You probably use Google every day to find things—news, technical support, events, tips, research documents, and more. What would happen if you were to master Google’s powerful search refinement operators and lesser-known features? Over a year’s time you could save days scouring over irrelevant results. Or if results are more important than time, then perhaps the allure of finding well-hidden market research and competitive intelligence on the Web through cleverly-designed queries is more enticing. In either case, this book will show you how to find what you need quickly and accurately.

With over a trillion URLs in its index, Google is a treasure trove of information. Yet finding just the right document out of this massive pool of URLs—the one that answers your question—can be difficult without using Google’s search-refinement operators. Operators are explained in detail in this book, starting with Chapter 1.

Advanced search operators are covered in Chapter 2. This gives you a proper introduction to filetype:, intitle:, inurl: site:, and daterange:. In Chapter 3, you’ll learn to put your new search refinement tools into practice with a real-world example. You’ll also learn about various features in Google’s graphical interface, such as Search Within Results, Similar Pages, SafeSearch filtering, spelling corrections, “I’m Feeling Lucky,” and the Advanced Search page.

Chapter 4 covers Google’s many other search properties, including iGoogle, Google Reader, Google News, Google Maps, Google Product Search, Google Groups, and Google Images, as well as some useful third-party sites powered by Google.

In Chapter 5, some Google gurus explain a few theoretical advanced search workflows that you may find helpful when developing your search strategies.

Chapter 6 moves beyond end-user search, and explains the tools, operators, and tips that are particularly useful to search engine optimization (SEO) professionals in their quest for higher Google rankings for their Web sites.

Conventions Used in This Book

The following typographical conventions are used in this book:


Indicates new terms, URLs, email addresses, filenames, and file extensions.

Constant width

Used for program listings, as well as within paragraphs to refer to program elements such as variable or function names, databases, data types, environment variables, statements, and keywords.

Constant width bold

Shows commands or other text that should be typed literally by the user.

Constant width italic

Shows text that should be replaced with user-supplied values or by values determined by context.


This icon signifies a tip, suggestion, or general note.


This icon indicates a warning or caution.

Using Code Examples

This book is here to help you get your job done. In general, you may use the code in this book in your programs and documentation. You do not need to contact us for permission unless you’re reproducing a significant portion of the code. For example, writing a program that uses several chunks of code from this book does not require permission. Selling or distributing a CD-ROM of examples from O’Reilly books does require permission. Answering a question by citing this book and quoting example code does not require permission. Incorporating a significant amount of example code from this book into your product’s documentation does require permission.

We appreciate, but do not require, attribution. An attribution usually includes the title, author, publisher, and ISBN. For example: “Google Power Search by Stephan Spencer. Copyright 2011 Stephan Spencer, 978-1-449-31156-8.”

If you feel your use of code examples falls outside fair use or the permission given above, feel free to contact us at .

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Hamlet Batista and Jem Matzan both provided guidance during the creation of this ebook.

Hamlet is Altruik’s Chief Search Strategist. He is also a respected commentator on search trends and has written extensively at As an inventor, he was granted US Patent #7805428 for an SEO automation product.

Jem is a professional writer and editor in Orlando, Florida. You can reach him at .

Content Updates

November 18, 2011

  • Added Google+ Realtime Search feature to Chapter 4.

  • Added Google Image Search upload feature.

  • Removed the + operator from Chapters 1 and 5.

  • Removed colloquialisms and other familiar speech from the narrative in the Preface and Chapters 1 and 2. More narrative edits will follow in subsequent book updates.

  • Added additional interview material from a Google Search Education Fellow, Tasha Bergson-Michelson.

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