A Google Search Operator That You May Not Know About!

Published in: Google - Search Tricks

Search operators in Google (see Google cheat sheet) help you refine and improve search results.

For instance, a query like “Taj Mahal AND Hotel” will search for pages related to the Hotel Taj and not the Mughal monument. Similarly, “kindle -site:amazon.com” will find all Kindle related resources outside the Amazon website.

AROUND Search Operator

Google Search supports an undocumented search operator called AROUND(n) that will help you find documents where the distance between two search terms is around ‘n.’ Here’s an example:

Google Around Search Operator Google Around Search Operator for Proximity Searches

A search query like “CNN Obama” will mostly show CNN pages that are related to Obama. However, if we modify the query to look like “CNN AROUND(2) Obama,” you get results where the two terms are written on the page in close proximity.

The higher the number, the less the proximity.

Daniel Russell, who first wrote about the AROUND operator, says that AROUND is especially useful when the documents are rather long (think book-length articles) while a comment points out that it could be also be useful “when searching for quotes, speeches or a song that’s stuck in your head, but you can only think of a few words from it.”

Google’s wildcard search operator, represented by Asterisk (Obama * CNN), may achieve similar results   but with AROUND, you even get to specify the distance between the two search terms. Do remember to write AROUND in all CAPS else it won’t work.

📮  Subscribe to our Email Newsletter for Google tips and tutorials!
Published in: Google - Search Tricks

Looking for something? Find here!

Meet the Author

Web Geek, Google Developer Expert
Amit Agarwal

Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India. He is the developer of Mail Merge for Gmail and Document Studio. Read more on Lifehacker and YourStory

Get in touch

Google Add-ons

Do more with your Gmail and GSuite account

We build bespoke solutions that use the capabilities and the features of Google Workspace for automating business processes and driving work productivity.

  1. Mail Merge with Attachments
    Send personalized email to your Google Contact with a Google Sheet and Gmail
  2. Save Emails and Attachments
    Download email messages and file attachments from Gmail to your Google Drive
  3. Google Forms Email Notifications
    Send email notifications to multiple people when a new Google Form is submitted
  4. Document Studio
    Create beautiful pixel perfect documents merging data from Google Sheets and Google Forms
  5. Creator Studio for Google Slides
    Turn your Google Slides presentations into animated GIFs and videos for uploading to YouTube