Google Search Parameters in URL

Some of Google URL search parameters are very, very useful for SEO purposes.

Google search string URL

A search term search engine optimisation looks on the browser address bar like this -

Whereas the returns results from UK, a query starting with should return somewhat geo neutral results.

Reverse engineering tells us that the order of parameters in the query does not matter really.

And a word of caution - never trust the God for sure, it changes it's mood thirteen times an hour in permutation with "that time of month".

Google search geo targeting

If we are located in UK, Google pegs to and shows results from this geographical region. To switch Google to global targeting we feed it a query

Google search query parameters

Some query operators behave differently in Google searchbox and on URL bar.

SEO useful parameters in Google search string, separated with ampersand &

Google search query filters

Automatic Filtering. Google uses automatic filtering to ensure the highest quality search results. Google search uses two types of automatic filters:

By default, both of these filters are enabled. When we check site backlinks we can disable both filters - filter=0

As far as we are interested mostly about the phrases in SEO, we take keywords and surround them with quotation marks and get by this way one single unit i.e. "word" to play with. We search for complete phrases by enclosing them in quotation marks.

Parameter as_epq is same as q but returns all single words in the query as an "exact phrase".

A decent way would be to use in Google search string a + sign in between single words, and encode the " to a %22 as shown here:

All parameter values must be URL-encoded. Some input parameters require that the values passed to Google search are double-URL-encoded.

Wise words from Google say: "Replace each non-alphanumeric character by its hexadecimal ASCII value, in the format of a "%" character followed by two hexadecimal digits. (Such an ASCII value may be referred to as an escape code.)"

To URL-encode a string:

However, a quick dirty search query works as fine:"search engine optimisation".

Examples of practical use of Google search string

Examples of practical use of Google search string and search parameters for SEO purposes on

Other sources to read about Google search parameters elsewhere on the web:

Random tags to look further around the Internet:


Google search string parameters, their meaning and usage. Search engine optimization and Google search URL parameters., 71-75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9JQ