Google may still be the top search engine, but Bing is starting to stand on its own. Bing has many of the same search operators offered by Google, but it has a few tricks you won’t find elsewhere.
Master these search operators and you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for, and do it faster. These search operators will also work in Yahoo, which is now powered by Bing.
Bing’s basic search operators work similarly to Google’s. Search for an exact phrase by surrounding it with quotes:
“find this exact phrase”
Omit words with the NOT or minus sign operators. For example, if you wanted to search for smartphones, but didn’t want any results mentioning the iPhone, you’d use one of the following:
smartphones NOT iphone
Use the OR or | operator to find pages that contain one word or another. For example, search for pages about Android or iPhone using one of the following:
android OR iphone
android | iphone
Use the site: operator to search within a specific website, just like on Google. For example, search for Bing-related content on How-To Geek with this query:
Bing can search for files of a specific type using the filetype: operator, just like Google. For example, search for PDF files about Bing with the following query:
Pages Containing a Link to a File Type
Bing doesn’t index all file types. If you wanted to find public domain MP3 files, the following query wouldn’t do anything:
filetype:mp3 public domain
Use the following query and you’ll get pages containing the words “public domain” that link to MP3 files:
contains:mp3 public domain
If you type a search such as “bing awesome,” you’ll get pages that have the words “bing” and “awesome” anywhere on the page, even if they’re far apart. Use the near: operator to restrict the distance between search phrases. For example, the following query only returns pages where the words “bing” and “awesome” are within five words of each other:
bing near:5 awesome
Use the ip: operator to search websites located at a specific IP address. Here’s how to search How-To Geek’s current IP address:
Specify a Location or Language
Use the loc: operator to specify a specific location. For example, the following query returns tourist attractions in the UK:
loc:UK tourist attractions
Use the language: operator to specify a specific language.
For a full list of location and language codes, visit Microsoft’s website.
Use the feed: operator to find Web feeds that contain a word. You could use this to find blogs about a topic. For example, find feeds that contain the word “geek” with the following query:
If you don’t want to find a feed itself, just a website that has a feed, use the hasfeed: operator:
The real power comes when you start combining search operators, stitching together complex queries out of several different operators.
Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.
- Published 02/29/12