3 Advanced Google Search Features for Webmasters
APRIL 11, 2017
When it comes to technology, digital marketing in 2017 is lightyears ahead of traditional marketing. Google, Facebook, and other Silicon Valley companies have gathered so much data about consumers that—if you have access to the right tools—you can easily promote colour books to new parents, market flagship smartphones to high-flying executives, or find clients interested in your services right from your couch.
A lot of these powerful marketing tools require you to subscribe to a plan, but others are completely free. Google Search is one of the most powerful free research tools available to webmasters. Well utilized, it can provide content ideas, help you in keyword research, and tell you how your competitors are performing.
Take me to the Nth Link
Let’s start with a challenge we all can relate to: How to see beyond the hype?
The large platforms—Twitter, Facebook, Google, and others—are geared towards providing you the latest, the most shared content for each of your search queries which comes handy if that’s what you are looking for.
However, if you want to discover sites that just don't make it to the top of the search engine results for whatever reason and access that wealth of untapped information, develop a habit to append Google search URL with &start=NUMBER, where NUMBER is the top ranking websites you want to remove from search results. You can enter any integer between 0 and 999 and it will work.
Million Short is a nice alternative if you want to remove more than 1000 top links. Its interface is easier, too, and you don’t feel like coding.
Show Me x Results on a Page
This feature is related to &start=NUMBER and can be used with it. We are all aware that you can tell Google to display more than 10 results on a page. Set your preferences and voila! All your future search queries will display the results you want to see.
So far, so good.
But what if you want to see, let’s say, 50 results for one keyword and 70 for another. Changing Preferences is really a cumbersome way to go about it. A convenient method is to append &num=NUMBER to the search URL. The NUMBER can be between 0 and 100. For instance, &num=25 will return the top 25 results for a search query.
When used with &search=NUMBER, &num=NUMBER can be really powerful. The above image shows you the links ranking between 51 and 55 for the search query “life on Mars.”
Limit Results from a Country
Google’s Advanced Search allows you to limit your results to websites hosted in a specific country. The trouble is the ease of use, or its lack thereof.
Every time you want to limit your search to a country, you will have to access Advanced Search and select the country from a dropdown. It’s OK if you need country-specific result once or twice in a day. But if you are a webmaster, your frequency will be much higher.
A faster alternative will be to append &cr=countryUK or &cr=countryUS. These tags will limit your results to the UK or the US. Tags are available for most countries.
I Search From provides a more powerful and user friendly tool for country-specific search. You can even choose your device and city. An excellent way to see how your website is performing locally.
Google Search is a powerful tool that can make a lot of everyday SEO tasks easier. Don’t discount it. In upcoming posts, we will reveal more powerful features of Google.