What is a Web address? What is a URL?
Before jumping right into how to search within a Web address, it’s probably best to understand what a Web address, also known as a URL, really is. URL stands for “Uniform Resource Locator”, and is the address of a resource, file, site, service, etc. on the Internet. For example, the URL of this page that you’re looking at right now is located in the address bar at the top of your browser and should include “ ” as the first part of it.
Each website has its own unique Web address assigned to it.
What does it mean to search within a Web address?
You can use the inurl command to tell search engines (this works best with Google at the time of this writing) to look only for web addresses, aka URLs, that include your search terms. You are specifically telling the search engine that you only want to look within the URL – you don’t want to see results from anywhere else BUT the URL. That includes the basic body of content, titles, metadata, etc.
The INURL command: Small, but powerful
In order for this to work, you’ll have to make sure that you keep the following in mind:
- If you’re looking for an exact phrase, say, “three blind mice”, you’ll need to remember that Web addresses typically don’t include spaces between words. However, if your query contains a common enough phrase, Google will automatically match results that include common variations. You might have to play with this a little bit in order to make it work how you’d like it to work – remember, while search engines are incredibly advanced, they still require help to understand what you’re looking for.
- One of the most relatively unknown benefits of the inurl command within Google is that you can use it to search within directories and sub-directories. For example: say you want to find all possible Contact pages on a popular shopping site. You could try this query in Google: inurl:amazon.com “contact”.
- Don’t want certain sites to show up in your search results? You can definitely exclude them, using a simple Boolean math common, aka, the minus sign. For example, say you wanted to search for football information, but you wanted to exclude anything from NFL.com You can try this command: football -inurl:nfl.
Use a search combo to make your queries even more powerful
You can also combine different Google search operators with the inurl: operator to bring back even more filtered results. For example, say you wanted to look for sites with the word “cranberry” in the URL, but only wanted to look at educational sites. Here’s how you could do that:
This returns results that have the word “cranberry” in the URL but are limited to .edu domains.
More Google Search Commands
- Google Search Commands You Need to Know: While more people use Google than any other search engine on the Web, most do not realize that there is much more to this mammoth search index than meets the eye: an amazing repertoire of specific Google search commands that can help Web searchers find what they’re looking for, fast. Here are 13 Google search commands that will make your searches as efficient as possible.