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As mentioned in What Does a Google URL mean? Part I, every query we ask Google to run is represented with a URL that points to a results page, these URL’s are not static, but dynamic links which are continually updated and therefore provide real time results. 

 

To fully maximize the use of our Boolean operators and Google queries we must understand the URL Syntax Google uses.  Let’s start with the first part of the URL, the location of Google’s search script:

 

www.google.com/search

 

As you can see if you follow the above link you are taken to a blank Google search page.  This blank Google search page can be likened to a “?” that we use in everyday language; it is from this point we can delve deeper into the World Wide Web.

 

Now we are ready to question or query Google we must provide a set of Parameters which instruct the search script, basically tell it what to do and conduct the search we want.  Parameters are separated by the ampersand (&) and consist of a variable followed by an equal sign (=) which is followed by the value that the variable should be set to:

 

e.g. www.google.com/search?variable1=a&variable2=b

 

*where a and b are both values

 

This is the part of the post I have been dreading and where all you techies and geeks will shoot me down!  If you look at the URL of any Google search you have conducted you will probably notice the use of special characters such as the percentage sign (%) and numbers this is hexadecimal you can read more about Hexidecimal, base 16 or Hex at Wikipedia  Lucky enough for us non techies most browsers support a auto correcting feature so we don’t need to worry about all that geeky Hex coding!

 

 

I hope you are still with me on this, the end is insight!  So why is all this relevant?  Generally our base or starting URL will come from a search submitted into the Google Web interface using our Boolean operators such as AND, NOT & OR and commands such as site: and link:  by looking at the Google URL we are then able to add parameters, change values of parameters, modify and delete parameters and resubmit the search by pressing enter.  Parameters can be added to the base URL in any order.

 

Here is a list of some of Google’s search parameters I find useful:

 

q or as_q                      A search query

 

as_eq                           A search term                          Terms will be excluded from the search

 

start                            0 to max number of hits              Result 0 is 1st result on page 1

 

num maxResults             1 to 100                                   Number results per page max 100

 

filter                            0 to 1                                      Filter set to 0, show potential duplicate

                                                                                results

 

restrict                         restrict code                            Restrict results to a specific country

 

as_epq                         a search phrase                        Value is submitted as exact phrase, no

                                                                                need for phrase with quotes e.g.

                                                                                “software engineer”

 

as_ft                            i = include file type                    include or exclude the file type

                                   e= exclude file type                   as by indicated as_filetype

 

as_filetype                   a file extension                        use above

 

as_qdr                         all – all results                         locate pages within a specified time

                                  m3 = 3 months                         frame

                                  m6 = 6 months

                                  y = past year

 

as_nlo                          low number                             find numbers between as_nlo and as_nhi

 

as_nhi                          high number                            find numbers between as_nlo and as_nhi

 

as_oq                           a list of words                         find at least one of these words

 

as_occt                        any = anywhere                       find a search term in a specific location

                                   title = tile of page                                               

                                   body = text of page

                                    url = in URL of page

                                    links = in links to the page

 

as_dt                           i = only include site/domain    include or exclude searches from

e = exclude site/domain          domain specified by as_sitesearch

 

as_sitesearch               domain or site                         include or exclude this domain or

site as specified by as_dt

 

as_rq                            URL                                        locate pages similar to this URL

 

as_lq                            URL                                        locate pages that link to this URL

 

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Comment by Irina Shamaeva on March 26, 2011 at 8:37am

Great post! Using

&filter=0

at the end of you string is a very good habit and saves a few clicks.

 

I'd like to add a few notes.

Google is now able to search within any ranges of dates, so you can go beyond as_qdr. The URL parameters are cdr ("custom data range"), cd_min, and cd_max. If you search within a date range, you can also sort by date, not by relevance. The URL will look something like

 

...tbs=cdr:1,cd_min:3/1/2011,sbd:1...

 

The rest of the left-hand options that first appeared at the end of 09, such as social, nearby, etc.  can also be expressed as URL pieces.

If you want to share your string with someone, or save it, it could be very useful to save the URL, not the string itself - this way you would save all of the parameters of your search along with your string.

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