Category: SEO

How To Get Better Google Search Results – Tips & Examples

Basic and Advanced Operators.

Google-Search-MagnifiedA lot of people would be surprised if they knew how much of a powerful tool Google can be. Stats are showing that the biggest percentage of users, actually don’t know how to perform a well-executed search on Google! Google provides all the neccesary tools in order to help you find almost anything you want in the web. In addition, even people or web developers who own a website could improve their site management or SEO tactics by using those same simple tools, known as operators!

Here is a list, with tips and tricks, to help you improve your search results in Google:

Basic Operators.

Before start using those “tools”, keep in mind, that although Google is not case-sensitive when you are typing in a word or a phrase (color = CoLOR , for example…), it becomes case-sensitive when you use those operators:

1. Double Quotes
Including one or more words into double quotes [ “” ], means that you want your search results to include exactly these words in that specific order. Including only one word can make you avoid synonyms, you didn’t want to appear in your results in the first place.
Example: [ pizza “margherita” ].

2. OR
By using this operator between two words, you actually looking for results that may include either one of those words. Without it, Google would search for results including BOTH words. This is quite useful, especially when you are looking for annual events, stats, etc.
Example: [ Chicago Bulls 2008 OR 2011 ]

3. Minus
Using the minus sign ( – ) immediately before a word, means that pages that contain this word, will be excluded from your results.
Example: [ pizza -margherita].

4. Wildcard
An asterisk [ * ] inside a search query, symbolizes an unknown term that Google will try to replace with the best possible match.
Example: [ pizza with * ].

5. Tilde
This symbol [ ~ ], if placed immediately before a word, can bring results relative to the search term and synonyms.
Example: [ ~football ].

6. Number Range
[ .. ] Shows all results in a specified range of numbers.
Example: [ 1..4 minutes ].

Advanced Operators

7. Definition
Using [ define: ] and a word after it, returns the definition of this specific word.
Example: [ define:web ].

8. File Types
[ filetype: ] Followed by a file type, returns links to relative file formats.
Example: [ nameofbook filetype:pdf ].

9. Site Related
This [ site: ] operator, followed immediately by your domain name, will bring up all your websites pages that have been indexed by Google.
Example: [ ].

10. Backlinks
[ link: ] Followed by your website’s domain name can show you all the backlinks your site is getting. Unfortunately it will only show up links from websites with pagerank 3 and above. Example: [ ].

11. Cached Pages
[ cache: ] Followed by your domain’s name can give you the cached version of your website.
Example: [ ].

12. Relative
[ relative: ] Immediately followed by your website’s domain name, can bring up relative websites (at least this is what Google thinks…).
Example: [ ].

13. Webpage Information
By using [ info: ], followed by your website’s domain, gets you a list with all the above operators, site:, link:, cache:, relative:, and “yourdomain”.
Example: [ ].

14. Specific Locations
You can search into a specific URL, title, text or anchor text for a word, by using [ inurl: ], [ intitle: ], [ intext: ], and [ inanchor: ]. Note that this way you search for only one word (the first of the query). If you want to search an entire phrase you should use [ allinurl: ], [ allintitle: ], [ allintext: ], [ allinanchor: ] with the exception that these last operators cannot be combined with others.
Example: [ intitle:Google ] or [ allintitle:Google new service ].

15. Google Advanced Search
If for whatever reason you cannot remember any of those operators, you can always use Google Advanced Search.


Here are some extra terms you could use in order to find out about the time, the weather, the stockmarket and more.

Google As A Simple Calculator Or A Unit Converter.

Note that by using these symbols you can convert Google into a simple calculator +, –, *, /, %, ^. You can also use sqrt(), sin(), cos(), arctan(), tan(), ln(), log(), !.
Example: [ ((3+2)*4)^2 ].

You can also use Google search in order to convert any unit into another.
Example: [ 5 cm in inches ].

One Last Thing..

Keep in mind that these operators may change at any time.The AND, + operator for example is no longer in use.
You could also visit Google help for more information.

Less Myths – Better Ranking – SEO Principles Round 3

SEONew3And here it is… this is the last “chapter” of SEO principles tutorial and this one is going to be simple, direct and full of truths everybody still ignoring!

In the previous chapters of this tutorial we talked about the importance of the page titles, keywords, links, anchor text, heading and customized content. Here we are going to see more about Page content, Sitemaps, Alt attributes, Site structure, Page Load Times, Duplicate Content, Navigation and last some ugly situations you wouldn’t like to put yourself in…

1. Page Content

Maybe the most important thing of all though, is your page’s content! It is the place where you can use all your important keywords in order to gain the best possible position in the search engines about it (along with the page title as we saw in the first part of this tutorial). Keep in mind that search engines love unique content and hate the copied/duplicate ones.

2. Alt Attributes

The only clue search engines have about images is what you declaring into the alt property. So it is always good to try to describe your image in order to “categorize” them better when they get indexed by search engines

3. Site structure

It is always critical the way you are going to construct your navigational structure of your website. All websites have a “link depth“. The greater the number of clicks a link is from “home”, the greater the difficulty of reaching it & the same thing applies to search engines too! A good practice is to always try to keep your website to a 2 or 3 level depth and also use breadcrumb navigation.

4. Sitemaps

Websites with great link depth always need a sitemap. Sometimes, it is difficult for search engines to find pages hidden deep into your website’s structure (a lot of clicks are required…). So, in order to “help” search engines find them, you could submit a sitemap. This is not something you must do and it is not guaranteed that search engines will find your pages after that either. But you have nothing to lose after all.

5. Small Page Load Time

One of the most important things for your website is your page load time. In other words, the time needed for your website to load in a user’s screen. Always try not to get over the 3 or 4 seconds of loading time, as this could first of all be a problem for users as they must wait a certain amount of time before they take a look at your page. Internet users usually get bored quickly and… this is going to increase your bounce rate. It is also quite unsure if search engines would index a website’s page with an 1 minute page load time…

A lot of things have a role to play in this one and here is how to overcome them:

i) The server’s location
a. Choose a server that is closest to your country (or according to your targeted audience)

ii) Great number of images served and external scripts:

a. Try to decrease the size of images and scripts.
b.  Minify the number of requests your server makes.
c.  Leverage Browser Caching by setting expiry date or a maximum age in the HTTP headers for static resources (files,images,css,scripts)

iii) Page size

a. Minify your CSS or HTML code by deleting unnecessary white space

6. Duplicate content

The first thing you must check when it comes to duplicate content is your non-www and www version of your pages. You must not have these two versions running at the same time because they are going to split up your page rank. Choose one version and 301-redirect the other to it. Also check for other duplicate content inside your site (2 different URLs pointing to the exact same page). Usually Google understands what is happening and chooses one page’s URL over the other as the ‘original’ one but you should really try not to have duplicate content in your website.

7. Myths, Mistakes and cheating…

Always keep in mind:

  1. A high page rank doesn’t always means that you are going to end first in keyword a  search result
  2. Don’t get too excited about Meta Tags. Always try to make a good use of meta-description & never try to stuff more keywords than you can.
  3. Google AdWords and good ranking don’t go together.
  4. Don’t ever try to trick/cheat a search engine. Invisible page keywords can get your website removed from index.
  5. It is always the quality of your content that matter, try to focus more on that!

At Last

This is the end of the SEO Principles tutorial. In these three parts of this tutorial we learned some basic things about search engine optimization and how to get better at it. Of course this was only a first step into SEO practices and there are still a lot of things you must be familiar with before you can master SEO.

Read more about SEO Principles Tutorial here:
1. SEO Principles Round 1,
2. SEO Principles Round 2

Internal & Inbound Links – SEO Principles Round 2

artofdeveloping-SEONew21.Inbound Links – Get as much as you can and then…get more!

One of the most “valuable” things when you are deploying your SEO plan is no other than the links that your page can “gain” and by that I mean, the more sites link to you the better! As I already said in a previous article in this tutorial, if you are not Amazon then you better start gaining some links because the same thing as with titles also applies here: no one is going to learn about you if he cannot find a way to direct him or her to you.

Link-building is an important issue. In fact, the number of the inbound links determines your site’s page-rank . Without having to go deeply into page-ranking algorithms, just remember that the greater the page-rank of the site that links to you is, the better it is for your site. As the page-rank determines your sites “value” and how you are going to appear in the search results, you must always try to get links from other sites.

Another thing that can help you with your link-building especially if you are new to this game is: directories. Submit your website in directories (such as DMOZ) can help people find your site and help you gain some links too.

2.Internal Links

You now know the importance of inbound links but one the other hand, internal links are also important. The way you have constructed your internal links can:

  • Help your site to be crawled and better indexed.
  • Make search engines find all of your site’s pages.
  • Help you build a connection between pages and keywords through anchor text (which is the next thing we are going to discuss).
  • Or even making the page rank of one of your pages better!

At the end, internal links cannot harm you but if they are used right, they can play a significant role to your site’s ranking!

3.Anchor Text

Another thing that is directly related with links is Anchor Text. Anchor text is the clickable text you use for your link and it also plays a great role in the way search engines value a page. If for example a web page has a great number of links with the same or similar anchor texts then the search engines are going to be quite sure that this page is going to be about the keywords used in these anchor texts. Links with anchor text, made by keywords, can help the page’s rank in this particular topic that keywords are representing. Phrases like “click here” aren’t going to help you but something like “learn more about Web Design Principles” will. This is why it is important to use anchor text that is always related to the content you are linking .

So, until now in this tutorial we have examined the importance of links (inbound and internal) and anchor text. In the next article we are going to see the importance of  page content, alt attributesandsite navigation


You can also read previous article about the importance of Titles,Meta Tags & Headings.

Meta Tags & Headings – SEO Principles Round 1

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a term that describes all the technics you can use to make your websites have better search results, without having to pay anything for it. Starting from this article we are going to examine everything we can do to make this possible.


Just to give you an idea, some of the things that can play a significant role or can affect your site’s search results are: Page Titles, Meta Tags, Links (Internal & Inbound), Headings (H1,H2..),  Page Content, Anchor Text, Sitemaps, Breadcrumb Navigation, Alt attributes, URL’s structure, Site’s Structure, Geo-Location, Small Page Load Time – Server Location, changing Domain or changes to Navigation…OK, You get the picture.. So let’s start with a couple of those.

1.Titles and Meta Tags

Titles and all Meta Tags are based in Keyword Research. This means that, based on the subject of your website, you must find high value keywords (ex. A lot of people search by this word or phrase while this word characterizes your site best and if you are lucky it isn’t used by a big number of relevant sites !) .A free tool for find keywords and estimating keyword traffic is Google AdWords.

Titles are also Meta-Information along with meta-description and meta-keywords but it’s the most important of all tags because can actually influence ranking so that’s why I separate them from the group.

  a) Title Tags

How To Use them:

•    Always try to place your Keywords at the Beginning of the Title tag: Also try these to be your most valuable keywords

•    Don’t exceed the number of 65 characters (spaces included) in your title: Because it’s probably going to be given less weight by search engines.

•    Unless you are Amazon, keep your site’s name or brand at the end of the title separated with a divider ( -, :, | ): Dividers aren’t playing any role for SEO but help the readability of your page. All end up at the first rule – Keywords left. If nobody knows you so to type your site’s name, they must find out about you by something you wrote, so emphasize on that.

SEO Title example

b)Meta Description Tags

Meta description tags are used to describe your page’s content. They aren’t playing any significant role for ranking but they can help readers click on your title by offering a good description of your page or site when appearing in search results.

•    Be brief: don’t exceed the number of 160 characters

•    Make your description relevant to the title: Don’t try to describe something different from  what the user will find after clicking your link.

c) Meta Keywords Tags

Here you can ‘highlight’ your most important keywords. Don’t overdo it. Always try to keep keywords between 10-12 words maximum and don’t try to use the same word over 2 or 3 times, search engines aren’t going to like that.


<title> Your Title </title>

<meta content=’Your description’ name=’description’/>

<meta content=’Your Keywords’ name=’keywords’/>

2. Headings and Customized Content

The h(x) tags indicate your headline’s hierarchy. For example, usually H1 tag is used for your website’s name, H2 for your article’s Title etc. Search Engines like that!  Try to ‘show up’ your content’s importance by using headings.

Other things you could use to accent your content are: Bulleted List, Bold , Italic, numbered items etc.

This was a small first part about SEO principles. In the next article we are going to see about the most important thing for SEO:  Inbound and internal Links.