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OSINT with Google – How to Use Google Search Operators

Google is ones the top most major big search engine. Search engine is the first place that people looking into while looking for information. “Just google it!” Maybe you have been hearing this too many times when some people to lazy to explain or do not know about something. As an OSINT investigator maybe this the first stop to looking for the subject that you looking for. Another alternative search engine that you may use is Bing. This search engine also from the big player company technology Microsoft, but today we will focus about Google search operators and how to use if effective to find information that you need.

How to Use Google Search Operators?

What is search operator exactly? When you looking information about “clothes” you may just enter the keyword as “clothes” or “trend clothes in summer 2021”. But we will learn using query with search operator like quotation mark to looking the exact keyword, file type operator and many more.

Find exact match keyword

Finding exact matches, the word or keyword is easy. You can use quotation mark “keyword”. With the quotation marks Google will return page that contain the exact word that in your queries. How about if your query more than one words. Don’t worry the Google search algorithm will return all pages that contains all word in your query.

Site operator “data leak”

The site operator is the word “site:” followed by colon. Site operator is using when you want to looking information Whitin specific website. For example, I want to looking information about “data leak” in New York Times website that you can use keyword “data leak” This keyword will return all pages in New York Times that contain news about the data leak or breach. Of course, you can combine this keyword with your needs for example name of person that you looking from specific website.

File type operator

“data leak” filetype:pdf

Another best useful search operator is the file type. File type operator is use when you want to looking specific file type for example pdf or excel. The first things that you need to know is file type extension that you looking for. Pdf files has file type “.pdf”, PowerPoint files has file extension “ppt” etc.  Let say you want to look pdf document that has “data leak” information, in your keyword query you can use “data leak” filetype:pdf. This query will return all pdf file that has information about data breach.

Related operator

Can you imagine finding related website that has similar content in it? Use “related” operator. For example when you enter it will return all websites name that like to New York Times.

Conclusion using Google Search Operators

Another Google search operator that useful is Hyphen(-), inURL, OR operator, InTitle, asteriks (*), and range operator. I’m going to explain to you in the next article. See you tomorrow 😊


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