Doug Vitale Tech Blog

Google Hacks

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, linux will search only 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.


The GoogleHacks v1.6.5 GUI.

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.

Recommended reading

If you found the content of this article helpful and want to expand your knowledge further, please consider buying a relevant book using the links below. Thanks!

Google Hacking for Penetration Testers on Amazon Google Hacking for Pen Testers  Google Hacks: Tips & Tools for Finding and Using the World's Information on Amazon Google Hacks

Googlepedia: The Ultimate Google Resource on Amazon Googlepedia Ultimate Resource  Google: Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks on Amazon Google: Top 100 Tips

Google: The Missing Manual on Amazon Google: The Missing Manual Google Apps Hacks on Amazon Google Apps Hacks

Google Power Search on Amazon Google Power Search


Written by Doug Vitale

November 2, 2011 at 3:40 PM

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