How to search on google wisely using advanced operators(a.k.a dorks)

Google is a wonderful tool which we all use almost daily. But do you know how you can refine your search results to get exactly what you want. My friends often ask me to download a pdf file of the book they need because sometimes they do not able to find the required pdf as they are not that much tech savvy and don’t know how they can get exactly what they want. That’s why in this blog I am going to introduce my readers with a genius trick on how they can search wisely on google. I try to keep things simple as much as possible in this post so that people who are not very much tech savvy can understand easily about what I am trying to say.

First let us understand the anatomy of a google search result.

To make your google search a smart search you need to know what are google dorks. Google dorks are advanced operators which are used to refine search results.

Basic syntax is —
operator:search_term

  1. site

This dork allows you to search something on a specific site. Suppose you want to search a news published by The Times of India. Mostly people will search simple terms like “steve jobs the times of india”. Now let’s see how many result will be pulled using these terms.

Now let’s search using site advanced operator

As you can see yourself the number of results narrowed by a great extent. This is the power of google dorks. All the results will be from your specified site only. But when you search without dorks, the results which are not even on that site will be returned.

2. inurl

First let us understand the structure of a URL.

Now suppose you want know if there is any login form on a website. You can search for keyword “login” inside a URL for a specific website using site dork.

You can see only facebook URLs having word “login” are given as results. That is why people having their own website are advised to hide their admin panels because sometimes attackers search for admin panels for a website and try to attack to gain unauthorized access.

3. intitle

Now suppose you searched about something on google and do not remember the website you visited, but remembered it has some weird word in title of google search result. You can use this dork to search websites having that weird word in title of google search result.

4. intext

Sometimes you want to find a specific word in text or description of the website which is shown just below the title in each search result. For this purpose you can use this dork.

5. filetype

This dork search for a specific file extensions, e.g., PDF, DOCX, TXT, PPT, etc.

You can notice all the results are pdf files. This is the trick which I use to find pdf files.

6. Including/excluding a term from search results

+(plus) and -(minus) signs are used to include or exclude a specific term from your search results.

You can notice in above image all the results with “steve jobs” but excluding term “apple” are returned. Similarly, if you want to include a term you can use +<your_term>

7. Exact match search

Suppose you search for “steve jobs”, google will return results using keywords “steve jobs”, “steve”, “jobs”. But what if you want to search about “steve jobs” only. To eliminate ambiguous results you can use double quotes around your search term.

Notice number of results returned using steve jobs without quotes around it.

Now searching for “steve jobs”

So these were some basic search operators which we can use daily to narrow down number of search results on google. There are more dorks in the list, if you want deep dive and want to learn more about them then google is your friend.

Hope you learned something new from this and now you are able to search things smartly on google. Thanks for reading this post😊😊😊😊

An avid learner in the field of information security. A self learner and a ctf player sometimes.