Use Search Operators to Spy on Your Competition
By Stephen Bucaro
My server statistics tell me that over 90 percent of my traffic comes from Google. Google
is the world's most powerful search engine, generating nine out of ten searches overall.
If you're not listed at or near the top of Google searches, your company may as well not exist.
That's why it's important to know how to mine Google for information about your site's
representation, and information about the tactics your competition is using to reach higher
in the search results. One of the most useful tools for this task is Search Operators.
The site operator allows you perform a search for a specific keyword or phrase,
on a specific site. To use it, type the keyword or phrase into Google's search box,
then follow it with site:domain (note there are no spaces between site: and the
domain). The example below searches my site for the keyword phrase "start business".
start business site:bucarotechelp.com
Google returns 1,140 results
Now lets perform the same search on a possible competitor for that keyword phrase.
Google returns 76,200 results for the same keyword phrase
link: and linkdomain:
At one time these operators returned all the links points to a particular domain. You
could use them to discover all the external links pointed to your website, or that pointed
to your competitor's domain. However, Google and the other major search engines have
determined that the information provided by these particular search operators is just
too secret to give out.