Some Google Tips for Network Engineers

Hey Guys,

As Network Engineers we tend to Google things – and like all good things that we do in networking there are always some small tricks that makes the whole process a lot easier.

I have been recently reading Google Hacks by Rael Dornfest; Paul Bausch; Tara Calishain – and I thought I would share some of their search tips.

The Google search interface has a number of Special Operators and Advanced Search Terms.

Remember that the Google search will weight the importance of search terms by the order of their appearance in the search query string. Also, use “” to group search terms otherwise an implicit OR relationship between the search terms will be assumed.

Wild Card

You can use a * as a wild card operator within a search string i.e. “this search is * something”

Logic Operators


must be capitalised and will do the usual OR logic, the pipe symbol (|) can be used as well

The minus symbol is used to denote to return results without the search term, e.g.

Network Equipment -router will search for network equipment but return pages without the term router


Sometimes Google will skip over common words, e.g. The, to force the search term use the + operator

Number Operators


This will define a mathematical range from x to y. By omitting either x or y we can specify a maximum or minimum operation as well e.g.

..5 where 5 is the maximum

45.. where 45 is the minimum

This is also useful when used with a Dollar Symbol to search for cost

Advanced Search Terms


this is useful for searching for a particular file (or, not searching for using the – operator)

e.g. cisco filetype:pdf

This will return all pdf files that contain cisco


This will limit the search to the defined site URL, note, this will not allow you to specify a particular path.


This allows you to search against the URL text i.e. – this term will allow you to just use inurl:cisco but it will be just searching against cisco in the text, i.e. it would return ciscopress links


Searches the Title Text of the web page


Searches the Google information for a page


This is useful for explicitly specifying to return a definition of a term i.e. define:ethernet will provide a text definition of Ethernet.

I suggest heading over to Google Advanced Search and having a play!.

In closing I hope these little tips help out with your Google searches into the future. I often use the site: and filetype: search terms to speed up searching for information.

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