(PC)(WEB) Google operators




Last updated: 10 March 2019


As you may know, searching stuff on the web is an art, a fine one
ideed. Due to the enormity of the big sea of the web, learning how to
make quick, clean and aimed researches is a must, in order to get the
best and cleanest results possible.

To do so, it’s essential to learn how to master the use of the Google
operators. They are written in the search string along with the
searched terms and a lot of them are NOT available under the “advanced
search” graphical interface.

So, let’s examine these operators, along with some examples.


filetype : this operator conducts a search only for and in the files that bears the desired file extension. Example: “oscar wilde” filetype:txt

inurl : this operator searchs only in the page that contained the indicated url (partial or total).  Example: inurl:en.wikipedia Greece

allinurl  : search in url ONLY all the terms written in the string. Example: allinurl:wikipedia France

intitle : It searchs the desired terms in the page’s title. Example: intitle:test

allintitle : This operator searchs for ALL the words in the string in the page’s title. Example: allintitle: ubuntu test

cache : It searchs the desired URL (total or
partial) among the Google’s cache. You can search for a whole site or a
single page.Example: cache:illusioncity.net

site : It makes Google search only in the chosen webiste. Example:  floppy site:slashdot.org

link : This operator searchs for the sites that link the desired url.  Example: link:en.wikipedia

info : It shows the informations that Google has on the indicated site. Example: info:wikipedia.com

word1 * word2 : it finds all the result that contain exactly ONE word amond word1 and word2. Example: apple * pear

word1 AROUND(n) word2: it search for phrases containing word1 and word2 separated by at maximum by n words. Example apple AROUND(3) pear will match all of these apple pear, apple box pear, apple box house pear, apple box house fruit pear NEW


: It excludes from the search’s results all the pages that contain a desired word or parameter. Example apple -pear

| (among brackets) : It works as an OR logical operator. Example inurl:(php|html|htm)

+ : It searchs for the EXACT word. Example: +wikipedias

(at the beginning and at the end of the desired term or phrase): It searchs for the EXACT term or phrase. Example “Illusion City”

You can combine all of these operators to get very specific searches. For example:

-inurl(php|htm|html) intitle:”index of” +size +”last modified” +(iso|bin) “ubuntu”

It searchs for a list of FTP servers from which you can download Ubuntu’s distros.



These operators can’t be typed in the Google’s search string, they must be appended in the URL bar (read the examples following each parameter to understand how). They are divided in two main categories: TBS and TBM. I will examine the most interesting features of both. Please note that this isn’t a finding on mine, but a result of a research on works made by different people, most notably Theodor Stevenang Klemming ( http://stenevang.wordpress.com ).

Let’s start with TBS. First of all, you can define the time frame of the results of your search.

Any time: tbs=qdr:a
Last hour: tbs=qdr:h
Last day: tbs=qdr:d
Last week: tbs=qdr:w
Last month: tbs=qdr:m
Last year: tbs=qdr:y
Specific time range: tbs=cdr:1,cd_min:mm/dd/yyyy,cd_max:mm/dd/yyyy . For example from April 20 1994 to January 14 2001: tbs=cdr:1,cd_min:4/20/1994,cd_max:1/14/2001
Sort by date: tbs=sbd:1
Sort by relevance: tbs=sbd:0

An example. Let’s search the results for the last month regarding “illusion city”. The URL you should have is: http://www.google.com/search?q=”illusion+city”&tbs=qdr:m
The additional TBS parameter is bolded in italics.

Also, you can ask with TBS other type of sorting. Note that all the parameters below can’t be combined, so you can only search for sites with images OR dictionary search OR do a verbatim search etc.

Sites with images: tbs=img:1
Dictionary search: tbs=dfn:1 (with different results than define)
Do a verbatim search (Google won’t guess different spellings from the one you’ve written): tbs=li:1

You can also sort the results by the reading level of the language in which the page is in:

Basic level: tbs=rl:1,rls:0
Intermediate level: tbs=rl:1,rls:1
Advanced level: tbs=rl:1,rls:2

For example, to search for pages with the term “illusion city” with images: http://www.google.com/search?q=”illusion+city”&tbs=img:1
To search pages with the term “illusion city” with images and sorted by date: http://www.google.com/search?q=”illusion+city”&tbs=sbd:1,img:1

To mix tbs values together, separate them with a comma.

Now let’s take a look to TBM values. They work in the same way of TBS values, so you have to append them to the search’s url.

Applications: tbm=app
Blogs: tbm=blg
Books: tbm=bks
Discussions: tbm=dsc
Images: tbm=isch
News: tbm=nws
Patents: tbm=pts
Places: tbm=plcs
Recipes: tbm=rcp
Shopping: tbm=shop
Video: tbm=vid

All of these values, have some special TBS values that can be used with them to refine the search. Let’s see some of the most important of them:

For blogs:

Blog homepages: tbs=blgt:b
Blog posts: tbs=blgt:a (or leave it blank)

Example: “illusion city” in blog homepages: http://www.google.com/search?q=”illusion+city”&tbm=blg&tbs=blgt:b

For books:

All books: tbs=bkv:a
Preview and full view books: tbs=bkv:p
Full view books: tbs=bkv:f
Books: tbs=bkt:b
Magazines: tbs=bkt:m
Books from the 19th century: tbs= cdr:1,cd_min:1800,cd_max:1899
Books from the 20th century: tbs= cdr:1,cd_min:1900,cd_max:1999
Books from the 21th century: tbs= cdr:1,cd_min:2000,cd_max:2099
Books from a custom time range, it works in the same way that the main TBS time range parameter: tbs=cdr:1,cd_min:mm/dd/yyyy,cd_max:mm/dd/yyyy

You can combine these parameters together. For example, to search the phrase “windows 95” in books and magazine available in full view, from 1995 to 2001: http://www.google.com/search?q=”windows+95″&tbm=bks&tbs=bkv:f,cdr:1,cd_min:1995,cd_max:2001

For discussions:

Forums discussions: tbs=dtf:f
Q&A discussions: tbs=dtf:q

Example: “illusion city” in Q&A discussions: http://www.google.com/search?q=”illusion+city”&tbm=dsc&tbs=dtf:q

You can also combine them with other TBS. For example, the same search as above sorted by date: http://www.google.com/search?q=%22illusion+city%22&tbm=dsc&tbs=dtf:q,sbd:1

For images:

Large images: tbs=isz:l
Medium images: tbs=isz:m
Icon sized images: tba=isz:i
Image size larger than 400×300: tbs=isz:lt,islt:qsvga
Image size larger than 640×480: tbs=isz:lt,islt:vga
Image size larger than 800×600: tbs=isz:lt,islt:svga
Image size larger than 1024×768: tbs=isz:lt,islt:xga
Image size larger than 1600×1200: tbs=isz:lt,islt:2mp
Image size larger than 2272×1704: tbs=isz:lt,islt:4mp
Image sized exactly 1000×1000: tbs=isz:ex,iszw:1000,iszh:1000
Images in full color: tbs=ic:color
Images in black and white: tbs=ic:gray
Images that are red: tbs=ic:specific,isc:red [orange, yellow, green, teal, blue, purple, pink, white, gray, black, brown]
Image type Face: tbs=itp:face
Image type Photo: tbs=itp:photo
Image type Clipart: tbs=itp:clipart
Image type Line drawing: tbs=itp:lineart
Group images by subject: tbs=isg:to
Show image sizes in search results: tbs=imgo:1

Example: “illusion city” images in black and white: http://google.com/search?q=”illusion+city”&tbm=isch&tbs=ic:gray

For news:

News from blogs: tbs=nrt:b
News from all sources: tbs=nrt:a (or don’t write anything)

These works only for searches made by the main google page (google.com). If you want to do a search on google.com/news you have different parameters:

Search for news on one of the topics defined by Google, for example Technology: topic=tc [w, n, b, e, s, snc, m, h]
Search for news relevant to a national context (news edition): ned=xx where xx is the code of the country you’re looking for.

For example, to see the French news: http://news.google.com/?edchanged=0&ned=fr

For videos:

Short duration: tbs=dur:s
Medium duration: tbs=dur:m
Long duration: tbs=dur:l
High Quality: tbs=hq:h
Closed captioned (subtitled): tbs=cc:1
Videos from a specific source URL: tbs=srcf:<a specific string_of_98 characters> (Note: you must know the specific string of the site, but you can replace this with the inurl parameter of a regular search)

Example: Videos about “David Bowie” that are of medium duration and high quality, dated between January 4 2007 and March 20 2009:




If you want Google to don’t filter the search results (thus showing all the probable dupes and other stuff), just add &filter=0 to the url of the search.
For example, search for “illusion city” without filters: http://www.google.com/search?q=”illusion+city”&filter=0



Do you want to perform a search on the Google search engine of a
country different from your own? Doing so is very simple, you can simply
add the /ncr after the google web adress and there you go! For example www.google.com/ncr can conduct research on google US, www.google.es/ncr on the Spanish one, and such. Enjoy! :)

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