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ABC’s of SEO: Q is for Queries

Filing CabinetsSearch is great because of its simplicity. You can find just about anything you can think of online, as long as you can articulate the thought with a keyboard. The problem is the abundance of information available. You need to narrow your search, refine it, and this is where additional search queries can come in really handy. Google can do a lot more than simply return search results based on keywords; it can also convert currency, do maths equations, find related information and find relevant information from a specific source. It can identify certain URLs and domains, and even help you to understand the size of a website.

The site: command will return results from a particular domain. This is useful if you want to search a site that does not offer a search functionality. The link: command will return links to a particular URL. While the backlink results will not be nearly as comprehensive as other backlink tools, it can give you a good general idea of a backlink profile. Putting search terms “in quotes” will mean the search engine will treat it as one search term, and discount search results which do not include it in full. You can exclude keywords from a search by using the –minus symbol. Using these commands and symbols is a great way of tailoring your searches and finding what you are looking for.

When it comes to blogs, there are some even more advanced search queries which can be used. Inpostauthor: will help you find blog posts by a particular author, while inblogtitle: and inpostitle: will return blogs and blog post titles which contain the relevant keywords. Allintitle: allinurl: and allintext: will return results which contain each entered keyword in the page title, URL or body copy, while allinanchor: and inanchor: will return results which have text links which contain the keywords.

These queries are useful for finding out where competitors are getting their links from, but how can they be used to influence SEO strategies and tactics? Queries like allinurl:category/guest can help to identify relevant blogs which accept guest posts. This is a great way of doing efficient work; finding the blogs which accept guest posts before wasting time with a blogger outreach request.

Using these search queries can really help you do SEO, whether it’s reviewing competitor backlinks or finding new link-building opportunities.

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