Google search URL parameters and what do they mean?

When it comes to search online it always comes to google if you don’t think much about tracking and all. And why should not use this. Google provides the best result for every search. So lets see what are the different query parameters used in google while searching and how you can use them. Lets have a look at Google search URL parameters.

Google search URL parameters


The query string. Words are separated by + signs.

Everything from here on in is preceded by an & sign, as it’s tagged on to the end.


Results must include the query, in the word order displayed.

Shows as “query goes here”


Results must include one or more of the words in this string. Basically, it’s like a more advanced version of the one above, using an “or” filter. Thus, every result must have the main initial query, and one or more of the sets of terms in these strings.

Shows as “query string” OR goes OR here


Results must NOT include any words in this string.

Shows as -don’t -include -these -words


Controls the number of results shown. Must be a numeric value, and can be anything up to 100. Doesn’t work with fractions. I’ve tried.


Only returns results that end in .extension. Currently supports any input. Try it – make a file with a random extension, get it indexed and do a search. Also shows that as long as it validates to something, Google can and will index it. Something to think about…

Shows as filetype:extension

as_sitesearch=Example Domain

Limits results to just the site you choose.

Shows as


Swap out x for the following to limit the search to only files first indexed in:

  • d – the previous 24 hours
  • w – the previous seven days
  • m – the previous month
  • y – past year
  • mn – the previous n number of months. So m2 would be the previous two, m3 would be three, and so on. Does work into double digits


Limits the search to files/pages that have certain rights. The options are:

  • (cc_publicdomain|cc_attribute|cc_sharealike|cc_noncommercial|cc_nonderived) – free to use or share
  • (cc_publicdomain|cc_attribute|cc_sharealike|cc_nonderived).-(cc_noncommercial) – free to use or share, including commercially
  • (cc_publicdomain|cc_attribute|cc_sharealike|cc_noncommercial).-(cc_nonderived) – free to use, share, or modify
  • (cc_publicdomain|cc_attribute|cc_sharealike).-(cc_noncommercial|cc_nonderived) – free to use, share, or modify commercially

If you want to make up your own, put the bits you want in brackets, separated by pipe characters (|), and exclude the bits you don’t by putting them in brackets, preceded by .- and again pipe-separated.


This is actually appended to the q= parameter, hence a search for fishing with the allintitle term “sea bass” would require the following query:


Shows as allintitle:search terms

N.B. This also works with allintext to search page body text, allinurl for searching the URL, and allinanchor for finding sites that are linked to with certain anchor text.


Like the allin parameters, this is actually appended to the q= parameter. What this does though is let you search for results between numeric ranges. For example, if you wanted to find documents with numbers between 15 and 100, you’d put in 15..100. Very useful for finding products in a price range, when combined with the site limiter. Works with $, £, and other such things.

Shows as query 15..100


Again, this is appended to the q= parameter. The %2B is actually the + sign encoded, and will return results featuring only the term used, with no pluralisations, alternate tenses, or synonyms.

Shows as +term


Another one that’s appended to the q= parameter. Returns results for the term used and synonyms.

Shows as ~term


Yet another q= parameter add-on. Returns definitions for the word you put in.

Shows as define:word

term * term two

And another q= parameter add-on. Returns results with listings that contain both words, with other words between them.

n+n2, n-n2, n/n2, n*n2, n^n2 and n% of n2

Google’s calculator functions. They are, in order, add, subtract, divide, multiply, raise to the power of, and return x percentage of.


Sets safe search to on. To turn it off, change active to images.

as_rq=Example Domain

Finds sites Google thinks are related to the URL you put in.

Shows as query

as_lq=Example Domain

Finds sites that link to the URL you put in.

Shows as query


Opens clicked listings in a new window. Very useful for opening lots of documents at a time, for competitor research. Set to 1 to activate, and 0 to turn it off.


Controls whether personalised search is on or not. Set to 1 to activate, and 0 to turn it off.


Turns off AdWords database connection, so your browsing won’t show up as an impression, and will disable the URLs. Set to on to activate, and off to turn it off.


Simulates a click on the normal Google results buttpm. Change to btnI to get the I’m Feeling Lucky button result.


Controls the input encoding settings. This defaults to UTF-8, and is worked out server-side, hence changing it doesn’t do anything.


Controls the output encoding settings. Works in the same way as ie, so you can tinker away, but it won’t do anything.


Changes the interface language. I won’t list them all here, but you can find them all here.


Limits the languages used to return results. Not hugely effective. That said, here’s the list of all of them:

  • lang_ar – Arabic
  • lang_hy – Armenian
  • lang_cs – Czech
  • lang_da – Danish
  • lang_nl – Dutch
  • lang_en – English
  • lang_eo – Esperanto
  • lang_et – Estonian
  • lang_tl – Filipino
  • lang_fi – Finnish
  • lang_fr – French
  • lang_de – German
  • and so on


Limits the search results to pages/sites from certain locations. Change XX to any of the following, to limit the results:

  • AF – Afghanistan
  • AL – Albania
  • DZ – Algeria
  • AS – American Samoa
  • AD – Andorra
  • and so on

The answer is taken from this answer from quora.

Gaurav Yadav

Gaurav is cloud infrastructure engineer and a full stack web developer and blogger. Sportsperson by heart and loves football. Scale is something he loves to work for and always keen to learn new tech. Experienced with CI/CD, distributed cloud infrastructure, build systems and lot of SRE Stuff.

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