Google search URLs revealed or How to create your own search URL

January 30th, 2007

We all know the Google Advanced Search page that lets you refine your searches and find what you need faster. But how many of us understand the complicated URLs the search engines generates?

Well I am not saying that I’m some sort of expert but here are some information regarding the URLs generated by Google. Let’s start by looking at one such URL:

You don’t understand much and it looks quite long but it doesn’t have to be this way. Many of the variables included are not even used in the query. Here are the basics:

What you should know is that you always start with: This tells Google it’s an advanced search and that there are some variables to come. Besides, remember that all the variables must be connected with ampersands (&; ex. as_q=nintendo+wii&hl=ro) and if you want to use more than one search terms just use ‘+’ (ex. nintendo+wii) between them. Speaking of variables here are the most important tags you can use:

as_oq -> This tells Google to find pages in which at least instance of nintendo OR wii is found
as_q -> This means that you look for nintendo and wii in the same page
as_epq -> Google translates this as a Google search of “nintendo wii”, searches the exact phrase ‘nintendo wii’
num -> The number of results you want displayed, it ranges from 0 to 100. If you set num to 0 you will get the ‘No match found” message
safe -> If you set this to active the Google Safe Search is on and the adult material will be filtered
as_eq -> Use this to exclude a term from your search
as_qdr -> Shows only results that have been updated in the given time interval. Possible values: y (year), m6 (6 months), m3 (3 months).
as_sitesearch -> Limits the search to a specific domain or TLD (.us; .gov;; .ro; etc)
as_occt -> This is set by default to ‘any’ but if you change it you can search in: title, url, links

The goal of this article is not exactly for you to use from now on hand-made search URLs but yo better understand how the Google search engine works and if you please to create some URLs for yourself.

-> Note that when you create your own URL it should not be this long as you can easily get lost in all the variables used

For more information regarding Google searches take a look at: Pro guide to Google searches. Part I and Pro guide to Google searches. Part II.

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  1. Jeremy:

    Thank you for taking the time to lay this out. I have been curious, but not enough to figure it out myself.

  2. Jason B:

    Great tips. Never did bother to pay attention to the URL format.

  3. sammyVicious:

    i dont see how this helps anyone. its simply easier to actually search something on google than the recreate their search formula.

  4. mark:

    An experienced user like myself didn’t bother to find this out so thanks for giving us this insight. :)

  5. Steven Roddis:

  6. encik fakap:

    this is common sense man… it doesn’t you the implementation details. so fscked up!

  7. Motorcycle Guy:

    This site is very very good. No, really how did this site get on digg twice in the past day? Wtf this isn’t that interesting….

  8. John:

    Good little tip…but it would be good if someone could then take that info and create a firefox plug-in or website that can create the urls dynamically….then I might start to play around with them. Lazy …YES. Thanks for the tips though.

    EDIT: please do not advertise

  9. Paul:

    Thanks for the tip made an interesting read also

    EDIT: please do not advertise

  10. Slamitin:

    easier to just goto
    you can replace [keyword] with:
    site:[url] – find sites from a url
    intext:[text] – find specific text in sites
    and so forth

  11. Dave:

    google’s hidden private project

  12. butlimous:

    Although analyzing Google urls doesn’t help by anything, some experts do like to know this information. Thank you for sharing!

  13. Kiet:

    Its way too hard to analyze the urls and expect to figure how their technology work.

  14. Tommy:

    I just use sesql it works out the search for me

  15. win a free playstation 3:

    Interesting article however i don’t think i can handle the trouble of understanding or even making my own search url.

  16. gamermediadownload:

    “Interesting article however i don’t think i can handle the trouble of understanding or even making my own search url.”
    ^^I see where you’re coming from, but from what I’ve been hearing, It can be worth it. You should give it a shot.

    Good read BTW.

  17. Murugan:

    I need to get my site from google search in 1-10 steps

  18. poo:

    a question, maybe silly, but what if use this google Url as a link somewhere else in the web, and then somebody click that? Does that mean for Google that a person searched the web for that link and then he/she has chosen our website? Is it useful for SEO? Thanks for your kind help.

  19. Adheep:

    This post was very useful for my project!!
    Thankx a lot!!

  20. Thabang:

    I would like my url to work please

  21. Chris:

    Simple default query..write this…

    Done…easy and default….

  22. John N.:

    I have a spreadsheet app for which I want to create a Google image search URL in one cell based on data in several other cells. This enables me to dynamically execute a search for pictures and to also keep the “image” (actually a URL) locked in a cell along with associated data in the same row.

    To test how to do it, I manually captured the URL that Google created and then altered it manually to test if it changing the search value would work. It didn’t! For some reason the old URL did not get “flushed” but rather remained “stuck” thus giving me the same search results when I clicked on my URL with the new search value.

    I think I found the solution – at least it is working thus far. I added the URL parameter “navclient” to the URL and that seemed to do the trick.

    Thus simply add &navclient to your URL and it will result in the correct response. See for more details on this parameter.

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