How to Exclude Specific Terms When Searching on Google

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Google compiled billions of web pages every day and list them every time you are searching for something. Although Google is trying to give the best and the most accurate result, it’s entirely up to these pages on what information they want to include.

For instance, the keyword “best smartphone” may include a variety of brands, from iPhone, Motorola, Xiaomi, Samsung, and more, while in reality you are probably looking for a specific manufacturer or want to avoid certain models. Thankfully, Google can help you narrow down the search result.

It’s called search operators. Essentially, by modifying the search keywords a bit, you can receive drastically different results. Here’s how to use some of them.

Exclude certain terms from search results

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Use the minus character before the phrase you want to exclude from the result. For example, I’m looking for “best smartphone” but want to avoid results that include “iPhone”. So, the keyword would be “best smartphone -iPhone”.

Any pages that contain the word “iPhone” on their article won’t be returned to the search result. You may add more terms to exclude, like “best smartphone -iPhone -Samsung -Motorola”.

Force include certain terms

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This one is the opposite of the previous one. The search result will show any phrase that you are expected to appear. To use this operator, add quotation marks between the terms.

For example, I want to see pages that specifically contain the word Samsung Galaxy. So, the search terms would be “best smartphone “Samsung Galaxy””.

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Another search operator to use is intext: which makes the keyword look like this “best smartphone intext:Samsung Galaxy”. Please note that from my testing, these two operators gave slightly different results. The quotation marks focused more on the title while intext: seems rooted from the content.

Avoid results from a specific website

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This operator narrows down the result by excluding websites you don’t want to show up. Simply add -site:website.com to your query. For example “best smartphone -site:theverge.com”.

Conversely, the same operator can be used to search from a specific website. All you need to do is remove the minus character, so it became “best smartphone site:theverge.com”.


These are some Google search operators that are commonly used in daily searches. There are plenty more which unfortunately would be too long for this topic. If you are interested, Ahrefs has compiled 39 more for advanced use cases.

Anyway, I hope these simple tricks help you find the content you are looking for. Thank you for reading to the end.

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