Normally when you search for terms on Google, you simply enter those terms and just click ‘search’. There are, however, several ways to tailor the type of results that you get. By using Google search string operators (master list here), you can customize your searches to get more desirable results. Here are some examples.
filetype:type. This option lets you specify which types of files you want results from. Adding filetype:pdf will get you results strictly from PDF files.
intitle. This option lets you specify that you want results only from pages that have matching parameters in their titles. For example, intitle: music will return pages that have the word “music” in their titles.
site. Allows you to search a certain website only, not the whole web. For example, site:wikipedia.org linux will search only Wikipedia.org for the term ‘linux’.
There is a graphical tool that can assist you with such searches. GoogleHacks can save you time and effort with your customized Google searches.
To deepen your understanding of Google hacking, have a look at The Google Hacker’s Guide: Understanding and Defending Against the Google Hacker (634 KB PDF) by Johnny Long.
Additionally, the JimmyR website allows you to perform custom Google searches with an easy to use drop-down menu.
Lastly, have a look at the Google Hacking Database for some very effective Google queries.
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