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Search Engine Yahoo

How to search for part of a URL

Search Engine Yahoo

How to search for part of a URL

Most of us only use search engines like Google in “vanilla” ways, typing in words or phrases we’re looking for and looking though what comes up. However, according to search engine optimisation resource site Ahrefs, there are 42 so-called Google Search Operators that can help you refine your search.

For example, have you ever wanted to search for websites that contain a particular page? One operator that can help you do this is “inURL”, which finds pages with your search term in their URL.

A basic example of how to use this function is to search for inURL:blog in Google. This will return results that contain “blog” in the URL, and are therefore likely to have a blog page, although the website Blogger.com also shows up. Some irrelevant results that happen to contain “blog” might appear as well, such as anything containing the name “Joe Bloggs”, so you can limit these by putting a slash (/) after the word “blog”.

What use is this?

The above example could prove useful if you’re looking to find sites that have a blog page. Realistically though, you’re unlikely to want to see every website with a blog, so you could prune your results by adding a subject after it. A search for inURL:blog/ wildlife will return wildlife-related websites with “blog” in their URL, and therefore probably a blog page on their site.

Anyone wanting to view or analyse immersive short-form content could search for inURL:web-stories/ to find websites that use Google Web Stories. Again, following it with a topic will help narrow the results down.

The function can be utilised for SEO research as well. When combined with a site search, it can be used to quickly check if a particular keyword is being used in the URL structure of a competitor’s website.

Like most search functions, it can also be used for general larking around. A video from YouTuber Vsauce explains how all YouTube videos have a random string of letters after them, and inURL searches can find ones that happen to include a word. This is pointless but entertaining, and of course the natural progression of this is to look for videos with rude words in the URL.

Functions like this show that there are various ways SEO experts can go about their research, and also that there are all kinds of ways your site can be found. For help making it more visible and using it to bring in more business, speak to us at Engage Web.

John Murray

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