The Anatomy of Google Search by @AaronLintz

Feb 18, 2015

google-searchHave you ever wondered what all of that information in the URL of a Google search result means?

Google search engine results have always been minimalist compared to the competition. It looks different today, but white space is a big part of the picture.

The url data in the browser bar, however, is hot mess of information that contains all of your referral data, parameters, filters, and search settings. Anyone who has tried to share a link on social media manually has seen how long these strings can get. The good news is, if you understand what some of these parameters mean, you can control them. Here is simple search for Sourcecon with the referring junk removed:


I will skip parameters that you can easily control with Boolean. The goal here is to view unfiltered, consistent, and repeatable results. These are the custom options you can add to a query. Each parameter must be separated with “&” and no spaces. Using more than one may give you odd results. The best solution is to add the query at the end like this example:


Like all things internet, these parameters change often and without notice. Some of the information you will find online is dated so the sources listed below are directly from Google. Parameters are different on other Google properties including News, Patent, and Video search.

Google Country Codes 


Interface Languages 


Verbatim explained by Google 

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