SITE: is the most utilized Google advanced search operator. Its various uses aids in SEO link building and site auditing.
How Can You Use It?
In the realm of website diagnostics, entering [site:nameofwebsite.com] displays the number of URLs Google has indexed and their respective rankings. Although this search operator is valuable in indicating your website’s standing, the command has a few glitches:
- Google only shows the first thousand pages of a domain, thus making it tricky to observe more than a small portion of the search index.
- The [site:nameofwebsite.com] command may be imprecise, in that it displays a lesser number of pages than those stockpiled in its index. This glitch is most apparent with larger sites.
Resolutions to these concerns can be achieved using the following options:
- Look for pages indexed per sub-folder: [site:nameofwebsite.com/folder1] + [site:nameofwebsite.com/folder2] + [site:nameofwebsite.com/folder3], and so forth. This allows for results that are more precise.
- Combine the site: search operator with other operators to obtain results that are more definite. An example would be: [site:nameofwebsite.com inurl:keywordX] + [site:nameofwebsite.com inurl:keywordZ], and so forth (to locate specific subdirectory keywords)
The site: search operator can gauge standard website issues. If your website employs the ‘www’ prefix, entering [site:nameofwebsite.com inurl:www] will display Google’s indexed pages with the destination ‘www.’
This command can also determine a website’s most relevant page. Type in [site:nameofwebsite.com keyword] to locate the pages Google deems most applicable to the term specified.
This search operator works for other services, such as Google Images, Google News, and Google Blog Search. The command indicates your site’s standing in those areas.
The site: command also enables you to locate educational or non-profit websites for a chance to establish good backlinks, Type in [site:TLD] to get results for a top-level domain of your specification.
The [site:yourdomain] entry can limit a search to a specific or top-level domain, as well as omit a particular domain from the search results. This is practical when it comes to reputation management searches if you need to uncover any external mention of your brand or name: [your brand site:nameofwebsite.com]
Incorporating this search operator with the date range advanced search (to determine current mention of your brand name) and SERP tracking implements enables you to trace any reference or citation of your brand or name.
Many websites have limited search capabilities, such as no advanced searches or no search options at all. Some sites allow searches (for multiple forums, for example) if one undergoes registration. Google’s site: query is useful in these cases. Enter site: while using the Google search engine to get fresh and relevant findings.
Great advice, I never knew Google ranked results in order of importance when using the site: command.
Very useful to me for using against my competitors in combination with Aaron Wall's SEO plugin for FF which gives even more stats under each result on Google.