Search a single website with Google

Occasionally we have the need to search just a single website, yet the site search engine doesn’t seem to be up to the task. Google has a great feature that many don’t know about that lets you search a website using Google. The steps are quite easy to follow.

  1. Go to www.google.com
  2. In the search box enter the following: site:domain search term(s). For example site:nba.com damian lillard.
    1. Site: (including the colon) is the Google keyword telling it to restrict its search to the domain you will name next.
    2. The domain must come immediately after the colon -- no spaces. You don’t need to include “www.” or other sub-domains unless you’re certain you want to restrict the results. Here are some examples:
      1. nba.com for the NBA website (https://www.nba.com)
      2. nhl.com for the NHL website (https://www.nhl.com)
      3. adobe.com for Adobe’s website (https://www.adobe.com)
    3. Treat the search term(s) like any other Google search
  3. Check out the results.

There are a few tricks that you can add to make this feature even more helpful.

Some websites have a clear organizational scheme based on the URL path. Here are 2 examples.

  1. The NBA website has a path for each NBA team.https://www.nba.com/blazers/ contains all of their content for the Portland Trail Blazers.
  2. The Business Journal website has a different path for each city. https://www.bizjournals.com/portland/ contains all of their content specific to the Portland Business Journal.

With this new information, I can change the domain value to be more specific to limit the search within a website. site:nba.com/blazers damian lillard will only return the result for Damian Lillard that are posted on the Blazer portion of the NBA website.
Notice that 2 of the first 3 articles must not be posted on the Blazer specific portion of the NBA site due to them not being returned in the more restricted search on the right.

The other search trick you might want to include is the boolean operators. Perhaps you want to find all the articles posted on NBA.com related to Larry Bird AND Magic Johnson. Simply write your search using the string I included above, site:nba.com Larry Bird AND Magic Johnson.

Google has many more tricks that can help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Check out Joseph Hindy’s article, 20 Google Search Tips to Use Google More Efficiently, on LifeHack to learn more.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Active window loses focus

Referencing the value of a cell, not its formula

Firefox Keyboard Shortcuts