How to Search Within a Website Using Google

How to easily Search Within any Website Using Google

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For many years Google offered “Google Site Search”, a premium service that allowed you and your customers to search within your own website using Google.

Google officially retired its “Google Site Search” service in 2018…1

This means if you want to search within a website using Google today, you have to use a special “search operator” on Google.com.

This can be done easily and works well to search any website that is indexed by Google.

How to Search Within a Website Using Google

If you need to search within a website that has no search functionality available, you can use this Google “Search Operator” site:www.website.com “search term”.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to Google.com.
  2. Enter the site name: Enter the site name you want to search in the Google search box like this: site:www.website.com “search term”
  3. Double check what you typed: Make sure you enter site:www.website.com exactly as referenced here (with no spaces between site:www.website.com) but you can have a space before “search term”
  4. Note: If you do your search and no results show up, be sure to check both “www” and the “naked” domain (i.e. no www)… This is because Google actually considers each of these to be different website URLs and most websites are set up to use one or the other, but not both.
    1. site:www.website.com
    2. site:website.com

As long as Google has the website indexed, this will allow you to search within any website for a specific term on that website.

Searching Within A Website Using Google (Example #1):

In this example, I’m searching within my own website for the term “online business”.

Just go to Google and enter site:www.website.com “search term” like below…

How to Search Within any Website Using Google

Searching Within A Website Using Google (Example #2):

In this example I’m searching for the term “email marketing” within my own website…

How to Search Within any Website Using Google example #2 email marketing

Using site:www.website.com “search term” for Research

You can use the site:www.website.com “search term” to see how your website appears to searchers in Google.

And linking between posts from the same category on your website is helpful for your visitors… As such, you can also use site:www.website.com “search term” to find posts you may have forgotten about on your own website for relevant internal linking purposes.

For instance if you wanted to link from one page on “email marketing” to others, using this search operator could be helpful for finding which pages Google considers best in terms of ranking for that term.

Footnotes

  1. And unfortunately, alternatives to Google Site Search are few, far between and often very expensive. If you use Drupal, you’re in even worse shape than if you use WordPress because Drupal is less user friendly for non-developers than WordPress.