One of the basic tools of the trade for an SEO practitioner is the search engines themselves. They provide a rich array of commands that can be used to perform advanced research, diagnosis, and competitive analysis. Some of the more basic operators are:
Excludes the keyword from the search results. For example,
[loans -student] shows results
for all types of loans except student
Allows for forcing the inclusion of a keyword. This is particularly useful for including stopwords (keywords that are normally stripped from a search query because they usually do not add value, such as the word the) in a query, or if your keyword is getting converted into multiple keywords through automatic stemming. For example, if you mean to search for the TV show The Office, you would want the word The to be part of the query. As another example, if you are looking for Patrick Powers, who was from Ireland, you would search for patrick +powers Ireland to avoid irrelevant results for Patrick Powers.
Shows search results for the exact phrase—for example,
[keyword1 OR keyword2]
Shows results for at least one of the
These are the basics, but for those who want more information, what follows is an outline of the more advanced search operators available from the search engines.
Google supports a number of advanced search operators (http://www.google.com/help/operators.html ...