Google is a powerful search engine that is constantly evolving to provide users with the best results for all search queries.
However, the algorithm isn’t the one that truly holds power when using Google. As users, you can control which domains will appear on SERPs for your keywords using search operators.
We’ll discuss the different instances where you may want to exclude sites when performing a search query and how you can do it.
Why You Should Exclude Domains in Google Search
As discussed, excluding domains in Google search gives users full control over what will appear on SERPs.
An argument can be made about the declining quality of Google search results. But what does “declining quality” mean, in this case?
There are multiple examples. It’s possible to see different pages from the same domain for a search query. The search phrase “content marketing” will show you three pages from Content Marketing Institute:
One can argue that these pages are the “best” pages for content marketing since it’s from a well-reputed site that talks about content marketing. On the other hand, having the same domain occupy the top three spots for a very competitive keyword doesn’t feel right.
Another reason you may want to exclude domains on Google search is to remove irrelevant pages from SERPs.
This is common among review keywords (product name + “review”). Instead of showing users comprehensive reviews of the page, Google shows them review aggregator sites like G2, Trust Radius, Capterra, and others at the top spot.
Here’s what you will see for “semrush review:”
Two of the top three pages are from review aggregator sites, which are not independent expert reviews.
Unfortunately, one can make an argument over the other. Since the G2 and Trust Radius pages contain elements found in a review page, their inclusion in SERPs for the search query is justified.
Nonetheless, if you’re doing research on Google and want to weed out domains that are diluting the quality of search results, in your opinion, you can exclude them from showing up on Google search results.
How to Exclude Specific Domains from Google Search
To do this, we will be using a Google search operator. It’s an advanced search command that helps users narrow down the Google search results to their preferences.
There are many search operators to choose from, but below is the one you should use to exclude a domain:
-inurl:[write URL here]
The operator means that it won’t show pages from the domain that you entered after the command.
The search operator must appear after the search query to make this work properly.
This is what Google’s search results look like when we performed the following search:
content marketing -inurl:contentmarketinginstitute.com
The top three spots that Content Marketing Institute occupied are no more appearing on SERPs.
Using the search operator, you can exclude a domain or even a specific page from appearing on Google search results.
Here’s how the results page looks like after performing the following search:
content marketing -inurl:https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2018/09/explain-content-marketing-anyone/
The first two pages from Content Marketing Institute still appear in search results. The third page from CMI doesn’t appear because we excluded it from SERPs.
If you want to exclude more than one domain from the results, you have to repeat the search operator multiple times.
Let’s use this concept for the search query “semrush review:”
semrush review -inurl:g2.com -inurl:trustradius.com -inurl:capterra.com
By removing G2, Trust Radius, and Capterra from the results, we were able to find out the top pages reviewing the tool in-depth.
Also, you can use the operator on other major search engines like DuckDuckGo and Bing. So, if you couldn’t produce the results you wanted and needed on Google, you can try out the command on other search engines to get more results.
Excluding domains from Google search using this search operator is a good way to help you filter the results to see the most important ones for your research.
So, if you feel that Google is showing irrelevant search results, using this operator in the search box allows you to view the pages you need.