Ann Smarty

3 FireFox Addons to Use Google’s SITE: More Effectively

Years ago Google recommended against looking too closely at the site: command results. In fact, the exact words posted by John Mueller, a trend analyst for the search engine, were, “Focusing on the site:-query rough approximations will not lead to useful results” – which is a statement you have probably heard many times before you read this article.

I don’t say I disagree with the statement. I’d say, those who keep citing it miss the point because it’s taken out of context.

It’s not that I recommend focusing on the raw number of results you see in return for [site:domain.com] search (and jumping to any conclusions based on it) – it’s that there are much more useful ways to use the search operator (hopefully it will never be discontinued):

1. Find weak pages that probably should not be in the index

Depending on your site CMS and architecture, these can be:

[site:mysite.com inur:admin]

[site:mysite.com inurl:asp?id=]

[site:mysite.com inurl:css]

2. Identify any canonical issues [site:mysite.com -site:www.mysite.com]

3. Find best internal pages to link to [site:site.com KEYWORD]

4. Drop some section of the site from search results [site:site.com -inurl:news]

5. You name it!

In fact SITE: command is an invaluable tool, especially in combination with other advanced operators, and here are some tools to make the most of it:

1. Google Site: Tool (Greasemonkey)

How does it work?

SITE: search from search results: Limit search results to any domain right from the search results. Click on green URL below the title in the search snippet to bring up the option.

Google Site: Tool

This is an awesome little tool developed by Jefferson Scher, a frequent contributor to UserScripts.org. It works by allowing you to add site: or -site: to modify your Google results. Very straight forward, easy to use and compatible with Firefox 14 and up. You have to click on the green ‘cite’ button for it to show the script, which is otherwise hidden.

If you don’t see the button, it might not be compatible with your country’s Google tld. You should then use it on Google.com, rather than the international engines. But it was updated in August of this year, so all bugs should be worked out.

2. Google All Sites & Similar Sites Search

How does it work?

SITE: search from status bar: Search SITE:currentsite.com right from FireFox status bar.

Don’t sift through website searches. This is a quick way to use a website-specific Google search, even when the site doesn’t have a search box function available. They have an added feature for finding similar websites, and single click run. There were a few problems when it was first released, which led to some bad reviews. But those were fixed and it has since been given positive ratings for its simple design and ease of use.

3. Search Site

How does it work?

SITE: search from context menu: Search the current site using the right-click (context) menu.

Search Site

Here is another search addon for Firefox that works by enabling you to search the current site for the search term you select on a page. If you are looking for something really basic and functional, this one has been recommended highly by users. I wish the search results opened in a new tab though.

Do you know of any tools for site: command? Let us know in the comments.

Ann Smarty is the co-founder of Viral Content Buzz, the free social media promotion platform.

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