How do search engine optimizers obtain information about a website’s details for the purposes of research and marketing? How does Google identify statistics, such as:

  • how many other sites link to one website
  • how many pages a website has indexed
  • when search engines have visited a certain website

These operators are some of the current tools Google uses to identify the degree of work in an SEO operation.

The following advanced search operators influence search results, or even delegate Google to do a different kind of search on a website. Other large search engines (like MSN and Yahoo!) also employ some of these operators.

site:

In the search box, [site:www.yourwebsiteaddress.com] identifies the number of pages currently recognized by Google throughout the entire website. This feature’s results point to a specific domain. This tells SEO specialists which pages are already displayed, so those pages will be the first ones optimized.

cache:

[cache:www.yourwebsiteaddress.com] presents the most recent instance the search engine happened upon a certain webpage. Enter the homepage URL or that of any internal page to see the last page version ‘crawled’ inside the cache of a search engine.

The cache: query can greatly aid in analyzing a website’s optimization, and the optimization of its competition. Webmasters can also employ this search operator to recover web pages that have been lost, even pages without backups that were lost through system crashes. To a lesser degree, the cache: query saves any data on your website, which remains viewable for a period of time.

Note: At any given time, a website is in ‘everflux,’ which means that the ranking of any site fluctuates. This occurs because Google processes two kinds of ‘crawls,’ a daily ‘fresh crawl’ and a monthly ‘deep crawl.’ Near each month’s end, rankings fluctuate depending on which data center the site’s search results contact and the information cached.

info:

The info: query displays the data a search engine has collected about a webpage:
·similar web pages in other sites
·pages that link to a certain website
·the newest cache date
·web pages within a particular site
·web pages that contain a specific domain name

link:

The link: query identifies all websites linked to one particular site at present (also called ‘backlinks’). This determines the degree of link building an SEO platform needs for a client’s campaign. A factor such as link popularity helps reach upwards keyword rankings in search engines.