show a page containing links to related searches, backlinks, and pages containing the url. This is the same as typing the url into the search box.
  11. spell: will spell check your query and search for it.
  12. stocks: will lookup the search query in a stock index.
  13. filetype: will restrict searches to that filetype. "-filetype:doc" to remove Microsoft word files.
  14. daterange: is supported in Julian date format only. 2452384 is an example of a Julian date.
  15. maps: If you enter a street address, a link to Yahoo Maps and to MapBlast will be presented.
  16. phone: enter anything that looks like a phone number to have a name and address displayed. Same is true for something that looks like an address (include a name and zip code)
  17. "+www.somesite.+net"
    (tells you how many pages of your site are indexed by google)
  18. allintext: searches only within text of pages, but not in the links or page title
  19. allinlinks: searches only within links, not text or title

I've always wanted to query Google for web pages created or modified earlier than a certain date, but Julian dates? Ugh! Well, at least someone already built a special Google search page to get around this limitation.

Written by Jeff Atwood

Indoor enthusiast. Co-founder of Stack Overflow and Discourse. Disclaimer: I have no idea what I'm talking about. Find me here: