Smart and Focused B2B Search

Tired of getting 400 million search results researching the search engines? Wearied by the non-expert garbage content showing up on page one?  Perplexed why Google can’’t read your mind? Using combinations of Operators and Google Special Syntaxes can help you locate the credible sources and better focus your B2B marketing search experience.

google under a magnifying glassGoogle is a remarkably powerful tool that can ease and enhance your Internet exploration. Using special syntax you can tell Google that you want to restrict your searches to certain elements or characteristics of Web pages. Google has listed a complete list of its syntax elements at

Try some of these search tips. You’’ll be amazed at how many different ways Google can improve your Internet searching.

Google Boolean Search Operators

Boolean operators define the relationships between words or groups of words.

 No operator produces results for all word combinations and each word separatelyBusiness marketing strategic plans
ANDNarrow search and retrieve results containing all of the words it marketing AND strategy
OR/|Broaden search and retrieve records containing any of the words it separates.b2b OR b-to-b marketing
NOT/-Narrow search and retrieve records that do not contain the term following it.b2b marketing NOT technology
“”Searches for the exact phrase.“b2b marketing strategy”
~Immediately before a key term will search for synonyms.B2b marketing ~methods
*A placeholder for unknown letters in a word or words in a phraseB2B marketing strat*

Google Special Syntaxes

Google special syntaxes allow search engine users to search in specified parts of the Web site or page for the specific search keyword.

intitle:Restricts a search to titles of web sites; it can be effectively combined with other syntaxes to customize a search. An alternative syntax, allintitle: looks for all the words in the title of a Web site; allintitle: does not mix well with other syntaxes.
inurl:Restricts a search to the URLs of websites. It can be an effective way to find sites from within a domain, directory or path; it can also be effectively combined with other syntaxes to customize a search.
site:Allows you to limit a search to a site or a top level domain.
intext:Searches for words in only the text of a Web site. It ignores link text, URLs and titles which makes it a useful syntax for finding search words that are commonly used in URLs or links. It can be effectively combined with other syntaxes to customize a search.
inanchorSearches for text in a Web site’s link anchors (i.e., the text you click on get to a Web site).  Since the anchor text for a link is usually descriptive of the page it links to, the inanchor: syntax can be a useful way to limit a search to relevant sites. It can be effectively combined with other syntaxes to customize a search.
linkReturns a list of Web sites linking to a specific URL. The link: syntax cannot be combined with another syntax.
filetype:Searches for specific filename extensions. Google searches for PowerPoint (.ppt), Excel (.xls), and Word (.doc) documents as well as Adobe Acrobat (.pdf), Adobe Postscript (.ps) and Rich Text Format (.rtf).
related:Searches for Web sites related or similar to a specified URL. This is a good way to retrieve categories or types of Web sites.
info:Provides a page of links to more information about a specified URL including a link to the page’s cache, a list of Web sites that link to the specified URL, a list of Web sites related to the specified URL and Web sites that contain the specified URL.

Sample Search on B2B Marketing

Google Search StatementResultsSearch Strategies
B2B marketing202,000,000Default Boolean AND search.
“B2B marketing”13,700,000Phrase search
intitle:”b2b marketing”2,770,000Phrase in the page title.
intitle:”b2b marketing” ~strategy1,340,000Phrase in page title + synonyms for strategy
“b2b marketing” “strategic plan”461,000Two phrases
“b2b marketing” “strategic plan” integrated342,000Two phrases + one word
“b2b marketing” “strategic plan” integrated ideas134,000Two phrases + two words
intitle:”b2b marketing” “strategic plan” ideas1,550Phrase in page title + phrase + word
“b2b marketing” ~strategy filetype:ppt824Phrase + synonyms + powerpoint files only
intitle:”b2b marketing” ~strategy filetype:pdf435Phase in page title + synonyms + pdf files only
intitle:”b2b marketing” ~strategy site:marketo.com386Phrase in the page title + synonyms + on specific website
intitle:”b2b marketing” “social media” in page title + phrase + on specific website subdirectory, blog
intitle:”b2b marketing” site:hubspot.com56Phrase in page title + on specific website
intitle:”b2b marketing” ~strategy filetype:pdf7Phrase in the page title + synonyms + on specific website + pdf files only

Special thanks to Cassandra Baker, faculty at University of Phoenix School of Business for sharing these search tips.

What tips and tricks can you share about smart and focused search?